You know your week (series of weeks?) is not going well when the highlight of your day becomes flavoured water. That has been the highlight of my day for the past two weeks. It’s getting hot in Sudan now. Really hot. Up in the 110-20’s hot. And so by about 1.30 you can hardly stand to be outside, much less string together a cohesive sentence or finish an email. Mostly, you feel like putting your head down on the desk and going to sleep in a pool of your own sweat and waiting until the sun sets before you regain consciousness. Of course, you can’t do this because, well, you are a responsible professional that has work to doing and people are outside carrying water over two hours for their families so you’re pretty much just a big whiner. Needless to say the need to stay hydrated in this environment is challenging but important. I have addressed this by making drinking water my hobby. Everyone needs a hobby. It goes a little something like this. We’re supposed to drink between 5-7 litres a day. If I down two before lunch then I reward myself in the afternoon by putting a little kool aid in third and fourth litres after lunch. I like to have those downed by 5pm and then it’s just one more around dinner and one during the night because you’re constantly waking up in pools of your own sweat desperately thirsty. It’s funny how when there’s so little to look forward to that kool aid can cause so much excitement but I suppose it’s good in a way to have my environment force me to appreciate some of the smaller things in life.
I would also like to give a shout-out to my Kool-Aid pusher who got me hooked on the stuff in the first place. Her name is Carmen and she now works for an NGO in DC but (re) introduced me to the stuff while in Darfur. She swears by the stuff and from time to time, I get a little package through our Nairobi office filled with the tiny little packets of joy and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it fills me with as much joy as Christmas morning.
On only a vaguely related note, when I start my NGO that’s going to be the name. Kool Aid.