Saturday, February 22, 2014

Somebody is a Homebody...

...and that somebody is me!

Incredulity has been expressed many times by our friends when I tell them that I am truly the boring one between Jason and I. While I am the more outgoing of our dynamic duo, he is the one with the ideas. All the travel, fishing, hunting, soccer playing, etc. is by his encouragement.
Whether it be from nature or nuture my ideal day is one where I spend a portion of my day exercising, cooking and reading; never to leave the house. I revel in hours spend chopping veggies, baking breads, reading old dead guys.
My family knows that they're happy this arrangement because they've experienced the me that has too much going on. I get short tempered and unable to enjoy interacting with them. They get less fun interaction, homework help and homemade food when I'm overcommitted.
All this is hard because I do miss being in a classroom learning Arabic this semester. I love interacting in a classroom and learning something new. If there was some way to do it all I would, but for now I enjoy doing what I can.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Moldy Oldies

Winter this year has been somewhat of a disappointment. We had one tremendous snowstorm that shut down the city for a couple of days. Since then, we've had nothing. This is not a good scenario for all of us who need water for our everyday needs. With the influx of refugees there are also many more people in need of the water supply. I also love the rainy season for it's ability to clean the streets and make the air smell slightly less like big city air.

There is an advantage to the lack of cold and moisture this year. It has to with mold. The buildings here are build of cement and stone with paint slapped onto the inside walls. When the walls get cold and damp, the mold begins to show it's ugly face. In our house, the walls lining the shower and any wall with furniture close to it harbor patches of black mold.
This isn't an example from our home, but it's indicative of what we have. This is a widespread problem that everyone here deals with. The expat forums are full of people asking for advice and tips on how to deal with it every winter. There is some mold-resistant paint sold here, but it's pricey. So, most of us use a cleaning mixer and paper towels to wipe down the walls every few weeks. Also, our tile floors leach a mineral that grows white fuzz in the corners of our rooms. Sort've like weird indoors patches of snow.
I continue to wonder why the newer buildings aren't build in a way to combat this problem. One thing I've learned in traveling through other cultures is to not ask why. All cultures have ways that things are done that are illogical.
I do wonder how many of the people here have mold-related illnesses.
So, I say bring on the dry weather, but please fill our reservoirs so there's no water shortage this year!