When it comes to the lodging lottery, I think I did well. My house would not be considered a winner by American standards, or maybe even a house, but I think it’s pretty nice. I have a good porch with a great porch chair where I tend to do most of my work planning (as well as reading, day dreaming, sitting, and morning coffee drinking). The first room in my house is actually my bathroom. My Peace Corps friends find that very much out of place and I am sure my other friends will find it odd as well, but for very different reasons.
Most volunteers bath outside, which isn’t that bad especially as the sun sets. I, however, like being able to take my bucket bath inside while taking my time in the morning before stepping outside. Not having to use a latrine is also a big bonus of my house, even if my toilet area looks like it belongs in a prison and I flush it by pouring water into it from a bucket. Being inside though doesn’t prevent my toilet from having critters around it. The most noteworthy experience thus far was when I went to reach for the toilet paper I left sitting on the windowsill and was greeted by a spider the same size as the roll, hugging it firmly.
My kitchen area is built off of three different sized tables that hold my water filter, gas stove, cooking supplies, and my food. I’ve been able to produce some excellent omelet sandwiches and more than a few good marinara sauces. I have no electricity and therefore no fridge, microwave, blender, or toaster. Life without those kitchen appliances isn’t actually a problem for me. Humans did pretty will for thousands of years without them. Yet as a partial side note, I do miss ice cream. I eventually need to buy a cutting board and metal trunk to better protect my food, although I haven’t had any problems yet. My first care package from Angela secured my stock of Ziploc bags for months to come. Yesterday, I saw a meat grinder in the market, which was tempting kitchen addition, but I can just mince my sheep tacos.
I had a desk built for my house. It turned out too tall and pink. I have no idea why the carpenter painted it pink or how to even ask that in Jula, but for $14 and home delivery I can’t complain too much. It actually complements the blue green walls. I keep my growing stack of Peace Corps books on a cement slab in the corner of my room. Eventually I will have a bookshelf make, maybe a pink one to match the desk.
The bedroom is separated from the kitchen and desk area by a curtain. I inherited the bed from the past volunteer and actually find it to be very comfortable. My mosquito net keeps the bugs out of my bed and off of me as I sleep. The nights have been getting cooler and cooler as the “cold” season approaches and I think that I will have to purchase a blanket for my bed.
I am fortunate to have a battery that powers small lights in my house. It’s a very homey feeling for me to switch on a light when I walk into my house in the evening. I charge my battery every two or three weeks from my neighbor’s solar panels. The last feature of my house is a giant spare room that is the same size as the area that makes up the rest of my house. I keep my bike in there and use the room for exercising and karate. Hearing the sizes of other volunteer’s houses, I am very pleased with the amount of space I have. I don’t live in a cool traditional round hut with a thatched roof yet have many other perks.