The past week has brought several new and exciting things to our community. They are: an oven, a bike, and 2 new community members.
The first new arrival was a gas oven and stove. Sr. Carmela came with the oven in tow and took our tiny camper stove away. This was an important addition to our community because we now have four, yes, FOUR burners that can be used to cook (we could only use 2 burners on the camper stove, the third one was tiny and placed so that it was impossible to use if the other two were in use), PLUS an oven. So now we can bake our eggplant! It will be much easier to cook for 6 people with this larger kitchen appliance and it makes the kitchen feel more like a real kitchen and not an indoor campsite.
The second new arrival is our Chinese bike, Fittoo Eagle. It’s blue and awesome. The brakes sort of work and the handle bars look like they are on backwards, one of the pedals might fall off soon, and, of course, there is no bell. It fits in well with our other community bikes. A bike that actually had all its parts working would come into the store room with such a sense of superiority over the other bikes, it would be a disaster for our bike community. We would have to break up bike fights or keep the bikes in separate rooms and have bike conflict resolution session. We are all busy people here with our work and no one has time for bike conflict resolution sessions. Lucky for us, Fittoo Eagle fits in very well with our other bikes and is a perfect addition to our bike community. Although I did hear the the unicycle/bicycle was copping a bit of an attitude the other day. We’ll have to keep an eye on that one.
The third new arrival is two community members, Clara and Stefano. We are now beginning to build our new, 5 person community. We have to build the 5 person community very quickly because sometime around February 20 we will be receiving yet another Italian community member and will have to build a 6 person community. One of the most important parts of community is communication. And language is often seen as a key part of communication. So choosing a language for our community to communicate in was a very important decision. Since Clara and Stefano speak Italian and Lydia, Tomas, and I speak English, we have logically chosen the language that no one speaks: French. We are able to communicate quite well with the aid of English-French and Italian-French dictionaries, and a lot of patience, although sometimes we have to go through both books to get the meaning across.
And finally, I would have been perfectly happy if Clara and Stefano brought only the gifts of themselves to Congo, but I am not complaining at all that they arrived bearing many gifts of food from Italy. We now have Nutella, olive oil, milk, cheese, meat, tea, and many more things that I cannot even remember. Our storeroom in bursting with imported food. Nevertheless, we ate eggplant and potatoes yesterday!