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Groceries, Laundry and Other Day-to-Day Coping Strategies
1) It is very physically challenging to hand wash laundry. Our washer is broken with no sign of repair to come…so I get out the bucket once a week and do my clothes by hand. Strenuous!
2) I never buy meat/chicken etc. I can’t eat that day. The power might go off and so will the fridge, and my meat.
3) I always try to eat fruit the same day I buy it. Left a pineapple 2 days on the counter and it almost exploded as it fermented.
4) All dry foods in paper or thin plastic bags have to go in thick plastic tubs…otherwise I’m sharing with the mice and other critters.
5) If the power is on, I run to plug in my phone/camera/computer for charging. Nothing worse than devices with no juice…and that can happen very easily as the power goes off randomly.
6) Since I sweat a lot here (not something I normally do even in summer in Canada), I drink a lot of water…way more than I think is necessary. Because it is very necessary.
7) I smile and greet everyone I meet, even if they are scowling. 9 times out of 10 they’ll break into a big smile.
8) I am getting a handle on taxi prices and now know to walk away if they charge too much, which they always do with an “Obruni” (foreigner). Guys parked I stay away from because they don’t really want to work and charge outrageous prices.
9) I’m starting to tolerate the red dust which gets into everything. No use fighting it. You won’t win.
10) Malaria pills…important to take daily. Another volunteer got malaria. It’s not something I want to go home with.
11) My morning walk starts no later than 6:30 am, otherwise it’s way too hot.
12) Sticker shock…I avoid the imported brands…since they are priced like they might be up in the Arctic. $30 Cnd. For a cabbage. $20 Cnd. For a jar of instant Maxwell House coffee.
13) Go Ghanaian whenever possible with food. I have discovered great cocoa powder, brown rice, roasted peanuts, and yummy honey. All reasonably priced.
14) Bring a flashlight. It gets VERY dark at 6 pm….there are next to no street lights, huge potholes and no sidewalks.
15) My wallet always holds small bills. Nobody ever has change.
16) There is a very big Lebanese population here…so hence good yogurt. Who knew?