Butcher, Baker, Candlestick maker
Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker… Well, the last one wouldn’t work well in Chad with temps hitting 114*F this week.
I like being a “baker” but “butcher”… I tolerate.
Life in the states is very sterile, that is, if you live in a city. If you live on a farm, you are used to these things. I’m a city slicker. In the US, I go to the supermarket, which is climate controlled and clean. I buy my meat nicely cleaned, cut, and packaged; ready to make a meal. Here, I order my meat from our “veggie delivery man”. He buys it in the” open air” market for me. (I bought it myself, once, and that was the last time.) But even when he brings it, it needs some cleaning.
I first have to wash it then cut off all the fat and take off the long tendon. I cut it for different recipes and bag it for the freezer. It’s not something I enjoy doing, but it’s a part of life here.
The pumpkins here taste really great and make wonderful pies and breads. When I get one I bake it in a solar oven, scoop out the pumpkin and “voila”. Jim was ecstatic.
It is the end of winter here. That means the temps are rising and I won’t be “baking” as much for the next 8 months. My first 8 months here I only baked what I had to which wasn’t much except granola and an occasional casserole. So it has been great to be here this winter (80’s and 60’s) and to be able to discover some new recipes I could cook here.
Amelie cooks for us on Saturdays. She makes great bread, tortillas, lasagna, and many things we like.
The temperature in my kitchen.
You know it’s hot when even the flies are trying to “catch the cool air” exiting our house from our evaporative (swamp) cooler.
Candle stick maker…Not here. Hospitality…Yes
Coming into N’Djamena is like a vacation for most who live in remote villages.
Their normal life is more like camping, everyday. When they are here they get to have normal flush toilets, electricity and a real shower rather than a bucket shower. It really refreshes them to have these conveniences.
Most of our village teams will drive their own car or take public transportation for 7 – 16 hours to get here. Sometimes they fly via MAF or the United Nations Food flight program, but that still is a long day.
When they arrive here, they are tired. I put a few food items in their fridge so they do not have to immediately shop and I arrange for a few welcome meals. They often tell me how much they appreciate it. One lady just broke down and cried at how pampered she felt. It doesn’t seem like much, but this is an “oasis” in the desert.
Not only our colleagues appreciate our hospitality but volunteers are welcomed and grateful to be here too.