Saturday, 3 September 2016

Moving into The Promised Land!

Embarking on my 5th year in Burundi. Moved into my 6th house. There have been some huge changes over the past four years.
The Front Door + Dog.
Firstly, it looks like this year's house is going to be my first real 'home'.
 For the first time, I'm not living in school accommodation, or lodging with friends or even house sitting for absent residents.
This house is one I've chosen to rent (with Alli). We chose it because it has everything we want and need (well almost).
So what did I want in a house? Light and space. What I really love, is space to walk all the way around the house.
As you can see, we have our very own little guard dog, Badger. I know he doesn't look like a Badger any more, but when he was born, he was black with a white stripe on his head.

Luxury bathroom. With fully intact, no cracks, toilet seat. As you can see, great colour co-ordination. White toilet, green bidet, beige bath and two tone floor tiles. Plus, bright orange toilet brush. Just one major draw back ....... no hot water !Back to cold showers. It is at least a hand held shower, so I am developing an elaborate system of washing using a flannel and minimal amounts of cold shower water directly hitting my body.
I know most of you are thinking...but isn't it so hot in Burundi that a cold shower would be nice? NO, NO, NO. Cold showers are never nice in my world. You are thinking of somebody else's world, not mine.
Bedroom.
No, he's not usually allowed on the bed. It's a Saturday treat.
 So far no dramatic stories to tell of giant cockroaches or even late night ppppzzzzzzttttttting mosquitoes. Just one small bug, that did produce a large amount of blood, when squished. I rather think some of it may have been acquired from me at some point. But I have no evidence on my body to prove that theory, so I won't press charges. I suppose that means I may have executed an innocent bystander, whose only crime was to be crawling up the inside of my mosquito net. Oooops! Well let that be a warning to all bugs in my bedroom. In this room you are guilty until proved innocent and don't bank on being given time to prove your innocence.
Moving on to the kitchen, which contains everything a girl could need. Sink with cold tap. Cupboards, shelves, cooker. Ultimate luxury, a fridge freezer.
There is a slight absence of work tops, granted. The most frustrating thing we have found is that between us Alli and I have discovered we own not a single tea towel. When I think about the 100's of tea towels I have given a  home to over the past 30 years. It beggars belief that I have finally reached a point where I have not one left.
So for now it's all drip dry.

We inherited a dining table and chairs from the previous tenant.
As for the living room area, we decided to go to Budget, a large shop in Bujumbura that stocks just about everything.
The name Budget however, is a tad misleading. It is Budget, as in, have you got a huge one? If so, you might manage to purchase something in this shop. The average price of a living room suite turned out to be between 4 and 5 million francs.
We got on the moto and travelled to the Wood Working sheds of Mutanga Nord. Here we did our bit for the Burundian economy and ordered a traditional package of 3 seater, 2 seater, 2 single chairs, coffee table and 4 small tables all for the grand price of 600,000 fbu. Just got to wait until 21st of September for them to be made and delivered. A very kind friend at school has loaned us two arm chairs until then.
Alli is a tough Canadian and she had been excited by the prospect of being Bohemian and lounging on the floor with cushions for the next few weeks. Not I. My body no longer does Bohemian. It just does aching and cramping and things like that. I find myself saying things like, 'could someone help me up?' or  'I think I might be stuck here for a while.' So now we have two 'mobile' comfy (ish) chairs, that live on the balcony pre 5:30pm and living room, post 5:30pm. 5:30 is mosquito time.
So, here's the Promised Land link. The house is great. But the compound around the house is Awesome. My idea of heaven on earth is the facility to be able to relax and walk all around my house in the garden. Here I can do just that.

Left side

 Granted it all looks a bit bare just now. But it is coming to the end of the dry season. Soon, it will be green and growing.

It's hard to find fault with life, when you can wander all the way around your house in the garden.

It was a friend who referred to the house and garden being like finally reaching my Promised Land.
When I reflected on that, I realised that the Israelites waited 40 years to reach  their Promised Land, because they ticked off, God.
I briefly hoped that it wasn't the case for me, but realised quite quickly, I've done a fair bit of ticking off on my time.

I'm very grateful that even though we tick Him off, God is in the business of forgiveness and new starts. Pretty impressed with mine. I really hope that time and familiarity don't erode my appreciation.

Back - Mango tree
Right side, from back
Right side, from front
My second huge change, is that I am starting my second year as Head Teacher of The King's School - Primary.
Hopefully, I'll Blog further about that next weekend!

When I look at all the gloomy posts about teaching on Face book and talk to those returning to teaching in England this week, I realise how immensely blessed I am to be doing a job where I am excited to be going 'Back to school'.