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posted Feb 14, 2011, 10:01 PM by Ethan Shirley   [ updated Feb 15, 2011, 7:05 PM by Julie Bateman ]
On one of the first days I was here, Natalice (the new cook) told me "The lasagna is in the oven, serve yourself!"  She spoke in her normal, relaxed, unexcited voice, and I naively responded by walking over to the oven.  I remember thinking stupidly to myself, "This is terrible -- they consider lasagna a luxury item here, and I don't really like it.  I'm going to insult them by not eating enough even though they surely think this is one of the greatest meals ever, especially out here where all we have is rice and beans and dried beef..."  Then it hit me -- she was kidding.  She started laughing, and so did I.  Where in the world would she have gotten the cheese, or the meat or the noodles or even the tomato sauce for lasagna??  Duh. 

It's been a recurring joke.  Most nights, I feel compelled to ask what's for dinner as a joke.  The answer is inevitably, rice, beans, dried beef, and fried eggs if you have the energy to fry them in about two-inches deep of oil.  Occasionally, the dried beef will be cooked in the rice.  On those special evenings, we have real options: regular rice with beans, or dried meat rice with beans.  If that's not luxury, I don't know what is.

Tonight I asked where the lasagna was.  Elder (Natalice's husband) pointed to a shelf which had bags of rice and said, "The lasagna tonight is white."

Today I timed it and counted: I managed to kill twenty-two mosquitoes in two minutes.  At that rate, assuming the current (static) world population of mosquitoes is 1 quadrillion (which may be on the low side), and each living human being (population around 6.5 billion) was as well trained in mosquito-killing as I am, it would take us about 10 days to kill them all.  Unfortunately, mosquitoes would be able to reproduce (among other flaws in this calculation -- I still insist it's okay as a model...), and thus hinder our efforts.  But I am confidant that this will work.  Okay, everybody start killing mosquitoes now, on your mark, get set, go!

There is now a double-door for the school, and the roof is only requiring mortar.  Tomorrow the pipes will be ready for water and the remaining doors will be installed.  Then only electrical stuff and cement and mortar.  One more week(ish).