Lessons I Have Learned

Here are a few things I have learned while in SA.

The lights will probably go out if it is raining, windy, or if I turn on my kettle after dark. Have a candle or flashlight on hand.

If it is windy, you have a nice draft in the outhouse. Almost like a dryer, if you will.

Always carry a book with you. Always.

A taxi ride that should take one hour max will probably take three hours. Part of this will be spent sitting at the taxi rank, driving around the village looking for customers, returning to the taxi rank, slowly leaving town looking for customers, then barreling down the tarred road at a high rate of speed.

Rain is extremely loud in a tin roofed room. And a downpour is almost unbearably loud.

Mosquito nets are just cool.

No matter how often you sweep, you will still have dust and dirt on your floor.

Chickens and turkeys will eat almost anything.

Spiders really aren’t that scary. The eat flies, which is good.

Without fail, always carry toilet paper with you. To school, to town, to PC training events. TP is not a given in a bathroom in SA.

An umbrella is awesome to have in the sun.

Shape-up type shoes make walking in the sand/dirt pretty easy.

8:30pm is a nice bedtime.

No matter how slow you walk, your American pace will still be too fast for whichever South African you happen to be walking with.

Shelf stable milk is only good for four days after opening it. And don’t drink it after a week or you will get sick (at least, that’s what I am blaming my stomach woes on…)

Occasionally, holding your phone up in the air does get you better reception. If not, it at least makes you feel better as you wait 5 minutes for the Gmail login page to load.

Having a sense of humor is key. For example, if your wardrobe is finally delivered-locked, without a key, just laugh it off and find someone who has a key that happens to fit. 🙂

Doing laundry by hand is kind of fun. At the very least you get a great sense of accomplishment when you literally see the dirt coming off your clothes.

When you see a chicken being carried by someone who is also holding an axe, assume the outcome and stay in your room.

The desert is beautiful.



About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

One thought on “Lessons I Have Learned

  1. The more I read your posts, the more my heart longs to be back in Africa!
    When I first cam back to NA, I had a hard time breaking myself of the toilet paper carrying habit. It was just so ingrained in me!

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