New things have to be worked into my routine whilst living here in Asaita. My house is made of concrete. It looks modern enough next to the adobe houses that the majority of houses here are made of, but the problem is that concrete houses release their heat at night. And there’s plenty of heat to be released. The simplest solution to this is to sleep outside, so every night I get help setting my bed up outside. There has been a cool desert breeze blowing in the evening since I got here and it’s been really comfortable sleeping outside, but I have to sleep under a treated mosquito net to prevent malaria. Here’s a picture of my bed set-up.
Every morning comes a 4:30am wake-up call from the local mosques. They have loudspeakers installed around the neighbourhood. There are two mosques that work in unison and create a wild stereo effect of morning prayers. The ones that come on at 4:30 only last about 10 minutes. Then a half hour later it starts again for about 20 minutes. Then the prayers stop for another half hour and then they start again for 30 minutes. By the time 6am rolls around there have been three rounds of prayers and action in the compound where I live has begun.
An important part of my new morning routine is remembering to take my doxycycline. The doxy is my malaria medication, and I have to take it every day. I made the mistake of taking it on an empty stomach once. I nearly puked on the walk to work. Now I pop it in my breast pocket and have it with my breakfast at school. I prefer having ‘ful’ for breakfast at school to making porridge at home. The main reason is that it’s a delicious bean paste cooked with onions. People dip fresh bread into the ful, and it comes with a nice strong cup of Ethiopian coffee. The other reason is that having breakfast is a chance to socialise with my colleagues at the college.
It seems natural to assume that this breakfast is served in some sort of cafeteria, but alas the College has no cafeteria (the College does not have any toilets). Breakfast is cooked in the guardhouse at the front gate. We sit on benches in front of the guardhouse and use simple chairs as tables. I think that it must be a little side business for the guard. His cooking is quite popular.
This is how my days begin. It’s a tasty, caffeine-heavy routine that gets me out of bed early and fills my belly with beans and antibiotics that will kill the little parasites that come with mosquito bites in these parts. At least Medicin san Frontiers got rid of the cholera outbreak that took place here two years ago!
- Halting The Malaria Life Cycle (medicalnewstoday.com)