So far our day to day life has been much different than expected. The sun rises around 5 and sets at 6. We can accomplish actual work from around 9 until noon and 2 until 3:30 or 4. The rest of the time people are at home.
A lot of our day is spent figuring out what to eat and when to make it. Nearly everything here is imported so to save costs we go to the open markets to get the best prices. There is a general goods market where we can get any produce which is locally grown and there is a fish market to get anything from the sea (we had barracuda last night). Once we go to all the markets and find what we want (we do this everyday because our refrigerator is too small) we need to bring it home and prepare everything: gut the fish, season the fish, chop the vegetables, cook the vegetables, etc. Eating has become a full time job.
To help with the extra time life takes in Sao Tome and to give back to the economy we have hired several people around our house. We have hired a housekeeper who comes on MWF to do laundry, clean around the house and cook (if we’re home). When we moved in our house had been vacant and neglected for a year so we hired someone to clean up the yard, when he was done he asked if he could stay on as our gardener so we agreed. We also hired a night watchman and he is about the scariest person ever. It gets dark around here and with his dark skin it is impossible to see him at night. One of the first nights the power went out and Corey and I were near the front gate and I said, shouldn’t the watchman be here by now? At that time we took another step towards the gate and from inside our walls a man appeared and opened the gate thinking we wanted to leave. He had been there for a while without us knowing and I nearly wet my pants.
At night we have been relaxing playing cards (last night it was hearts and Danielle is going to teach us rummy later) or watching TV episodes and movies we have on our computers. If we want to get online we can walk 3 blocks to the national library and sit out front but the mosquitoes prohibit prolonged usage.
Another bit about African mosquitoes; while they may carry deadly diseases, their bites are way less annoying and I only get a small dot of a bump that goes away by the next night. In the US I get obnoxious bites which itch for days.