Sunday, October 25, 2009

Au revoir, DC -- jusqu'à la prochaine fois!

There are things that I am planning to do for fun in Goma.

I want to make myself a compass.  My mom & I did this a few times when I was little, with a magnet, a needle, a square of tissue paper and a glass of water.

I want to learn to cook better.  My housemate in Kitgum, Floor, used to make delicious rosemary potatoes and banana bread/cake.  I bought myself spices to bring to Goma, in case I can't buy any there.  Floor sent me simple directions.  (Don't laugh at the simplicity.  I'm a TERRIBLE cook.):
  • Rosemary potatoes is nothing more than washing the potatoes (in the peel) thoroughly, slicing them very thinly, throwing them onto a baking tray and mix them with olive oil (lots of it but not too much), rosemary and salt, and then bake them in the middle of the oven until they're done. You can do it!!!!!
I want to make myself a sun-dial. I've never done this, but I got it into my head a few weeks ago that I want to figure out how they work.  I think it must be pretty easy.  You have to adjust for your location north/south of the equator.  (Goma is one degree south.)  (I've never been below the equator before.) 

UPDATE: My scientist-neighbor has weighed in on this:
  • In Goma it is easy, because you are so near the equator that there is (almost) no need to correct for latitude or season. Put a stick vertically in the ground. At sunrise -- 6 am -- the shadow will point (nearly) west; mark it "6AM". At sunset -- 6 pm -- the shadow will point (nearly) east; mark it "6PM". In between, mark the shadow every hour on the hour. Unfortunately around noon the shadow (pointing south, because you are a little south of the equator) will be very short -- thus hard to read accurately -- because the sun will be almost directly overhead. But then you'll care about accuracy only late in the afternoon, when you'll need to be confident that you'll make it to tea/gin/whatever on time :-)
I hope my new housemates don't think I'm a total geek.


I walked to CVS in Colmubia Heights to pick up last-minute necessities (razors, etc) that I may not be able to buy in Goma.  And there on a shelf was purple nail polish.  And I never wear nail polish.  But I wanted it.  Then I saw the purple eyeshadow.  And I never wear makeup, but I wanted that, too.

It's not like I could have gone home, slept on it, and then gone back tomorrow if I decided I still wanted it.  This was literally my last chance to buy ridiculous purple makeup for six months.

So I bought it.

I'm gonna go paint my nails right now.

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