The fisherman of garbage. Yep that is us.
Here is the story. The weekend was pretty nutz. Lots going on, guests, going out once for dinner (Yeah!), and not lots of time in our house or cleaning it. Who am I kidding even if I was home I can guarantee I would not have been cleaning! I digress….On Sunday Jason wanted to make coffee but he could not find a part of the coffee machine. Not a big deal since the place was pretty tore up. Now this is not just any coffee machine it is his baby. Our special, swanky, American Cuisinart coffee machine he received as a Christmas present after reading every review online to find the perfect one. We are coffee snobs and this time we brought back this little machine-o-joy to help make the rough days here not so bad. It is a vice. Judge me. Go ahead but first put down that Starbucks cup:) At least I acknowledge our vice, that is the first step right?

Anyway, we skipped the coffee and due to chaos with the children never really remembered to search for said missing piece. Fast forward to Monday morning. Still no piece to the coffee machine and we are in need. I mean the situation is getting desperate here. Lots of work ahead, a guest before 7am, Evy waking up twice…it was all adding up to the need for COFFEE! Jason searched and searched the kitchen and nothing. I searched the rest of the house to see if Miss Evy the Mtundu has taken it somewhere (she is known for this) and no luck. We waited until our house helper arrived hoping maybe she stuck it somewhere…nope. We were super bummed. After talking through where it could be I realized maybe it had gotten thrown in our taka taka bucket (our garbage). Problem was the bucket has already been emptied in the taka taka shimo (the scary deep garbage pit outside the house). It was worth a try: Jason took a flashlight and headed out but was back in a couple minutes due to massive amounts of fire ants attacking his legs. He accepted defeat and we discussed maybe trying to order a replacement part and having someone ship it out. But we resigned that we were not going to enjoy good coffee for a while. At this point our house helper said she would try to look. We warned her about the fire ants but she was determined to check it out. About 5 minutes later she returned and said she could see it but could not reach it. We jumped up to investigate and sure enough there it was: our precious little black plastic thingy that makes yummy coffee possible, at the bottom of the garbage pit. It was about 12 feet deep and out of our reach. Then began the epic quest to recover it.
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Let me just say you will really go to lengths to recover something in a land where you cannot replace things. First we needed partners in crime. Some kids were quick to volunteer and scour the area for banana leaf rope, old wire cords, and old broom handles. We settled on some old rubber from a bicycle tire and Jason and Mika tied two long poles together. We still needed something to scoop it up with.
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I found a broken small piece of a tricycle of Anni’s and after administering copious amounts of duct tape we were on! (I have never been so glad for the trash laying around everywhere and the ingenious way Africans can re purpose anything). We tried and tried but it was so hard to get it in the bucket.
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At this point we were invested. Sweaty, determined, and now with an audience (your problem really is everyone’s problem here) we knew we could not accept failure. Mika disappeared and emerged with a long piece of wood and with 3 people helping Jason was able to scoop it into the bucket of sorts and slowly…slowly…we pulled it out!!! We fished for garbage and we got it!!! It made for a great story at shule yesterday too as we add to the list of crazy antics of the Wazungus: wavuvi wa taka taka (fisherman of trash). And this morning we had coffee. And it tasted better somehow. Sorta like victory.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious. Now more than ever I'm glad I don't drink coffee. At least it didn't get hauled away to some random dump.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can I have a favorite blog post? This one is in the running, just 'cause it is so stinkin' classic. Embarrassingly, I live in the states and can STILL see us doing something like this, though rummaging through a trash bag seems a bit “nicer” somehow. I love the Trader Joes Mac-n-Cheese. I made some for a babysitter. She didn't eat it all- hardly any actually (I later learned she is SUPER healthy and wish she would have just said, “can i just have a peice of lettuce?”) Anywho- when I left the room she scraped it in the trash. I saw it a bit later and I love the stuff so much. TJ's is 45 min. away, mind you. I almost dug out every last noodle…and might have had she not still been here;)

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is by FAR the best story I have read in a LONG time. Go Wzungu! Great job! šŸ™‚

  4. Anonymous says:

    I loved this story – laughed through it! It's almost as good as my cow poop-in-the-face field trip story!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yay for recovered treasure!!!!!! Way to use creativity Roxanne and Jason. I love this!