It took a few months to really settle into my mud hut and make it a home.
In Zambia, most people have their house and chikuta, the kitchen, separately. I had a house, a chikuta (about 20 yards from my house), a pit latrine and a shower area (about 5 yards from my house).
When I arrived to my house, my shower area wasn’t built. So I spent the afternoon watching my BaTaata build it. It was made sticks and grass. Nothing much to look at, but it did the job. And by that I simply mean that no one could see me when I took my bucket bath. I wanted a brick and cement shower. But knew that it was going to be a bit expensive and I didn’t know who could do it for me.
After a few more months of settling in, I also realized that I liked hanging out right outside of my house, not in my chikuta. I didn’t like having random villagers who would come to visit me in my house. So I decided that what I needed was a porch. I could sit outside my house and not get wet on my way to the chikuta during rainy season. I could also hosts visitors in my porch, and not in my house. Win-win.
I brought my ideas up to my BaTaata to see who could do this for me. And he said he and the older boys could! Eric, my oldest host brother, was looking to raise some money to pay for high school. I was more than happy to oblige!
Brick making began and construction quickly started! And boy did it turn out amazing! It was exactly what I needed to make a house a home.
24 Sept 2008: 7 months in Zambia yesterday!
It’s 9am and I’m hot already. Good thing I’m leaving on vacation and won’t be here for most of the hot season. So much has happened, I don’t know where to start. I journaled for the first 2 weeks of my month away from home and I taped it on the next page.
What else… Some neighbor has been setting fires on BaWesley’s land so the other night I went out and watched him and the kids put out a fire. It was crazy.
My porch is perfect! It’s going to make being in the village AMAZING! It still needs to be roofed and also cemented. But BaWesley seems to be on top of it so I’m not worried. And I now have a brick bathing shelter. Which is also super nice. So I think that’s it for new things. I’m sure I’ll think of more but for now I’ll just write some letters.