Lessons learned in the first 2 months

I've picked up a few pointers since we've been here. I'm not sure this will be of help to anyone else, but let me share anyway...

1. Tins of baking powder and bags of flour actually CAN get used up! I never knew that. When we left the US, I think I gave my mom the same tin of baking powder I bought 10 years ago when I got married and thought any respectable home owned the stuff. But when making rolls, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies and tortillas from scratch, you actually use it!!!
2. I love debit cards. Really love them. And I miss them. I am not sure I will ever get used to using only cash. Especially when the biggest bill is worth $3.25. That means my shopping trip today, which came to 9000 Kwacha, ($60) was paid with 18 bills. We have to use fanny packs to carry a week’s worth of money, because it won’t fit in a wallet!
3. Always have at least a week’s worth of money in above-mentioned fanny pack, because you never know when you’ll be able to access the money kept most securely in the bank! I once stood in line for 40 minutes at an ATM, only to have it run out of money on the person directly in front of me (again, because it can only hold so many bills, and each one is worth so little!)
4. Plan on eating dinner at 6pm, because at least twice a week the power goes off right around 6pm, and it’s much easier to eat than to cook without power. Doughy tortillas cooked on still-warm pans are not nearly as good as they could be.
5. Always take Kool-aid and Smarties to church, to bribe the kids into silence during the 2 hour service in a foreign language with no children’s church. The dirt floor hides anything that spills.
6. Don’t save nice clothes for Sunday. Church is one of the dustiest places we go each week due to the above-mentioned dirt floors. In fact, just don’t plan on having nice clothes, period. The dust is everywhere!

I'm sure there will be more to come. We've only just begun learning our African lessons!


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