14 November 2015

The days filled with unanticipated activities continue! My friend, the fundi (craftsperson) showed up this morning to replace my other door! I was looking forward to a quiet morning after a long day in town to do some grant-writing yesterday, but that’s okay! It’s better they show up randomly, ready to work rather than not showing up at all for who knows how long. I also took a moment to explain the other things that need fixing at my house – the fence is falling apart, the floor in my bafu (a small room for bathing) is cracked and crumbling and no longer drains water, and my choo (toilet – it’s a drop-choo)… Well, here  are some  pictures of my choo.


I know it’s kind-of gross… As you can see by the discoloration surrounding the unfortunately small hole, it is very difficult – even after months and months of practice – to have successful aim. I have also had reported to me from other volunteers that even males have difficulty, even if they crouch like females. You see, the hole narrows rapidly, so there’s always some unavoidable spray-back… Anyway, enough of that, the point is I want to renovate my choo. The plan is to widen the hole in the floor, get rid of those stupid blocks one is expected to perch atop, cut the bottom out of a bucket, line the bucket up with the hole in the floor, get a chair and cut a hole in the seat, place it over the bucket, attach a toilet seat (I’ve already acquired one) to the chair and line it up with the bucket chute, then slap some cement around the whole thing, and call it a day! My friend says he’s really excited that I’ll be able to teach him how to build an official Western-style toilet. Yup, super official… It’ll be my pleasure.

So, I have some hope that I will eventually have a somewhat “normal” toilet situation – normal for me at least. We’ll see how many months it takes to get the project started… I also have some hope (renewed hope in this case) that I will soon get a new bed frame! I bought a new mattress for myself at the end of September, bigger and better than the one I am currently borrowing, and have been trying to acquire a bed frame ever since. My mwenyekiti (village chairperson) really wants to help me to buy it – I asked him for some advice about prices and where it is best to buy one after I bought the mattress, and then he decided it was his mission. Unfortunately, things keep seem to be getting in the way of this mission.

First, we tried buying one in town, but he was always too busy with other things and never had enough time to help me before the bus left. Then we tried and tried again to schedule a time to go to the fundi in the neighboring village to order a frame (50,000 tsh cheaper than in town), but things kept getting in the way. Finally, early this morning we went over there together and spent the five minutes it takes to order a bed frame. It should be done in a week, and then he will help me transport it to my house. Key word: “should” be…

I cannot wait to finally sleep on my new mattress! All mattresses here are foam, and the one I’ve borrowed since I arrived has lost its foaminess – the divot where I usually end up resting at night is very deep now, so I’m basically on the wood at this point. I feel bad that I’ll be returning the mattress in this used condition… But I certainly can’t afford to buy whoever owns it a new one. It’s a child’s bed, so maybe he/she won’t mind as much as an adult would. Children are not quite so heavy as me, after all.

Well, it’s about time to check in on the progress of my new door. Looking forward to another thorough house cleaning this evening. (That was sarcasm.) At least the mess from door replacement is not nearly so discouraging as the mess from roof renovation.

Here are the before and after pictures of my new back door!





Oh, and it was laundry day recently – here’s a picture. I need to wash my sheets soon too, but those are the worst… very difficult to wash by hand because there is just so much fabric!


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