(I've changed the name from "Rants" given that I can't really rant about many things that frustrate me here, at least not without getting into some sort of trouble. As such, you'll have to wait for the book.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Return to Burundi

My return to Burundi comes with a couple of welcome back gifts that are common in sub-Saharan Africa: rolling blackouts and bug infestations. As for the former, I'm sitting here in the dark, in the glow of my laptop, feeling like I'm back in Tanzania. This sort of thing happened frequently while I was there. It was such the norm that if you were at a restaurant with friends and the lights went out people wouldn't even break conversation.

Though it happens here from time to time, it's nothing like Dar es Salaam. Having said that, this period is apparently going to last. I'm still not sure what the power cut schedule is but since my return it's been 6pm to 6am or so every two days with sporadic outages here and there. For me there's good news and bad news. The good news is that I now have a generator for the house. The bad news is that it's not hooked up yet. Oh well, I can type until my battery runs out.

For the latter gift, I went into the pantry to grab some coffee to start my Sunday morning. I looked to my left and saw what looked like small chocolate chips in the bag of flower. Then I noticed them in the large back of rice. Then the lentils. And so it went. Given my zero tolerance policy for bugs, I unfortunately had my next couple hours planned for me. I salvaged what I could and tossed the rest. The stuff that was in sealed plastic containers was just as bad as the rest since the bugs arrive already in the dry goods. Sealing it inside just kept the competition out. Much of the lentils were reduced to powder so there was no saving them. I bought a deep freezer right before I left for the US so this might be the solution.

Funny how our cook prepared chapattis and rice for me last week without mentioning it. Ugh. As I peer into my rice I can see that some of the invaders made it all the way. As for the chapattis, the discovery came a bit late. I already ate them.

And now back to my favorite subject...

So I promise not to use this blog to talk about our new daughter all the time. But given that it's still the first month, I'm allowed.

that's right, cutest baby ever
After Kiran was born, and to pick up where the previous entry ended, I had a little over a week to spend with her before I had to leave for Burundi. It was so amazing. I thought of all those people who told me they had their first baby and to whom I probably I acknowledged it with some level of heartfelt congratulations. I must admit, however, I didn't have a clue what might be going on inside their heads. Granted, not all people experience things the same way and I think my reaction to this is probably different from someone, for example, who's in his twenties. And there are probably others who don't overthink things like I normally do but regardless, I would have to believe most people would be at least a little blown away by the thought of bringing a life into the world – that crazy God-given miracle that starts with a couple of cells and somehow turns into something that spits up on your shoulder. Given that we had a slim chance of having kids, she's all the more of a blessing.
I'm just sayin', she's really, really cute

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