A lot of our time here is actually filled up just finding out how to do the most basic things. There’s always new things to learn. How to cook, and more importantly WHAT to cook has been an interesting experience. We are very happy every time we are able to cook a new meal that we like, and without boasting too much we think we have made some really nice things at times 🙂 Today I ( Monica) am going to try to make pizza here for the first time. To be honest I’m a bit sceptical to how that is going to go as the cheese they have here doesn’t melt…
We have received a lot of help with the BIG things. We have some God-sent people here
who have helped us in amazing ways. We don’t know where we would have been without them…Just to take an example: a few days after we moved in here the neighbours came over and wondered why we didn’t have curtains yet. So the man called his “curtain man” and made an appointment for the next morning. The curtain man came, we picked out what we wanted, he measured the windows, our neighbour took care of the bargaining and then a couple of days later we had curtains! The same neighbour has also organized for our kitchen cupboards that will hopefully come soon. Among other things that we have gotten a lot of help with is the kitchen roof, getting tiles on the floor in the kitchen, getting a shower and sink in the bathroom, applying for electricity etc etc.
Talking about electricity:
It would be funny to write this blog without mentioning electricity as that has been our one big source of frustration for the almost 6 weeks we have lived in this house. When we moved in we thought we were going to get electricity that day or a few days later. It actually took 3 weeks…In the mean time we borrowed electricity partly from the ware house here and partly from our helpful neighbour. We had some loose wires connected to our wall, and some very long extensions. Obviously very unstable, and the electricity would go many times per day. For different reasons every time. Sometimes the socket was burnt out, other times too many people were connected to the same electricity, sometimes our neighbour had no more credit on his electricity, other times there were real power cuts in the whole neighbourhood. We used many hours running up and down the street to find out what had happened and if somebody could help us.
One Friday afternoon at 1800 the electricity people came and installed electricity in our house. Peter went off with a man we know to buy some credit to put on it. (Peter could probably write a whole new post on the blog just about this trip). So finally we have our own electricity…but then the fuse goes, and then one more time, and one more time after only 5 minutes. That was when we realized they had given us the wrong level of electricity…We were told that we were going to get upgraded electricity as we have aircondiotioners…We later found out that “normal procedure” is that this will take 6 months…The next day we realized that we couldn’t even use our washing machine…(Which was quite inconvenient as the children were throwing up in the night at the time, and this was when we had no car and the laundries were not in walking distance to our house…)
But as with most other things we learn to adjust. And after a while I realized that I could actually use the washing machine if I used it with cold water 🙂 So we were living quite ok on our unupgraded electricity when we realized that our credit was running low. The electricity we have is a pre paid system where you buy credit in a shop, dial some numbers in the box on the wall and then have enough kWh to last for a bit longer. So anyway, we went out to buy more credit. The people in the shop take our money, do something with their mobile phones and then give us a number. We come home and dial the number in the box, but it fails…Peter goes back to the shop, loads of people come to help but nothing happens. There is always the danger that somebody is trying to trick us, so the next day Peter goes to another shop to buy credit but this time too it fails. To make a very long story short the electricity people tell us that our account is frozen because of our application for upgraded electricity!!! Are they trying to tell us that we will have 5 months with no electricity??? Luckily not…a few hours later they actually come and upgrade our electricity…Because of our helpful neighbour knowing somebody in the electricity company…BUT we still just have enough credit to last us for 1-2 more days…Next day we try again, but this time we take the car and drive off to the electricity company. And this time it actually works!!! We put the numbers in, and suddenly we have enough kWh to last us for at least a month!!! Fantastic!!! And yesterday somebody came and changed the two(!) fuses in our fusebox, and now our days of fighting with electricity are hopefully over. 🙂