Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We’ve had such a flood of luxury of late, that it really necessitates an entry.

Firstly, last week, a man came by with a a bottle of what was advertised as motor oil.

Olivier tried to explain to me to me what it was, but failed to mention a crucial word in French that I’d be sure to know...


Bees! It was HONEY! But honestly, like no honey I’ve ever tasted.

Unlike most other Americans, our standard idea of honey does not come in a plastic jar shaped like a bear.

We’ve had “real” honey -- made by local bees at our local Renaissance Festival.

I think we’d both say, though, that this honey still tasted completely different from any we’d ever had before!

Imagine, if you will, a mixture of fresh honey with mulled apple cider -- spicy, and smooth, and still very sweet and tangy.

Really just amazing! And $2 for a HUGE bottle. Which, <sheepishly> we have already finished.

We received our 3 month stipend this week too -- and the man who brought us the money from Buta, a larger town about 150km south of here, also brought us some confiture -- JAM. Which, because it’s probably imported from somewhere near Kenya and their Brits, is actually mincemeat. Few people know that mincemeat rarely has meat in it anymore, but is instead a collection of fruit and spices and orange and lemon rinds (though some ingredients still use beef).

Thankfully, this mincemeat was BEEF-FREE, and sure, it was $6 a jar, but to taste something like that again with our locally made bread ... HEAVEN! (In case it wasn’t obvious, there is absolutely no jam (and nothing like it) here in Aketi)

Lastly, we’ve mentioned before some enterprising Lebanese entrepreneurs who came to Aketi maybe 1.5 years ago. And, we’ve also mentioned that everything that comes here has traditionally been coming by road, on the backs of bikes or motos.

We passed dozens of guys bringing beers and sodas to Aketi on the winding jungle paths, the distinctive clinky clinky clinky sound of the bottles rattling together is always a dead giveaway.

Especially during the dry season when the big barges can’t go down the river from bigger cities, the “road” is really is the only way of getting stuff here!

Well, perhaps with a semi-selfish motive, the Lebanese commerçants strapped some pierogis together with an outboard motor and zoooom! -- beers and sodas have come here much more easily (and cheaply!)

But who likes hot beer? So, though there is no electricity in Aketi - no sanitation systems and half the days our neighbour kids go to school they come home because the teachers didn’t show up -- there is now a bar.

And the bar... <dramatic pause> has COLD BEER. <Sidenote> And cold soda.

But cold beer!? Really!? During the dry season it has been over 100º every day, languishing, humid sticky heat with no respite!

Today, however, we will quench our thirst AND douse ourselves in luxury, and spend 1800FC (~$3) each and drink some cold beer while we internet.

What a great way to start the month!

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