These are a few of my favorite things
Here are a few things that have made my life in SA happier, easier, or just more interesting. It’s quite a different list than the one I would have in America!
My big basin for my bucket baths.
The French press coffee maker that a departing PCV passed onto me (I’m the fourth PCV to be blessed with it).
My electric kettle that makes cooking, cleaning, bathing, and drinking coffee/tea quick and easy, even if it does make the lights turn off if I use it at night.
Being paid the living stipend in Rand-it is not based on the dollar, so I will always get the same amount, despite the exchange rate.
Cellphone banking. In SA nearly everyone uses prepaid phone service, which you can link directly to your bank account. This means you can buy airtime, SMS (text) bundles, or internet data bundles directly from your phone. But you can also make payments to people (like when I bought a PC shirt) by sending an SMS, get SMS messages when your bank account is used, or check your balance, anytime, anywhere. It’s actually rather incredible!
Free alarm clocks, be it the sun, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cows, donkeys, my host family, rain….while it can be annoying when I want to sleep it, it is allowing me to set a good sleep schedule, and if I forget to set my alarm-no big deal!
Good walking shoes-I walk a lot, in dirt/sand roads, so having a pair of shoes that navigates that well has made my life more enjoyable.
My Kindle-hundreds of books to fill those long evening hours. ‘Nuff said!
Beautiful sunrises and sunsets-what better way to start the day or end a crappy one?
My broom-Dirt blows under the door, in the window, through my screen…heck it probably finds a way to blow through my cement walls! Just kidding, but there is always wind, which is always blowing around dirt and dust. So my broom keeps my room clean and provides endless entertainment as I sweet and sweet some more.
Internet access-keeps me sane and up to date with what life is like outside of my village. While it is dreadfully slow and spotty, I’m still glad to have it!
Did I ever think I would be grateful for a big basin to bath in, or a broom? No, but those and the French Press top my list! Life here is more simple and relaxed, and while many Americans cringe at the fact that I bath in a plastic basin or use a bucket as my toilet at night, that’s the norm here. And once you get used to living like that, it’s not bad at all. You just have to get over that learning curve, and give yourself a few rewards (like a nice cup of BREWED, not instant, coffee).