Monday, October 24, 2011

Gas Crisis...

So I figure I can write long posts and wait for a long time in between them now...  or I can also write shorter ones that keep everyone up to date on a quicker fashion. So, sorry, fans, for being so MIA from the blogging nation... poor electricity and teaching means that internet time is generally limited, but I'm glad to at least know that whoever is following me now is for sure the real fans, right? Because you're still with me!

Anyways, all joking aside, the big thing right now (other than Gaddafi being killed, which is HUGE news over here, not sure what the sitch is in the US?) is that all of East Africa is in a gas crisis. Ok, in America, a gas crisis means that gas prices have risen to a ridiculous price. Here it means that there is literally no gas to buy. So, since we have a gas stove, this posed some... interesting predicaments... this last weekend, when we ran out of our last of two tanks of gas. We DO have a small charcoal cooker, about the size of a pot, so, we have had some interesting run in experiences with that. First of all, we have to boil all of our water so we don't get typhoid/other water borne illnesses. So... boiling water on a charcoal cooker? Less than easy. But we figured it out. Then Saturday, cooking dinner was an adventure. We decided that we would do our occasional Mexican night (surprisingly easy considering how far away we are from Mexico, due to the large amounts of rice, beans, and avocado in Uganda, plus there’s a fair number of tomatoes, hot chilis, green peppers, onions, and limes… what else do you need? Then we get some chapati and it’s ALMOST like they’re tortillas). So, Matt got some fresh beans and figured out how to start up the cooker and cook the beans, which took a lot longer than we expected. Then I started the rice, where the water wasn’t QUITE simmering, but it was hot? So it worked to a certain extent. Then Shane and I started the veggies, but realized that almost all the heat was gone from the cooker. Turns out apparently you’re supposed to keep adding charcoal. Who knew? Not us, that’s for sure. So, we added more charcoal. Which didn’t catch on fire or heat or whatever the correct terminology for that is. So then we added some paraffin (like lighter fluid? Is how it was described to me). Then cooked the green peppers and onions. Now I’m imagining that all of you who know how to use charcoal are laughing at us now… because APPARENTLY anyone who knows anything knows that you’re supposed to wait at least 20 minutes before cooking anything when you add charcoal and paraffin. A. We didn’t know that. And B. Dinner was already WAY late at this point because it had taken us so long, so we were a little impatient. So, we finished cooking, the veggies still a bit crunchy due to our impatience, and sat down to eat. Luckily we popped one of the veggies in our mouths before throwing them on our burritos… because it tasted exactly like lighter fluid. In an almost toxic sort of way. So… as one of the nuns who I told this story to said after she stopped laughing enough to get words out, you learn something new every day. So I hope you’ve all had a good chuckle at the things I learn while living in Uganda.

And since then, we’ve gotten an electric water boiler thing (my great way with words is coming out with this description), which we were actually talking about before, since we realized about 2/3 of our gas tank goes to boiling water, so we were thinking about pricing/conservation options, which has made having tea/coffee in the morning AMAZING, provided we have power. So, things are pretty good. And then gas is supposed to be back starting tomorrow (hopefully that’s real time and not Africa time), so my newfound knowledge will go latent for a little while. But I’m coming out of this experience wiser, and thinking that I might have been able to set my burp on fire.

I miss you all and am praying for you. Sending love from Uganda!


  1. hahaha i'm glad I got the whole gas story! what a gas! (ugh...that was awful...i can't believe thats about to be a public joke...)

  2. After the last two years of springtime gas price spikes, nearly everyone in Southeast Wisconsin understands that something is wrong with our gasoline regulation and supply system.
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  3. Years of cooking over a cedar wood stove has provided a skill set not known by most... Go Annapatrice go.

    Nice phishing by the Oil and Gas Jobs Offshore website...


  4. This shows me two things about the difference between Morrissey and Badin-

    1. Badinfolk aren't so jaded with their rector that enough of them will help with events so they aren't left with the same 7 reluctantly willing and helpful people manning (or womanning in this case) the grill every time.

    2. Badinfolk don't derive as much fun from playing with lighter fluid and flame as Manorites do.

  5. if worst comes to worst can you make
    a small campfire in the backyard and roast
    marshmellows and some version of hot dogs?

  6. Great problem solving skills you're developing over there, Anna! You are so patient with life's challenges. God bless you.