Peace Corps Crib Edition
I’ve been living in my new home for almost two weeks now. The day after swearing-in, five of us and our school representatives piled into a kombi, ready for a long ride up north. I had packed ALL night to fit all my things back into bags, but everything seemed to have expanded. I now had 8 bags of differing sizes and a care package from home. Luckily, they brought a bus for all our belongings. We spent the majority of the day in the car, before reaching Ondangwa, which was my stop. I was the first out of the kombi. My supervisor drove me to my school about north of the bigger town. We piled my things out of his car, he asked some kids to mop the floor for me, and then I was on my own. There was a slight feeling of, “what in the world have I signed up for?” and “I’m all alone.” Luckily that dissipated after the first couple days after meeting my neighbors and colleagues.
I am living in teacher’s housing, a one-minute walk from the school gate (it would be 30 seconds if it weren’t for the sand I have to trek through). There are three flats in each “house.” My flat has a living area, kitchen and indoor bathroom that I live in with my new cat, Summer. (Summer was the previous volunteer’s cat and she’s adorable.) Since I am replacing a volunteer, a lot of the necessities were already here (plus a pretty good spice collection).
My living area has a bed, wardrobe for all my clothes, table, two chairs (one constantly occupied by my beloved fan), a “couch” (an extra mattress covered by a sheet) and a closet for all my other belongings. I bought a rug and tablecloth, but other than that I was set.
I have an indoor bathroom, with flushing toilet, sink and shower. However, I will say that I use the shower as a venue to bucket bathe. The shower doesn’t really have the best water pressure, it saves water, and I’ve come to really enjoy bucket baths (although I miss watching the sunrise).
My kitchen is awesome! I have a small fridge, electric kettle, a hot plate, stove/oven (haven’t tried it out yet but I will be soon), and lots of cupboard space. Whenever I dream of having my own house, it’s always the kitchen that I imagine. And I’m not disappointed with this set up.
I am 40-minute walk from the village center, which has pretty much everything I might need. There is a police station, post office, a couple food shops, a restaurant (maybe 2), some bars, a gas station with convenience store, two china shops, produce stands, and two places to buy kapana (street meat). I could easily shop here for my food, rather than going to town. I have two shopping towns to choose from, as I’m equidistance from both and a taxi ride is the same price, $20. Over time, I will figure out a routine. I’ll probably go into town mostly to catch up with friends and get specialty foods, such as Nutella, cat food and maybe even a chunk of cheese, if I’m feeling fancy.
I finished unpacking everything last weekend. Now its time to decorate! I’m working on making the HUGE blank wall in my room into a collage of photos, quotes, and artwork. Feel free to send me something to add to the wall!
I’m looking forward to living here and I wouldn’t mind having a few visitors over the next couple years, hint hint ;)