Friday, February 9, 2007

February 9, 2007

We have finished our power points for the rest of our stay here so we are feeling good! However, we did have a scare this afternoon when Preston tried to put the material on a flash drive and it wouldn’t work. He turned the computer off and tried to start it again and it wouldn’t start! All our work was on the computer with no backup on disk or flash drive. After about ten minutes Preston was able to get it started again. We then went to the college and made hard copies and also have it on the flash drive! So now we feel safe.

We have been very careful about drinking only bottled water and avoiding the water here as much as possible. However today we realized that we are eating grapes and apples that have been washed in this water! Guess we will give up on fruit!

Preston is having a hard time with his diet. We wonder what his blood sugar level will be when we get back. Fortunately, it was very good when we left. They have potatoes all the time and lots of other carbs. They use potatoes and bread to fill you up.

This morning we had homemade doughnuts. Lucia had put sugar on most of them and told Preston the ones without sugar were for him.

Lucia watches her grocery money very carefully. She told me that powdered sugar was so much more expensive than regular sugar so she makes her own powdered sugar. She used a coffee grinder with regular sugar and grinds it in to powdered sugar. Would you have ever thought of that? They are very resourceful.

Little Daniel was fascinated with the “Splenda” that Preston brought with him. He asked us what it was and we told him it was “like sugar.’ So now he calls it “like sugar.” Every morning at breakfast he asks for a packet of like sugar on his plate and he puts it on whatever he is eating.

At meals we sit on stools without backs. There are two tables that seat about 12 people. There are benches on one side of the tables and these little stools on the other. They use them in lots of places. Sometimes they are to sit on and other times they use them as small tables.

With so many people eating table manners are not a priority. Everyone reaches for whatever they want and serves each other’s plates. At least at mealtime we don’t have to worry that we are not following the proper rules of the culture.

We still forget sometimes about taking our shoes off. But we have decided that we like that tradition. So the next time you come to visit us you may find shoes at the front door!

They do not have trash collection or mail service in the city. Alex told us that a friend of his has some money he is trying to invest in starting a trash collection. Alex has a trash barrel in the front yard and a couple of times a week he burns the trash. That explains why there is so much trash around in yards and on the streets.

I don’t know how they get mail. We sent a package to them after we were here in 2005. Alex said they went to get it (I don’t’ know where they went) and were asked all kinds of questions about who it was from and what it was. Can you imagine having to answer questions about something you got in the mail?

There are lots of dogs all over the city. Alex said one of his friends said if he could do something for the city he would kill all the dogs. They run loose and there is loud barking most of the time. Some people do have dogs as pets but they don’t let them in the house. Most of the dogs I have seen are big dogs and are just roaming around.

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