You will note by now that my favorite punctuation mark is the parenthesis (and don’t let anyone – and especially not a machine – tell you that “parenthetical” is not a word… pure rubbish). It was, so you know, one of Victor Hugo’s favorites too, so I’m in good company.
That being said, this post is a hodgepodge of various things, and none in any particular order. But I feel it needs be writ before moving forward.
(1) The first order of business is the time difference. A mere three hours off the international date line, we’re a full 15 hours ahead of folks back in the ‘Ham (that’s Central Time, for the uninitiated). My suggestion is that you all get a clock like this to remind yourselves:
(2) A question you may all be wondering (surely you’ve lost sleep over it) is – is the water safe to drink? Well, yes and no. Like anywhere, taking a swig of river water is highly discouraged. But, unlike most places, the river here is actually one of the primary sources of water in the home. In most houses, you wash your clothes, take your showers, and flush your toilets with just that – river water. But (!) you’ll be happy to know that that’s not the only water source. For drinking water, tooth-brushing water, and well, I think that’s it actually, you have what we affectionately call “Tank Water.” A lovely thing, to be sure. My tank (and wondrous back patio) look, should you be wondering, like this:
And here’s how it works: since it rains pretty much every day, be it wet or dry season, there’s plenty of rain-water to go around. The trick is just collecting it. So the fine folks of Ukarumpa have worked out a system of building slightly slanted roofs that all drain into a big tank (one or two per house). From there, different folks have different filtration systems and some just drink it as it is. It does taste a bit on the odd side at first, but you get used to it by day two or three.
(3) and (4) I will save for next time. Be of good cheer.