Random news from my tenth month of Peace Corps service, in 140 characters or less.
February 12 – 9 hours, 3 hitches, and 2 flat tires after Emi and I leave Mansa, we reach Nshinda. Transportation is always an adventure.
February 13 – Finally over the worst of a bad flu. I’ve subsisted on cough drops and Starburst for the past 3 days and have slept through most of them.
February 14 – A man just rode past with a basket of mushrooms. Bought a couple pounds for 40 cents. Not quite chanterelles, but you can’t beat the price.
February 15 – Paid a guy 10 kwacha to reroute the main village path so it passes farther from my hut. Imagine the hijinks I could get up to with 20 bucks.
February 19 – Biked home from the ponds just minutes ahead of a torrential downpour. My 1.5-square meter tarp netted 20 liters of water in half an hour.
February 20 – Sebastian finally built his first fish pond compost crib this morning. After ten months of me nagging him about it. It’s like we’re married.
February 23 – I have read six books in the past three days. This is rainy season.
February 24 – They just finished putting the tin roof on my neighbor’s new house. Time to retire the raincatcher.
February 25 – Biked 40k for a useless meeting, came back to a vandalized window, then got ravaged by skeeters out at the ponds. They ain’t all good days.
February 28 – Made a hand net today out of some wire, an old mesh potato sack, and twine. For fish, I say. Uh huh. Its real purpose: catching butterflies.
March 2 – This morning I enlisted a few eager recruits for our inaugural bug hunting expedition. We caught 9 different species in 2 hours.
March 4 – Spent an hour this afternoon taking pictures of my kittens roughhousing with each other (post to come). I am officially a crazy cat person.
March 6 – Did a double-take at my pal Chungu’s new shirt. It’s not every day you spot yuppie fly fishing gear outfitters in sub-Saharan Africa.
March 7 – Helped Sebastian harvest five of his ponds this morning and netted 300 fish. I still smell like mud.
March 9 – A bad transport day turns into a good one: walked along the road for 45 minutes, then got a free hitch and flew to Mansa in under 3 hours.