Before coming to Isebania, I had never heard of a “hand washing station” nor had I heard of “Safari Ants.” I didn’t know what a mosquito net actually looked like and the idea of showering under an electric contraption was synonymous with suicide.
My perceptions and standards have drastically changed since then. Now, instead of trying to explain everything, I’ll walk you through a day in pictures:
Let’s start with some aesthetic pictures that show the lay of the land, and illustrate what typical houses in Isebania, -and most of rural East Africa- look like:
The Shower Contraption
You start by turning on the water and then stepping out to the hall to turn on the switch below:
Then the electric heating contraption below starts buzzing and magically heating your shower water. Just for the record I’ve never been electrocuted, but I’ve also never been dumb enough to touch the wires or the contraption when the switch was on.
For those who find that tough and/or dangerous, here is how 99.9% of Isebania gets its water:
If you’ve always lived in places with indoor plumbing, then you never would have needed
The Hand-Washing Station
The Boda Boda/Piki Piki
Since, I gave everyone debrief of transportation in the last blog, I’ll leave you with this picture:
These things are NASTY. They literally climb “you” at the speed of light and start biting. They’re ruthless to say the least. Avoid at all costs.
The Community and its Priorities
This is a community of subsistence farmers. The priorities are your “shamba”, your cows and chickens (if you’re rich enough to have any), and your children. Your biggest financial hurdles are school fees, healthcare expenses, farming inputs, dowries (paid by men), weddings and funerals.
The Wonders of the Market
The Purchases that Changed My Quality of Life in Isebania
The Fake Floor
Fake floors are available in hardwood, granite, all kinds of colorful ceramic patterns, and carpeting. This how I brought “luxury” to my otherwise gross cement floor.
The Rat-Proofing Bucket
The only way to guarantee the safety of my precious snacks!
The Fancy Mosquito Net
For everyone who has never seen a mosquito net, here you go:
I should add that this “fancy” rectangular mosquito net changed my life. Before that I had a small one (see below) that I got tangled in every night (not fun.)
The Makeshift Board Game
People know how to have a good time here. Who needs overpriced commercial boardgames when you can make your own?
So, in the end I’ll just apologize for my inferior photography skills and my pathetic iphone camera. I’m going to steal some better quality safari pictures from my coworker for the next picture blog in order to end everyone’s suffering. In the meantime, I leave you with this amazing picture of our cat “Kali,” which is “Danger” in Kiswahili.