As of two weeks ago, I am no longer homeless! On Sunday, September 29, (after 45 days of living in the guest house) I moved into my new home:
It was a major relief to finally make the transition. Now, I’m no longer on the outskirts of town – I’m in the center of it. My walk to school has been cut from twenty minutes to five. I can finally work and cook in the space that I have!
And boy, do I have space. The house looks small from the outside, but it is huge on the inside. I have three bedrooms, a bathroom (with tile!) and a kitchen. While this place is more modest than the second story apartment I turned down, it’s still luxurious. I’ll post a tour of all the rooms in my next post.
To move into this house is a pretty big landmark in the larger context of my life. Since I graduated from college (over two years ago now), I haven’t lived in one place continuously for longer than four months. It’s been hard and lonely in many ways, but it’s been a conscious decision to avoid settling down (getting a long-term job, girlfriend, etc.), because I really wanted to explore and expand my “world bubble” before my life started to solidify. But now that I’ve made it to Africa, I can finally allow myself to grow roots in a community.
I haven’t been able to relax yet though. Unlike other volunteers that could get used to living in their new homes during the summer without the pressures of school, I’ve been having to figure out how to get food, draw water, do laundry, do dishes, and finish other daily chores in this new situation while still having to teach and plan two classes every day.
Thankfully, one of my co-teachers helped me get a lot of essential supplies the day before I moved in. I’ve got a coal pot, a mattress, some buckets, tubs, plates, spoons, rice and other such items. I wish I had a picture of the taxi that I took home with all my things packed “African style”: four people in back with my things on their laps, three people in front, stuff exploading out the back and the rest overloaded on the roof. Still, it wasn’t as bad as other cars I’ve seen on the road here…
But I’m still lacking some pretty essential things, like curtains in my windows (right now they’re wide open!), and a desk to work on, among other things. In fact, right now I don’t have a single table in the house, which has made my battle with the ants here especially difficult. I’m going to do a whole post on my ant battle soon. It’s been epic.
Since I can only get to the market on weekends (I teach five days a week!), its hard to get comfortable as fast as I would like. But I’m making progress bit by bit, or “small small”, as they say here.
In the meantime, I can’t help but enjoy finally having my own place!