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And for once I was SuperMom

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kinda the same...

Reasons why living in the mountains in Colorado and Kenya are kinda the same:
1. Vermin: I live in a big beautiful log home. Benefit: it's pretty, rustic and cool. Drawback: cracks in the walls, guess what gets in? Mice. We have mice that regularly visit our downstairs apartment, it's not uncommon to be watching television and see once skate across the back of the room. Usually one of us will hiss, 'get the cat!' and run upstairs to grab Cinnamon, a champion mouser. Usually she will drop to the ground looking bewildered and then almost immediately sense the presence of the vermin, spend a half an hour giving our recliner dirty looks and angry hisses, disapear, and then return carrying a twitching mouse in her mouth. We also seem to have a colony of stink bugs living in our apartment. Usually I ignore bugs in my home or kill them, especially if they are of the 8-legged variety, but with stink bugs I figure they don't really hurt anyone. So I tried the tree-hugger route and thought I would scoop one up into a cup and throw him outside. I knelt, grabbed a piece of paper and cup and tried to push him into the cup with the paper. i fumbled twice and he turned on me and poked his little pointy butt at me. I held my hands aloft and said, 'you win.'
I wrote about vermin in Kenya in this blog http://redearthsafari.blogspot.com/2010/02/what-is-it-like-teaching-in-africa.html
2. Availability of goods and resources. We have a small grocery store in town like one in the resort town that your family goes to holiday. You can get almost anything you need except for things like vodka sauce (asked for it one time, I swear the clerk tried to burn a hole in me with her eyes) and if you want goat cheese it's gonna be ten bucks a log. You can't really buy clothes here; you have to drive to the Springs or Denver. Things that are expensive in BV: cheese, gas, clothing, imported produce, meat, and alcohol. Things that are expensive in NBO: cheese, gas, clothing, imported produce, meat, and alcohol. Things that are cheap in both: all form of Coke products.
3. Not really knowing if things are going to be on the shelves in the store. I have more than once driven to Salida to buy hair gel only to find it sold out at Walmart. Many times in NBO I had to abandon a recipe in the middle of shopping because I couldn't get a key ingredient. I still have to fight the urge to buy triplicates of non-perishable items because it might be there later.
4. Produce goes bad quickly. Everything goes bad quickly in NBO, one time I bought cream and it was so sour that it was solid the very next day. In BV I have bought lettuce only to drive home and find out it was already slimy in the bag.
5. The roads: we live on a dirt road up the side of a moutain, it gets corrugated from people driving too fast and then braking on it. The corrugation and gravel can be frightening because it will grab your car and throw it if you're not careful. This gets worse in the winter with snow, ice, and rain. i also wouldn't live up in this house without 4-wheel drive. In NBO there were potholes. My, were there potholes. It would rain one day and they would just open up in the middle of the night. Big ones, some had small families living in them. I wouldn't live there without 4-wheel drive.
All in all living in America in the country is easier than in Africa. At least for me. There are drawbacks anywhere. I just think it's funny that in a way living in BV prepared me for Africa, it's also been a nice place to decompress. Like an old man getting in and out of the bath...

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