Tuesday, December 16, 2014

..these are a few of our favorite things. - Carole's Post

On Saturday we met with the missionary correlation committee in the Zingwangwa branch and we spent part of the time talking about a social we would sponsor in the upcoming weeks.  George and I thought it would be fun to have a movie night complete with popcorn.  We were hoping for something light and I suggested "The Sound of Music".  Since the members there had never heard of it, George tried to explain.  "It takes place in Austria,  uh, ... lots of singing,  uh, ...World War II".  It quickly became apparent by the puzzled look on their faces that there was no frame of reference and we dropped that idea!

However, I have now had the music stuck in my brain for a couple of days.  Some of you have asked about our living situation so I thought I would share some photos along with some of "Our Favorite Things".
This is our apartment complex and that is our truck in the parking lot.  Our complex does not have a name but it does have a

security gate and guard.  This is Lasma and either he or John opens the gate several times a day for us to come and go.  There are high walls topped by electried wire around the complex.

Obviously, this is on the truck.

We are in number five.   We have to reach through the iron gate to unlock the padlock, not always easy when your hands are full of things.  You can see that it rained earlier today.
This week they are going to attach a screen to the gate to try and keep out the hundreds of mosquitos that collect (just waiting for us to open the apartment door so they can fly in).

Once you get through the iron gate, you are at our front door, complete with mosquito netting.
One more door to unlock, while you are tangled up in the net, and voila, you are in!

WELCOME to our home! (or "you are very much welcome to my home" in Malawian English!)
We were so happy to buy a few things to make it homey.  The basket is filled with tomatoes and avocados, of which there are plenty.  The table ornament is a  boabab tree made of dried reeds and grass.  Through the windows you can see the clotheslines for the apartment, but no laundry today!

And this really makes it our home.

We usually sit in the living room, me on one side of the coffee table and George on the other, when we work on our computers.  And this is what is at our feet.
Computers, i-pad, phones, camera, along with adapters and one converter.

This is one of our favorite things - a great water filter system so we can drink the tap water in the kitchen if we turn on the little black tab on the faucet.  

This might be our MOST favorite thing; it's a hot pot!  The tap water takes a very long time to get hot
and it takes a very, very, long long time to heat water on the stove.  So, just fill this hot pot with water, turn it on, wait 90 seconds and it's boiling and it automatically turns itself off.  I use it for cooking and we use it every night for dish water.  It is from South Africa, as is the toaster, so they have different electrical outlet plugs than Malawi.

This is a favorite thing when the water is shut off, which happens way too often and can last for days. It is filled with filtered water so we can do a few things in the kitchen.  

Ditto for the bathrooms!  The bucket is filled with water just waiting to be used in an emergency.

And while we are on the subject of bathrooms, I just had to throw in this photo of a perfectly normal looking bathtub.  However, the drain is higher than the middle of the tub.  I'm not sure if that is normal  or just a defect but I didn't want to complain again.  I had the plumbers come out soon after we arrived because we didn't have hot water in either of our tubs.  It took them quite a while to realize that the "H" and "C" were just reversed on both tubs and we had hot water if we would just turn on the "cold" water faucet.  I felt a little sheepish too.  
And as for the shower, which is separate...we have to clean the shower head out every so often because there are pebbles and dirt still in the lines from the construction and water gets reduced to a trickle.  Still, trickly water is better than no water!

Here is our laundry room...

There is another large container of water (you get the idea).  I use the big tub rather than the concrete sink, but mostly we take our laundry over to the home of Elder and Sister Reynolds once a week and do it in their washing machine.  However, they are out of water more often than we are!  The church was going to buy us a washer and dryer but then they discovered that there are no hook-ups in these laundry rooms.
This is quite a common sight in our apartment.  I don't want our clothes to dry in the laundry room where they will end up smelling like wet cement.

This might not be one of my favorite things, but I never go a day without it!  We take our malaria prophylaxis and do everything we can to keep that pesky little mosquito at bay.  

Here are three of my favorite things:  my bed, my scriptures, and the mosquito net!  Every night when I climb in and let that net drop around me, I feel like I am safe and I can relax.  Unfortunately, when George and I have to get up in the night (more often than we would like), we have to wake up enough to get ourself extricated from the net.  With this one, you have to lift it from the bottom.

And this probably wins the prize for MOST favorite because it is fun and practical!
When it gets dark outside and the buzz, buzz begins in the apartment, we each want to take turn with this.  I just wish I could take a photo when zapper meets mosquito!  There's a flash of light, a zapping sound, and then "I GOT IT!  Sometimes we just swing it around for the fun of it and invariably we get several zaps.  Dead mosquitos on the floor every night - what fun!
(Note the flashlight and bug spray on the bookshelf, squash in the sink and the photographer's arm in the mirror).