The Maryknoll Kitchen

I have learned after 35+ years of living overseas how difficult it is to describe realities in Asia to people who literally cannot visualize things as they are here because of their experience of similar realities in their own homes or cities or lives. People need to see and experience to really understand.

Here are some photos of the Maryknoll kitchen at our present office. I’ll try to point out some of the unusual features and differences from a US kitchen.

The Maryknoll kitchen was originally an open shed behind the rear wall of the house (the wall on the right in the above photo). Preparation of food and cooking (on charcoal in clay pots) was done on the concrete and tile counter on the left. The rear door of the house (to the right of the refrigerator in the photo) is now a door from the dining room into the kitchen which has been enclosed over the years with the sheets of metal seen above the lower tile walls. Our stove works on a tank of propane gas. Most kitchens like this would still use charcoal pots for cooking.

This is a longer view of the actually narrow kitchen, to give a better perspective on its size and shape. When we moved in six months ago, we asked the landlord to put in a real sink. Previously the concrete counter extended toward the camera, where the meal sink is now, and the sink was just a square concrete hole in the counter.

This is a view from near the refrigerator, looking in the opposite direction. The blue downspouts drain rain water off the fourth-floor roof. The little retaining barrier on the floor creates an area on the floor where clothes or large pots and pans could be washed without the water running across the kitchen floor.

This photo, from a slightly different angle, shows an exterior door that leads to what used to be a narrow walkway between the house and the wall of the next door building. When we moved in, the door was just an outside door with a metal grill. When we immediately started having problems with rats, we put glass in the door behind the grill to block them. Even with a rubber strip at the bottom of the door, there is still enough room for mice to get in, however.