I arrived in Kaoma (Cow-oh-ma) on Monday, September 15th. I'm living with two sisters in a convent that was built in the 70's. The house is in pretty bad shape...walls...floors....etc., are badly cracked. The water from town only comes a couple times a day, so they have big containers of water by the bathrooms and you have to fill the top of the toilet with water before flushing. But I guess at least they have a toilet...most of the people only have a hole in the ground.
The living room floor is just a grey cement floor, some of the other rooms have tile. The kitchen is not attached to the house so you have to go outside to go to the kitchen. There is also a laundry room in the same building as the kitchen. The laundry room has two sinks one for washing and one for rinsing. They have a young african man that works here and was doing some of the laundry when I went in there this morning.
The beds here have mosquito nets, so I had my first experience of sleeping under a net. I figure it will hopefully keep other bugs off of me too! Electricity goes out a lot so the sisters have little lamps that they can use during those times. We finished supper with those lamps last night.
Everything through the whole country is quite primitive. Everyone lives in little huts, grass houses, or mud houses (which collapse during the rainy season) There are a few brick buidings but not many. Even the markets are all just made of sticks with canapies over them. Tons of people walking or biking along the roads. Little children have to walk a long, long way to go to school.
The people are very friendly most greet each other as they pass by. The little children especially like to say good moring...how are you. The children are precious.
Yesterday it was a long hot drive here, but we got to drive through a game park for quite a few miles which was very cool. Saw wild monkeys, wart hogs, dear, and an elephant herd. It was exciting to see them in their natural habitat.
We stopped at one of the little villages where the sister driving had worked. The women had prepared a traditional african meal that we ate in the hut. They killed a chicken and cooked it, we had corn mush which is their staple, a green relish vegetable and some sauce to go with it. The corn mush takes some getting used to. Everything is eaten with the hands (which also takes some getting used too). They work the corn mush which is the consistency of playdough into a ball in their hands and flatten it to use to scoop up the other food. The chicken was very tough to chew...the chickens must run around a lot!
The kitchen is a separate small hut with brick sides half way up and great big cooking kettles in it. They have to carry their water, so they have big plastic containers with spouts on them for washing hands, etc before and after eathing.