Monday, 10 October 2011

Fire in a Nido tin and other tales of domesticity

For various reasons I’ve done all of my own housework for the last week. Now washing dishes and clothes by hand is hard work but easy. But the one thing that has really challenged me is what to do with my rubbish. There are no bin men here! And the stupid thing was that I just kept throwing it away not really thinking about it like you do in the UK where (if you’re lucky, the ones in Bristol were getting increasingly lax) some nice men with a big truck will come and take it away and it is no longer your problem.

Now it was easier when I had a pit latrine. That hole was good for one thing (other than the obvious), you could tip or throw things down it that you no longer wanted to think about. Out of sight, out of mind. But now I have a flush toilet that doesn’t flush instead, that option is no longer available. So I’ve tried to burn the rubbish. I decided to use an empty Nido (powdered milk) tin as a fire container. The trouble is it takes AGES. Especially in the rainy season where the rain keeps putting it out. And some things just don’t seem to burn. For example, Cadbury’s chocolate wrappers and plastic film. If I have to keep doing this I think I will have to only buy fire friendly goods. I mean seriously, just how many times can you try to make a Cadbury’s wrapper catch on fire before you start to get very angry? I feel like shouting at Mr Cadbury’s  ‘ For God’s sake why do you make your chocolate bar wrappers so fire retardant? Don’t you realise that some people in the world have to burn them in a powdered milk tin?

Fortunately for me I had the great expert at burning trash, Lindsey, to advise me on how it should be done. Nido tins are not the way to go. You’re better putting it all in a paper bag and setting it alight. And all the things that are bad for the environment turn the flames the most amazing colours. Cup a soup sachets produce a green flame and plastic sweet wrappers turn the flames blue. And on the subject of heat I discovered what looks like a medieval cake oven in my compound today. What I thought was some boarded up window on an outhouse was in fact an oven, complete with loaf and muffin tins. I nearly died of shock when I found it. However my excitement was short lived when I realised I had absolutely no idea how to use it. I just can’t understand how it works. The only thing I can think of is that you light a fire in the bottom, but I’m afraid that would produce horrible burned Smokey cakes. When I get more energy I’ll try to experiment.

My last attempt at becoming a domestic goddess has been sewing. Thanks to Sarah, a lovely friend from back home, I had a wonderful parcel a couple of months ago filled with great goodies. One of the things she gave me was a peg doll kit and I finally finished making her at the weekend. My sewing is about at the 5 year old level so don’t look too closely at the stitching. Here she is seeing the gorillas in Rwanda.

Does this look like and oven to you?

Well it is!

My peg doll getting up close to a mountain gorilla

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