Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Holiday and a New Home

So, the big exciting thing I spoke about in the last post was a wee holiday. I have never taken a vacation with a group of friends before and if that isn’t fun enough, we got to spend it in Zanzibar (don’t worry supporters, it was mostly my own savings that paid for the trip). J If you’re at all interested, you can see some pictures here.

Also, Em’s cat went into labor the day we got back and had two little kittens, Murray and Earl (they were named after our two friends, Brad and Trey, who were assigned those names courtesy of an online quiz entitled “What is your old person name?”).

Now for the really big news… Remember that apartment I’ve been talking about for a YEAR? The one my friends and I found last August??  We FINALLY signed contracts and moved in this past weekend! I cannot even begin to explain how happy I am about this. Where we’ve been living has been fine but less than ideal (3 adults, one child in a two bedroom apartment) and we have never really settled in because our mentality has always been that we would be moving soon. I am the type of person who needs to settle in, to nest, to make a place home, so this has been a bit of a challenge for me. Why is this new place so fantastic, you ask? Well, it’s a lot closer to work, for one. It’s a 4 unit building (2 down, 2 up) and is enclosed within its own gated compound (common and necessary security protocol). What makes this place so incredible is that I am sharing a unit with my friend, Erika, and the other units have been rented by friends AND another friend lives across the street. It’s my ideal living environment: communal but with everyone still having their own space. We have big plans for the compound including, but not limited to, a fire pit, a veggie garden, possibly a chicken coop with some layers. We are slowly recognizing the potential of some pretty epic group games, like hide and seek and sardines, as well. We all spend copious amounts of time together as it is so this just cuts down on unnecessary travel time and expense. And to top it all off, we will have dogs. This is another necessary security protocol, as none of us want the hassle of hiring a guard, but I am also a huge fan of dogs. Whether or not I, personally, have ownership is up in the air, but if Trey* gets more than one, I will just adopt his. 

*Trey is the standout in this photo from Ekisa prom (yes, Erika and I were going for an 80’s look; Em, on the left, she just liked the dress and gets horribly embarrassed by Trey’s antics). He has ordered a housecoat and Gandolf-like pipe for the apartment and plans on getting a small white fluffy dog from Kampala. Can you see why I am excited about this living arrangement? These will be my room/compound mates. Never a dull moment…

I took a couple pictures, but they’re not much because the compound still looks like a construction site (the landlord has until December to get the machines off or we live for free) and we need to get furniture (my bed was our couch at the old place). It will certainly be some time before we’re all settled in because everyone is going home at some point over the next few months and we won’t all be there at the same time until February. In fact, I’m already recruiting a volunteer to stay with me for 10 days in the beginning of December as I will have been abandoned by everyone else on the compound and am not so keen on being there by myself…I might also borrow someone’s dog or hire an interim guard...just to be safe.

This next month and a half could be a little rough as it will only be Emily and I at Ekisa (the other 3 “western” staff members will be away for various reasons). We will have 2 volunteers during that time so it should be ok but we are praying for no medical emergencies or emergencies of any kind, for that matter. 

Again, never a dull moment...