Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bad and Good

Hello friends! I'm back!

Life has been busy and blogging got pushed to the back burner, what can I say. It's crunch time right now- November is shaping up to be a crazy month. Here's what I've got on my plate:
  • Grant proposal: Due November 30th
  • Giant research paper: December 4th
  • "Culture of Politics in Kenya" Final Exam Essays: December 11th
  • Final Internship Reflection Paper: December 11th
  • Completion of 150 internship hours: By the end of the semester
  • Exams/Homework for Swahili and USIU classes: By the end of the semester
...all while finding time to actually get out and see Kenya.

Yikes! So, as you can see, things are a bit crazy these days in apartments T4 and T7. No one ever said this semester would be easy.

Compounding the craziness was the fact that I've been out of commission for a couple days with a nasty stomach bug of sorts. I won't go into the gory details but it was bound to happen sometime. You're pretty much guaranteed to get sick at least once during a stay in Kenya. I finally bit the bullet yesterday and took a ciprofloxacin pill yesterday morning. Cipro is a very heavy prescription antibiotic used to treat a wide range of illnesses, including typhoid. Yikes. Taking intense drugs makes me rather nervous, but I was in enough pain to warrant it. The upside? Cipro kills everything in your stomach. The downside? Cipro kills everything in your stomach. Meaning it wipes out all those good digestive bacteria that you need in order to break down your food. So, while it solves one problem, it can cause another...

Yea. I think I ate about 2 cups of yogurt with tonight's dinner. Cross your fingers that I will soon be able to fully digest food normally.

ANYWAYS! Thus concludes your daily dose of TMI (too much info).

Despite all the bad stuff, there have been some bright spots as of late. Such as this GORGEOUS rainbow behind our apartment the other day:

And a delicious baked good!

You see, I've been experiencing a lot of food nostalgia lately- feeling homesick for seasonal fall foods, namely pumpkin. To remedy that situation, I've been baking many batches of "pumpkin bread, Nairobi-style." Here's how:

1. Take 1 butternut squash:

2. And go to town on it with (your only) sharp knife:

3. Boil the chunks until they're tender:

4. And mash them up well:

5. Find any random pumpkin bread recipe online. No need to follow the instructions precisely, because you don't have any measuring spoons or even any dry-measure measuring cups. Substitute any ingredients as you see fit, and definitely don't use a mixer. Those things are damn expensive.

6. Pour the somewhat lumpy batter into your only baking pan:

...and bake on the number "6" oven setting, because your oven doesn't have any temperature markings, only numbers 1-10.

7. When it's lightly browned and the center is no longer jiggly, take it out and let cool. Cut into small pieces, photograph quickly, and watch it disappear in 2 minutes at the hands of your 4 hungry roommates.

Delicious. Butternut squash is a great substitute for pumpkin- I can barely tell the difference.

And lastly, a piece of REALLY good news!

I landed an internship in DC for next semester!

I'll be working for Big Green Purse, a website that encourages consumers to adopt greener lifestyles and shopping practices as a way to protect the environment and human health.

And get this: it's a Social Media Networking Internship! So basically, it will be my job to keep their Facebook page, Twitter account, and blog up-to-date. Um, can you say AWESOME?! I honestly don't think I could have constructed a better internship myself- it encompasses two of my passions: the environment and blogging! I'm still pinching myself over here. I can't wait to get back to DC and start working. But clearly, I've got some things to finish up in Nairobi first, as evidenced by previous laundry list of tasks.

Homework time?!


  1. CONGRATS on your internship!! and nice bread. it looks delish!

  2. Congrats again on the internship! :)

  3. Awesome, that's great- sounds like a really fun internship!

  4. I wish we could send you a package of the ultimate New England fall foods, but chances are the package would arrive by the time you get back here! Where oh where is that Larabar "care" package we sent to you??

  5. HAHAHA! Your post made me laugh so hard, because I have SO been there! In Doha, we def didn't have lots of certain things (canned pumpkin? BAH!). But you make it work.

    Did you know that if you bake the squash, you can eat the peel too? Deelish.

  6. Dang! I hope I don't have to use Cipro in India!!

    I'm sorry you are feeling sick, girl! I hope you feel better.

    Good luck with the crazy amount of work!!!

    (P.s. Your butternut squash bread looks awesome!!!)

  7. So sorry to hear about your stomach bug. Keep on wolfing down that yogurt, girl.
    Congrats on your internship, and best of luck on the rest of your assignments this semester!

  8. I hope you feel better soon Anna! It's such a pleasure reading about your adventures! All the best :)

  9. I just want you to know, beloved Fresin, that I attempted to make a delightful beet risotto that my friend used to make (and which was DELICIOUS when she made it). I followed the recipe to a tee, I thought, but came out with chewy horrible undercooked rice and a bland sauce. And looking at this gross pink mess, I thought to myself 'Anna can make delicious things without even using a recipe/measuring cups/known oven temperature!' Sigh. I always read your blog, so hopefully some of your mad skillz will transfer by internet osmosis.

  10. WOW ANNA congrats on your internship!!!

    Hope your tum feels better soon :-(

    That "pumpkin" bread looks SO GOOD. Bsquash sounds better right now, anyway!

  11. Amazing news Anna! Congratulations on your internship, that sounds like an absolute dream job for you!I liked seeing your step by step baking project too, I use butternut squash in place of pumpkin all the time and agree that it works great. Glad to hear that your feeling better and good luck on all the projects you have to wrap up.


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