This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Weekend full of Christmas fun, friends, frozen chickens, and in true Peace Corps style, water shortages.
Day 1: Saturday December 23rd 2006
8:00 am: Wake up, wash sheets, prepare for guests to arrive. Watch several movies to pass the time.
4:10 pm: Guests arrive: Brady, Jon, Yasmin, Jocelyn, and Jocelyn’s boyfriend from the US. We all sit around and talk a while.
4:30 pm: Take Jocelyn and boyfriend to hotel to check in. Walk around the town a bit.
6:00 pm: Everyone’s hungry. All eat dinner, discuss going to discothèque later.
9:05 pm: Come home from dinner, decide to relax a bit before we go out.
11:00 pm: I take a shower, begin to get ready.
11:30 pm: Jon’s turn to shower.
11:33 pm: Hear Jon in the bathroom: “Nadia, I think I am too stupid to turn on your shower”
11:34 pm: Go in to check. Have a small panic attack as we turn on all the faucets in the house and none produce water.
11:36 pm: Enter Leland and Nadia swearing profusely.
11:40 pm: Decide to react to water outage by getting drunk and going to discothèque anyway.
2:30 am: Leave discothèque disappointed at the crap DJ.
3:00 am: Say my prayers before sleeping that water will miraculously arrive tomorrow.
Day 2: Sunday, December 24th, 2006
Update: Still no water.
10:00 am: Head over to Jocelyn’s hotel to brush teeth, wash face, use bathroom.
11:00 am: Decide to go to the beach, there’s water there.
11:32 am: Have a panic attack again: how am I going to cook mashed potatoes and broccoli cheese without water?? If we’re out, then everyone’s scrambling to get water.
I must scramble too!!
11:34 am: Leave beach to go purchase some 5 litre bottles of water.
11:56 am: Come home, feel a little better. Notice funky smell coming from bathroom area. Investigate smell realize it’s result of 5 people living in one house using the same toilet and not flushing. Foresee outbreak of dysentery.
12:20 pm: Everyone else still at beach, decide to take a nap. Having no water is mentally exhausting.
2:00 pm: Take chickens out of freezer and place in refrigerator to defrost overnight.
3:00 pm: Brady, Jocelyn, and Yasmin come back from beach, we go look for some food.
3:32 pm: Find a place serving little tiny sandwiches. Decide to splurge on large dinner. Did not remember we were to have very large dinner the next night as well.
8:00 pm: After some have showered at hotel room to dirty looks of hotel staff, we go to dinner. Discuss going to discothèque again for their large X-Mas bash.
9:45 pm: Disco idea vetoed, as we are all stuffed, tired, and have no water (this seems to influence a lot of decisions made).
11:00 pm: All lie down, watch a movie, I go to bed instead.
11:03 pm: Say prayers again hoping water will appear on Christmas day as a gift from the water company or providence in general.
Day 3: Monday, December 25th, 2006 Merry Christmas.
Update: Still no water, can no longer enter bathroom because of smell.
10:00 am: Wake up. Brady, Yasmin and I go to hotel to shower, brush teeth, use bathroom.
11:56 am: We come back, everyone decides to go on a hike. I stay behind; contemplate cleaning house, cooking dinner, and the funky bathroom smell.
12:30 pm: Take chickens out of the refrigerator. They are still frozen. Of course they are.
12:31 pm: Have a minor panic attack. Decide to clean the house.
12:47 pm: Decide that our X-Mas present to ourselves will be to flush the toilet. The one flush we get until the water comes back on.
1:03 pm: Clean the few dirty dishes with ½ liter of left over drinking water.
1:17 pm: House is cleaner, smells better (thanks to bleach in the toilet), and I am slightly happier.
1:19 pm: Sit down, put on the 7 X-Mas songs I own (including 4 different versions of O Holy Night) and just sit listening. Wish myself a Merry Christmas.
1:46 pm: Check chickens. Still frozen. Enter swear word of choice here (sorry Grandma, and by the way, Happy Birthday!!).
4:04 pm: Decide to marinate chickens anyway. Maybe by 5pm they will be thawed completely. Ignore ice chunks still in between the legs.
7:19 pm: Dinner is completely ready and completely delicious: SUCCESS!
Three baby chickens marinated in piri piri, garlic, seasoned salt, pepper, and rosemary roasted with potatoes and carrots; served with mashed potatoes, broccoli-cauliflower cheese, sweet corn, and gravy.
Give myself a small pat on the back for nothing going wrong (as would have been expected, judging by the weekend we were having).
9:32 pm: Ceremonial flushing of the toilet. Merry Christmas. A fresh start to make a new funky smell.
12:00 am: Can’t do dishes, just go to bed.
Day 4: Tuesday, December 26th, 2006
Update: Nope, still no water.
10:00 am: Wake up, wander around Vila, find that all the important businesses are closed, i.e. Youth Center (has internet and bathroom) and our building office (has person who fixes water).
2:30 pm: Put friends in taxi to airport. Sad to see them go.
2:36 pm: Depression sinks in as friends are gone, no washing of the dishes or flushing toilet is possible. Decide to drown sorrows by sleeping the rest of the day.
Apartment once again smells like a port-o-potty.
Christmas would not have been the same without the friends. I am very grateful they came. A lonely Christmas dinner with no water would have been miserable, but they made it bearable and funny. I also discovered that I very much need to find a hobby/occupation for the next two weeks or I will go crazy.
Short update: we still have no water and when I asked our landlord this morning when he thought we were going to get water, he said that water this week is very difficult. Even though it is only our building that seems to be having trouble with water. But, he said, maybe by Friday we would have water. For those of you that were paying attention, that will add up to about 1 week without water. Our apartment smells like rotten food. Aaaaand we've hit another low point. Hope you all celebrated your holidays well. I will have pictures of our dinner and stuff up in a little while. Happy New Year!


Blogger Valerie Fazel said...

Oh dear Nadia, I did not know if I should laugh or cry when I read your blog--beleive me when I say I can relate to the lack of water. I am hoping grandma will confirm that in an email to you. But you handled it well--I guess it is one thing to go into an experience knowing you will be without water but quite another to expect not to have a water problem then to have one. At least no one got sick. Remember my suggestion to go to the beach and haul water for the toilet--what's a little sand in the potty anyway?!?!?! Besides it must have some kind of natural disinfectant--think of all the people who pee in the sea. Email will follow later. Well, written by the way--I like how you mix up your format. Love, Mom

27 December, 2006 15:00

Blogger Melanie said...

awww sounds like your christmas was, well an adventure. im glad your chickens turned out well though (and im THOROUGHLY impressed with your cooking skills these days...i would have no idea where to begin). i hope things are going to get better in the next few days (maybe some water would brighten your day!!!). i miss ya and love ya.

27 December, 2006 15:33

Anonymous Danielle said...

Go Nadia!!! You survived XMas!! I am with your mom here, I dont't know if i should laugh or cry! I can't wait to see the pictures! Love ya miss ya.

29 December, 2006 17:32

Blogger Brian said...

hmmm looks like a familiar diary entry (c:
merry hannukah and happy new year. you didn't miss much here. feel free to cook me dinner whenever you'd like!

yea, im going clubbing right now. i know, i know. but like the old saying... "when in scottsdale..."

04 January, 2007 03:15


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