Week 1 Done and Dusted

It’s been one week at the house. I’m yet to master the art of cold bucket showers; I’m still at the rookie point where I don’t quite feel completely clean after each one. I find myself looking forward to a proper shower when we go away for the weekends so I can actually scrub myself clean. The same goes for my clothes, somehow washing them in a bucket and wringing them out doesn’t give them that fresh, clean smell that you get from a washing machine. I’m hoping that practise makes perfect, because otherwise the next 8 months definitely won’t be my most hygienic.

We experience dinners by candlelight and still look forward to what we’ll be served every night (except if it’s nsima, after one night of that I was pretty happy to not eat it again, which unfortunately isn’t an option). Thursday night had us finishing up work early for the afternoon and splitting into teams for a game of Masterchef. We were given the equivalent of $9 AUD to buy ingredients for dinner to serve our team of 5 people as well as one plate for the judges. Ironically, my team took out first place because we served up both a savoury and a sweet crepe, but our coal stove wasn’t effective enough to continue making crepes for the 5 of us so we went to bed hungry. Nothing beats that first place recognition though right?

Presidential campaigns became apparent over the weekend and virtually the whole city went into lockdown for the weekend, with most places closing and gatherings occurring throughout the place. For this reason, our usual Friday night dinner out became mass pasta at home followed by some early weekend celebrations. By midnight the house was asleep, but by 2am a few of us were back up, mopping up the floor due to the bathroom basin being left on, flooding two bedrooms, the bathroom and the hallway. The water turning off is quite common here and it’s believed that this happened during the night, leading to someone turning the tap on to wash their hands, finding it didn’t work, and leaving the bathroom to go back to sleep without turning the tap back off. Hopping out of bed after waking up to someone moving our belongings to higher places was almost surreal, you certainly don’t expect to step into an inch of water when you wake up and it was quite an unsettling feeling. Cleaning up took almost an hour and a half. By the end there were 8 of us and we had all become a bit delirious due to the lack of sleep we’d had and the ridiculousness of the whole experience. Thankfully nothing was damaged despite the electronic equipment that drowned in the process, thank god we live in a house always stocked with rice.


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