Tuesday, February 3, 2009

raindrops keep fallin on my head

Ya, and not when I’m outdoors, it’s raining in my damn house! But I will explain fully soon, right now I have to backtrack a bit.

Months ago now we’ve been trying to plan a weekend to do a SIDA TOT (AIDS Training of Trainers) for the volunteers in my region, and we finally got it set for the last weekend of January, and I was set to be the host. Since November the weather has only gotten worse and worse, with fleeting and teasing bouts of sunshiny-beautiful days in between. But each time a new storm comes, whether its rain or snow, or both and more, my house continues to disintegrate more and more. The melt from the snow a week or so ago finally broke through to my ferno room-so it was leaking in EVERY room. The weather flipped over into absolute loveliness after that, enough that parts of town actually dried; for once we had dirt rather than mud! It was so nice. I was nervous about hosting because the weather can change so fast, but we went for it anyway.

Everyone arrived at some point on Friday, making a total of seven sleeping in my little abode. It got a bit muggy, but lhamdullah we got through the weekend dry and the trainees did an awesome SIDA and STI tea talk with the women at the cooperative. Being the host, I wasn’t trained, I just cooked and cleaned. I cooked my ass off all weekend, and enjoyed every minute of it! It’s possible I’m just meant to be a housewife, because I friggin love just cookin it up for people! Just a little taste of what I made-stuffed peppers with homemade ricotta, cinnamon rolls, rosemary breakfast potatoes, pumpkin curry chickpea soup, English muffin bread, sloppy lentils, spinach béchamel lasagna (only I used spaghetti instead of lasagna noodles, and this dish was much thanks to Jed and his generous contribution of parmesan from Italy), butternut cookies, lemon zest cake…and some other stuff. Sorry for the vanity, but I had so much fun doing it!

Sunday morning everyone made their way off and I prepared my house for a new guest just as the weather began to turn from muggy to freezing wind and spitty snow. Though exhausted by the training, Nat and another PCV helped me clean the house; I was excited, it would be my first time hosting a
couch surfer! Around lunch time the weather really started getting bad-extremely windy and wet snowy rain, or rainy snow, I don’t know what to call it, except that it was a mushkil amkor (big problem). She arrived around 2pm, as did the leaks in my house. While my couch surfing profile promises a quaint mud house, a sweet Berber village, and beautiful Middle Atlas Mountains, this poor girl would see none of that. We all prepared an awesome late Asian style lunch of egg rolls (thanks to Nat), rice dishes and peanut sauce and hung out by the ferno hoping the weather might clear up. It didn’t.

It also happened to be this Aussie’s birthday, so I crushed candy canes from a holiday package and we had peppermint brownies and chatted with intermittent comments like, “oh shit, there’s another leak!” and shrieks when it hit your face, or down the back of your neck, etc., and so the night went. There was no safe place. We shifted ponjes around awkwardly and managed to find spots we thought were free from the dripping. The wind kept up, but it was hardly raining outside, and yet inside my house you’d think there was a monsoon. I actually slept rather well until about 5:30am when I had to pee like none other (I’d been listening to water dropping all night ya know) and realized my entire right side was wet and water was dripping on my pillow an inch from my face. Apparently in sleep I had been hit in the face enough that I had rolled over and been hugging the ponj of my friend to get away from it-I realized this when I got up and realized my back was completely tweaked. Everyone else was in some state of dampness as well. So that was a fun night.

The other PCV left and my poor guest who didn’t think she’d be so close to literally couch surfing, Natalie and I spent a good two hours removing endless buckets of water from my house. My entire neighborhood now truly understands that I wasn’t exaggerating when I told them “guri bzaf timqa; taddartinu am wasif!” (“I have so many leaks; my house is like a river!”). Everyone is having really bad leak issues, but generally have one safe room to sleep in. My landlord will now be getting an earful from a few angry women. So after all that, and moving everything valuable I own to the half of one room that seemed to be safe we got the hell out of there.

We went to survey the damage at Nat’s house only to find, lhamdullah, no leaks! We could hardly believe it and after warming up a bit we went back to my house to gather the few dry blankets I had, some movies and the cats. The girl was a real sport about it all, and Nat’s house started leaking a bit, but nowhere near the downpour within my house. She took off this morning for Chef, Nat went off to tutoring, and I’m catching up online and refusing to return home. I’m just so bummed. I love my house and I’m so damn tired of being wet and cold. Rain rain go away! Come again another day… or not… please just wait til my roof is fixed.


Casey Piper Coes said...

i am so impressed by your cooking and it gives me so much joy that hearing u say you actually enjoy it blows my mind. i miss ur cooking so much right now! i cant wait to get back!! miss you!

Elizabeth said...

Bri! I can't wait to come to Ait Hamza so we can yummy Swedish meatballs and Swedish pancakes (please?). Lhamdullah for sunshine--lets hope your awesome mud house recovers quickly!