Monday, May 31, 2010

Welcome to my new home!

I’ve been in my new home for all of six days and can’t begin to describe how much better I feel. It’s hard to explain, but I feel more like MYSELF.

In only six days, I finally feel happy to be here in Africa, happy to wake up in the morning, happy to go to school, (YES! I can’t believe it! I FEEL HAPPY to go to school!), happy to come home from school, very happy to “piddle” inside my new home, am happy to encounter students throughout the day, am belting out Broadway tunes spontaneously… ;-)

I had dinner last night on my “porch” under a full moon… It was beautiful… I felt so happy I could POP.

I think I was in intense denial about how UNHAPPY I was living in the hostel (dormitory). And I’m shocked at how much better it feels simply to change my living arrangements.

My supervisor had urged, when I was asking about relocating, that “Our volunteers who feel reluctant to request a housing change, and then ultimately decide to relocate, always wish they had asked sooner.”

I’m certainly one of these. I can’t believe I tried to “tough it out” as long as I did. All of that misery—for nothing, really. All because I hated to complain…

So, here are some shots after I’ve moved in a bit. I feel really, really guilty having so much space. Not only do I have more space now than most volunteers, but I actually have more living space now than my family back home!!

I have made a couple of sacrifices in my move though. I gave up hot water, a flushing toilet, and electricity. (I have electricity in my new home but pay for it now).

It’s kind of fun though, heating water for my bath, having a toilet “ritual” to flush it, and paying for my electricity and watching it tick away on a meter helps me not waste it (or take it for granted).

Oops, back to the photos!

One is of me, welcoming you inside my new home; one is of my “foyer,” (books on shelf), one is of my always-messy-writing desk; one is of my ugly “everything-but-mosquito-net and even uglier comforter, and one is of my always messy kitchen; one is of my front “porch”; one is of the full moon; one is of the picnic table near by that I used to sit and dream about living in the trailer; and one is of my bathroom. I scrubbed the next layer of grime out of the bathroom last night. It smells ever so much better!

I know, know, know I’m feeling better because I want to buy a shovel! A garden feels soon to come!

I’m so happy, and happy to be finally happy in Africa! For those who have been suffering along with me in spirit, we can be happy now!



  1. This looks so great, Karen!

  2. So you have electricity, but no heat? Will you have any heat in the winter like a space heater? You look so cold in the photo! This really sounds better though and I can tell you are much more comfortable. You are wealthy in space and light in there for sure. Which trailer in the photo of trailers is yours? The one on the end? It was an old photo.