Thursday, March 19, 2009

What goes around, comes around.

(Warning: you might not want to read this first part over your breakfast cereal!)

I’ve barely roused myself from the ponj (sofa-like mattress) all day – only to visit the cold porcelain hole in the floor of my bathroom. Repeatedly. I dare not venture so far from it as to go to the dar chebab today. (And here’s a Turkish Toilet Tip: They are NOT for puking in! What a mess! Use the bucket!)

Blugh. This is my second bout of presumably food-related sickness in less than a week … which of course leads me to question my kitchen abilities all over again. (Despite my whining, no real need to worry, this is likely just a coincidence; I’m assiduous about cleaning my produce.)

My surging stomach acids are a welcome distraction from scratching the insect bites that currently cover my body. Seriously – I lost count just now at around 50.

My tutor assures me the bites are courtesy a tiny (“I might even say invisible”), mosquitolike insect, and says the solution is to keep my windows closed before it gets dark. So my choices are to swelter to death or to scratch the skin clean off my body? Great.

Really, things aren’t so bad. I’m just glad the bites don’t seem to be fleas, or bedbugs. And maybe keeping the windows closed will offer some protection against the fierce, dry desert wind that keeps depositing a fine layer of grit on all my worldly belongings.

And being sick at least leaves me the energy to surf the Internet, which is kind of behaving for a change today.

NPR’s piece on American’s overuse of shampoo led me to all manner of tips and sites and blogs on consumption reduction. I’d already planned to start using a bar soap for hair and body when my shamoo runs out; soaps containing the argan oil produced in this region of Morocco are supposed to be especially rich and moisturizing … and they come sans packaging.

And I’ve already been proselytizing about the plastic bag epidemic to anyone who’ll listen; I have two fabulous cloth bags (including one by my friend, crafter extraordinaire and bride-to-be Miz J at fabulous-fabulous!) And now that I know how easy it is to make veggie stock from scraps, I won’t need vegetarian bouillon from home (don’t really see myself venturing to make soup anytime soon, though, what with the heat and the previous attempts to poison myself).

But here’s one I didn’t know and plan to try tomorrow: Dusting baking soda under your arms just after bathing is supposedly a great natural deodorant. (Though as a heavy sweater I’ve never been able to get away from chemical-ridden antiperspirants, here I have suddenly been going weeks without swiping anything at all under my arms.)

Gonna try the bar soap for dishwashing and laundry, too. It’s not the suds that matter, y’know .. it’s the soap/detergent that latches onto oils and dirt so they can be rinsed away.

All good ideas that I plan to put into use. ‘Course, I haven’t done a darned thing yet about my promised compost pile, so, you know.

Actually I think my plan is going to be to trek my food waste to my host family’s barnyard a couple times a week.

And I wish I had the energy/desire/materials to try making my own yogurt. But I don’t.

Today’s eco-conscious post (hey! I even recycled my own food today!) brought to you just in time for International Earth Day tomorrow. Happy Equinox!

Just finished reading: Kiwis Might Fly: A New Zealand Adventure, Polly Evans (blugh – don’t bother!)

About to start reading: Either The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles or Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Woman’s Journey Toward Independence by Leila Abouzeid … can’t decide … also various manuals on leading gender awareness/self-esteem activities for upcoming spring camps …

Currently listening to: Snippets from SXSW on NPR (LOVING Thao Nguyen, even more than I already did!)

Lesson of the week: 1 wrap skirt + 1 thong + 1 badass desert wind = 1 VERY narrowly averted cultural mishap!

Quote of the day: “All lives – no matter where they are being led – have equal value.” – from the values statement of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


chat de pookie said...

Speaking of veggie bouillon, is your want list updated? I still have a nalgene bottle floating around here, which comes with a brita pitcher, if you want it. I also got some contact solution from the Dr that is supposed to be the brand spanking new version of cleaner, and good for disposables, but reminds me much of the old soak em overnight version. Also, free for the asking. So update your list, and I'll see what I can find. I did also see an 8G jump drive for $14 today. Melinda

Rachel said...

Hey love - glad to hear you're in good spirits. I heard some great things about you from the coordinator (second-year) volunteers here. They all see you as a "Go-getter" amazon.

Cheers, and take care of your head.