Sunday, February 7, 2010

Living in Africa

One of our day to day tasks here are purchasing fruits and vegetables at the market. The first thing we have to do when we get them home is to soak them in a bleach/water solution for 20 minutes. This must be done to kill any germs or diseases that might be on them. Then we rinse them with filtered water and put them in the refrigerator. We also do this same process when purchasing eggs. If you don’t, when you crack the eggs, germs could get in whatever you are doing with your eggs.

Another thing we must do is when we buy flour, we have to put it in the freezer for a few days. This is so that any bugs that are in the flour will be killed.

Sometimes when I want to buy meat, I go down to the local meat shop pictured. You have to hope that the piece of meat you are buying hasn’t had too many flies on it! The meat hanging here is sheep that someone just brought into the shop to sell. They had it loaded in the back of an old station wagon and got it out and hung it up. I guess you would call that special delivery!

Just day to day food preparation takes a lot of time here. Everything must be made from scratch. Any convenience foods that might be available here are usually too expensive to consider buying.

We also need to filter all of our water. Even when brushing our teeth, we must use filtered water. A bucket water filter system like this one is the most common ways to filter water. However, this year the home we live in has 3 built-in water filters, so that is a real luxury.

Even though we must do a lot to just live day by day, we have a lot more than most Senegalese people have. We have so much to be thankful for; we have water that doesn’t have to be hauled, electricity, a stove and oven to cook on and so much more.

So, next time you get a glass of water to drink, or bake or cook something, just be thankful for the many small blessings you have, I know I am!