Sweating 03 September 08


The day started out pretty cool so I decided to go to the borehole and get some water. I knew it would only be one bucket. To get to the  borehole I walk on a path through the savanah. Now during the rainy season the grass is tall and flows nicely in the breeze. But the walk back is not so fun. Carrying a bucket full of water is not easy. It was hard for me to do when  the borehole was right outside my door in Suhyen but now when it’s ¼ of a mile away it really tires me out.

What I was really hoping was that there would be some of my card playing teens there and they would help. Last time they did. But alas I had to carry it back myself. This involves many stops, preferably in some shade and frequent switching of hands. When I got to the Kampusi’s yard Mr. said “You are carrying water! It’s too heavy for you.”

“Yes” I replied. “I am getting just one bucket and hope the kids will come by today to help me.”

“Let us know when you are running out and I can get the workmen to bring the donkey cart.” said Mr. Kampusi.

“OK” I said “It’s really too hard for me.”

When I got to my water barrell I was sweating up a storm for the first time today.

After breakfast I had my next great idea. I decided to clean my bathing room. It’s a long narrow room with one window at the end and a door at the other. There is not too much cross ventilation. Before I even finished the three foot wide wall sweat was just dripping off me. It was running down my face. I could feel my shirt soaked to my back and rivulets of sweat were running down the back of my thighs. At this point I thought “Why am I doing this?’ but realized that I was going to have to do it sometime and I was already in the middle of it. The reward – a bucket bath in a clean bathing room.  So I finished the job all the while chanting my mantra “I am in Africa I will sweat.”

About noon I got my bucket bath in a clean bathing room. Felt good.

Doris, and Evelyn came over a bit later and we played Dash. Dizzy of course came in too. While we were playing Amusah came with the donkey cart and a huge container of water in the back. He filled three barrels and a bucket for me. I was already imagining a very extravagent bucket bath later in the evening. Maybe a whole half a bucket or more!

Abigail came for cards as well and then Jennifer followed. We played a long time. They were talking buili and I understood enough to know they were saying I had something in my dok (room)  I finally asked them to translate one word into English and the word was toffee! Here in Ghana all candy is toffee. Last week I had given Martha and another girl toffees and a pencil for helping me get water. Martha had told them I had toffees. I offered to get some toffee for us all. I had actually been thinking of it as another reward for my cleaning. We each had two Worthers.  I explained how they are special for special occasions.

The girls then did an interesting thing with the wrappers. They rubbed the gold part on their lips and it came off on their lips. They looked exotic.  They each have tribal markings on their faces. It’s usually one small scar on the cheek somewhere. Those scars and the gold on their lips made them look like they came out of some African story 100 years ago.

Finally I ended the meeting of the Sandema Girls Card Club. I decided to make some garlic texas toast. I melt Blue Belt margarine and oil in my frying pan then heap on the garlic. Today I used 4 cloves. When the clove begin to soften and crisp up then I put in slices of bread. Today I have tea bread and it’s about the size of a loaf of French bread so I put in 4 slices of that. Cooking inside in Africa really really stinks.  For the third time today I was sweating. No not as bad as the cleaning episode but more than I wanted to. But the reward for this was crispy garlicky bread with soft and crispy garlic chunks. Yum Yum.

I will get a coal pot to cook outside with. I cannot haul my gas tank and my burner outside. The gas tank weight twice as much as a bucket full of water with out the gas in it! The coal pot is small and portable and good for making one pot meals.

Now I am in my bedroom with the ceiling fan on and catching up on blog entries. No more sweating for me today.


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