Sunday, January 11, 2009

Serious Dearth of Supplies

I do so enjoy reading other Africa-centric blogs, like Jina Moore’s blog from Rwanda -- which recently posted about Rwanda’s puzzling lack of gas. I’ve seen the waggle-finger guy before too, whose sole job is to stand at a gas station and tell people to go away, that there is no gas.

I laughed -- before we suffered our own little problems here in Congo!

There is currently some fighting going on in Northeastern Congo -- still quite far from here, but as a result lots of the supplies that come here via boat are being routed instead there. Prices are going up (gas is now nearly $4 a litre!!).

The real dire situation, funnily though, is with toilet paper. It’s not just that it’s expensive now ($1.50 a roll!) but that there isn’t any.

None! In the whole town!

Unwilling to accept our terrible, crappy fate (ba dum *ch!*), I asked Seba how it was possible for the town to have no toilet paper. I mean, what were people using?! Leaves?!

“Notebooks!” he responded.

There is no waggling-finger man, here. There is just people, buying school notebooks... wipe their butts.

Oh my!

3 comments: said...

Hilarious. Seriously. Wow.

PS-- email me, so I can email you back, and ask some questions about your research? Fascinating.


Laura Darby said...

I don't know that I have your current email! Your old Columbia email is in my Columbia email account (which I can't access from here -- too bandwidth heavy!) but feel free to email me anytime!!

Aketi said...

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Aketi, I refused to succumb to using what the guys posted in Bumbs and Buta suggested - magazines. Since it was sometimes hard to find TP, I was determined to have a two year supply of TP so I'd never be without. So I bought a whole palate if TP. Sadly I didn't realize that the termites which my neighbor showed me how to change ok and were so tasty might invade my TP supply. When I freaked out over my termite infested TP, they showed me how to deal with bugs. We put all the TP out in the sun, the chickens next door had a great time chasing and eating the termites and my problem was solved. The tiler paper went into a thick plastic bag and apart from having to fold it carefully to avoid the holes, I managed to maintain my slightly bedraggled supple for the entire two years.

I'm just starting to read your blog, For many years I've felt too saddened by what has happened in the DRC and Rwanda to watch the news,