Students, CI’s forests, restrictive clothing is dangerous

Today, the tiny growers between here and the university had an ancient computer monitor being used as a flower pot. It did not actually work well in execution.

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Misc photos

Things have become normal.

Of course everyone has chickens running everywhere.
Of course a herd of cattle is grazing on plastic beside the building.
Of course there is no change.
Of course the grocery/food stand happens to be out of the exact ingredient you need.
Of course you need to gut the chicken/fish yourself. Americans are weird for buying those tiny, sterile fillets.

So, here’s a bunch of random photos until something interesting happens. Or rather, something interesting that isn’t a bad thing, because if you can’t say something nice….

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Course maximums and registration deadlines are for sissies.

Last week was week two, and my classes were both at the maximum of 15 studies. I assumed that was it, assigned work, sorted students into groups for their research assignments.

You know what they say about the word assume.


Meanwhile, did I mention our microbiology supplies have come? It’s always like Christmas when supplies come. Here, it’s a Christmas miracle.


Me: Really, we should keep bases and acids separate. So they don’t fall over on each other and blow up the building.
Tech: We need more space.
Me: Yes.
Tech: And the bottles are not good, so the chemicals are evaporating. That’s why I keep the window open.
Me: …Wait, what?

Church services

So it’s about 8 PM last week, and I hear various sounds of various entertainment mediums drifting through my window. And suddenly, cutting through the singing of the insects:
“Noooooooooooow this is a story all about how my life got flipped,  turned upside down…”


The past two weeks, church has gone from 8 AM until after 1 PM.

I’ve heard stories about 5 hour church services in villages, and you think of our church services where you’re sitting through the whole thing and can’t leave etc etc. But services here are far different. (CAVEAT: I have not been to many, so this is based on the three places I’ve been + what I hear + what I see around town on Sundays.)

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New Year’s, Adventures of Lost Luggage

One of the expats has a term for our Christmas adventure. “Cultural Kidnapping.”

Later in the week, we had a Christmas Redo, with more traditional activities: a nice lunch, exchanging gifts around the Christmas tree*, Christmas music.

LM made cornbread stuffing (Texas native) from polenta cornbread, and it was the best thing ever. I learned that you cannot heat up mashed potatoes on the stovetop unless you want a gluey mess.**

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Christmas in Jacqueville

Well, there was Christmas traveling, microbiology training, searching for collaborations, re-writing class plans, and my boyfriend’s arrival, and I may never recover. I need a vacation badly. And tomorrow at least will be spent fighting with Ethiopian Air inquiring about the luggage they lost. Pray that they find it and deliver it, because none of us has the energy to fight.

Continue reading Christmas in Jacqueville


Me: Do you all have 1000 or 500 for the taxi? I have a lot of 2000, but no lower.
Them: *pulls out a fistfull of change*
Me: Oh my gosh. How did you do that?!
Them: We spend evenings getting change. It’s like our second full-time job. We call it ‘chasing change.’

One of them has a hookworm in his foot. So that’s a thing that can happen here.

Look, Christians, if you’re trying to demonstrate the love of Jesus, perhaps let’s not do it by keeping half the town up with your all-night productions?

There are a few Santa hats around town, and one rabbit ears on a young man. No, I don’t know either.

I will likely have a story to tell come Monday evening, so stay tuned and find out if it’s a good or a bad story. It can either be an exciting new experience, or a boring familiar experience with bad food and worse travel conditions. We Americans are planning a Christmas redo already.