Gotta love practicality. Sunshine soap: for laundry, for dishes, for people.
Well, I'm taking a little break from the kitchen at the moment.
I started branching into herb-based pastry. Very yummy. Even had enough left over to make a little cheese pasty with a dollop of homemade hummus.
Unfortunately, the pasty broke the oven.
Yes, sad to report, my improvised oven is no more. Dead, deceased, disintegrated.
I had a sneaking suspicion it might do that. It's an old pot and I could see the flames through the bottom. I kept an eye on it to see whether it was melting. Seemed stable enough, but then it just gave way. Thankfully the pasty was cooked to perfection when that happened.
I've since been out and bought a new pot and a professional loaf tin and a pie tin. I do intend to try it again shortly.
Had a fascinating delivery from Fresh Basket last week. A banana leaf, and when you open it up...
A selection of chili peppers. So cute. Unfortunately they're of the local pili pili variety. I tried cooking a curry with them, but they're too hot even for me. I prefer the long ones. These are the type hospital trips are made of.
Also received two plantain, which I was super excited about. You don't see these often here - or maybe I just don't know what I'm looking for - but they are so yummy. I first had plantain in Sierra Leone and tried to replicate the experience by frying them in butter.
Then I put them in a crepe with avocado chocolate mousse.
It was a good day.
Plantain are slightly harder and tarter than normal bananas. Imagine banana in a Haribo Sours flavour, but they're still quite sweet, and have much more flavour than savoury matoke, which are the huge ones you boil like potatoes.
Moving from food to wildlife. I'm a little ashamed of myself. I'm usually extremely tolerant of wildlife. I had an amazing experience yesterday where a teeny weeny baby gecko fell into my sink and couldn't get out, so I rescued it on the back of my hand. We stood there looking at each other for a while (geckos are some of my most favourite creatures ever) then released it onto my garden wall.
I also made friends with this lovely moth at Novotel the other day. Moths need friends because geckos really aren't their friends. My porch geckos regularly dine out on them.
I also scooped that one up and put it back outside.
So, on the whole, I'm really amazed by wildlife and try to rescue it whenever I can. But unfortunately I have become a murderer.
I have a friend coming to stay in a few weeks. Ever since getting back in February, I've noticed an increase roaches in the bathroom. Most of them are absolutely tiny. I know this sounds stupid, but when they're very, very small, cockroaches can be kind of cute. They sort of wander around in circles.
But they also poo on everything - your soap, your sink, your toothbrush.
I do plan on fumigating, but before doing that I decided to buy a bottle of Doom. I sprayed the floor and sink, and in the morning there were a couple of dead roaches. I was mainly using it as a deterrent.
Then, the other night, this bugger flew into my house. It's the biggest roach I have seen so far. It was probably a little longer than my middle finger.
No. I didn't kill it. I trapped it in a juice jug, then threw it - and the jug - across the garden.
The one I killed came later that night.
I woke up at maybe four in the morning. Something had run across my arm. In a moment of psychic wonderment, I knew exactly what I would find when I turned on my phone light.
It wasn't as big as the one above, but it was big enough. Sitting at the end of the bed, inside my mosquito net.
This is the second time this has ever happened to me. The first time I battered it senseless (with a juice jug) and threw it into the back garden. This time it went on a run around my room. I could hear it scuttling around boxes in my cupboard. It was four in the morning, I was utterly knackered, and traumatised. I went and got the Doom.
I felt horrifically guilty afterwards and buried it under a hedge. Partly out of respect, but mostly because I didn't want a bird trying to eat it and poisoning itself.
Really, I can cope with a lot, but a cockroach sharing my bedsheets - that's just a step too far for my comfort levels. I couldn't take the risk of it snuggling back up.
On to brighter news. This week's weather forecast looks much the same as last week.
I'd just finished hanging out my washing about an hour ago when the heavens opened.
But there was a very pretty rainbow, and I think that's what we should all focus on.
Welcome to the rainy season in Rwanda.