Breakfast (Every weekday):
Bananas, biscuits, multivitamin tablet and coffee (all from Gilgel – except the tablets!)
Lunch (Every weekday):
One Sambusa with "Laughing Cow" cheese (like dairylea) on top.
One Sambusa with peanut butter on top.
One bombolino (a ring doughnut) which I cut in half and add strawberry jam inside.
Sambusa's are triangular-shaped crusty batter things filled with soft lentils (I think they're lentils)
Sambusas and bombolino bought from college cafe in the morning, cheese, peanut butter and jam are all from Bahir Dar or Addis.
Dinner (Various from):
Mashed potatoes with tuna mixed in. (Tuna from Bahir Dar / Potatoes from mini market here.)
Tuna pancakes (Flour and milk powder from Gigel - Eggs optional extra from market sometimes – mostly without.)
Porridge with honey or sugar (or chocolate porridge using chocolate drink powder) (oats and honey from Bahir Dar, sugar from Gigel shop.)
Lemon and sugar pancakes (JIF lemon sent from
Hotdog sausages and beans (from Addis.)
Instant Noodles (Bahir Dar / Addis)
Hotdog and veg "soup" (tinned mixed veg from Bahir Dar - leave all juice from both tins in the pot.)
Fry-up (potatoes shallow fried along with eggs and sardines (Chagni or Bahir Dar) and possibly tomatoes (from Gigel market))
Pasta and meat (pasta – (spaghetti or shells) from Gigel or Chagni, tinned luncheon meat - which I cut into cubes - from Addis)
And that's about as varied as my diet gets.
Available from hotels:
Injera + wot - the traditional sour pancakes with some kind of meat (usually goat) in a spicey sauce.
Injera + tebs - Pieces of meat fried.
(Not much meat in the current fasting lent season, or Fridays or Wednesdays.)
Injera + tebs enkulal - (Rarely) - fried eggs.
Injera + mix of veg (potatoes, tomatoes and cabbage)
So I don't eat there much.
I mostly drink tepid (boiled and filtered) water (which is now slightly cooler as I discovered that if I put the bottle in my "bath bowl" for a while - before I have my evening "bath" - it chills it bit.) but during the day, I can get a caza-caza (cold) bottle of 7UP, Pepsi or my favourite, Marinda (which is fizzy orange,) and as all the drinks are the non-diet variety, this seems to taste the least sugary.
I usually have sugar-free drinks in the
I also enjoy instant cappuccinos and chocolate drinks people have sent me from the
How I get washed in my bowl:
First, I kneel in front of my 50cm diameter bowl, and in cold water (which actually isn't that cold - about 26-28C in the current hot season) I stick my head in and wash my hair, face and neck. It's usually pretty dirty after a day, because you sweat, and as cars go by and kick up dust it sticks to the sweat!!!
Sometimes straight after, sometimes after taking my anti-malarial which needs 30mins to "go down", I add a pot of boiling water to the bowl, bringing it to around body temperature and I step in and crouch down.
I then soak a flannel and drip water down me, followed by lathering up (I still have a supply of shower gel from Bahir Dar), and finally dripping water down me to rinse, using the flannel again.
[You may want to skip this bit if you are of a nervous disposition]
Next I clean other areas, being thankful I still have a supply of wet-wipes (Addis) which I would have previously used after every "download", meaning by the time I get to being in the small bowl, nothing is too dirty - if you get my drift.
[You can start reading again now.]
Finally, I stand up and dry my top half, then repeat the washing/soaping/rinsing procedure with my legs and feet.
I have a chair near, so after drying the top half of my legs, I sit on the chair and finish the bottom half. I don’t want to stand on my un-carpeted, plaster floor or my feet would get dirty straight away again.
At this point, in the wet season when I first arrived, I would now be sweating again and wondering if it was all worth the effort, but at the moment, even though it is usually 30C in my room at night, the humidity is around 30% and I dry quite quickly.
Cleaning my teeth:
Usually using bowls and jugs as the water is never on at the time I do them. I still use boiled and filtered water to wash the head of the toothbrush and to rinse my mouth, and straight from the tap water to wash the brush handle and my hands.
Washing powder is available in the village.
I now have developed a fairly successful routine from trial and error:
Socks and trousers have to have a pre-wash in a bowl as they pick up so much dust during the day. Then I can put them in with the rest of the clothes. Shirts pick up a lot of dust, especially where I sweat during the day wearing my back-pack or around the collar. I now soak them overnight, then have to scrub them with a scrubbing brush the next morning. (My white shirt is a lost cause which I now only use on my long walks in the “outback.”
Rinsing takes a while and I usually don’t bother unless the water is on. Then I use a second bowl and take the big items one-at-a-time and rinse them. At the moment, shirts dry in about 1-2 hours in the dry hot atmosphere. Even towels are usually dry by the evening.
My shoes go from black to brown during the day with the dust, and I usually sponge them with water to clean it off. Then every weekend I polish them as well.