A tale of three huts…
It has arrived!! After living at my site for a little over 9 months, I have finally moved into a hut with a door that locks!! It is a dream come true! Why am I so excited? You see, this is my third hut that I’ve called home since I came to in Mayenzere last October, and I think this one will be THE ONE. After frequent requests and talking to people around the village for help, a door has been put on to my hut. And it has a key that locks! Some of you know of the troubles I have had with my housing over the past months, but for those of you that don’t, let me recap my time in different dwellings in my village.
When I first arrived in Mayenzere, I was moved into a hut, and it did have a door. Unfortunately, the door had been on the hut for a long time, and the family had lost the key. It was a nice hut, and I didn’t complain about the lock. It was a fine place to sleep. But, of course, the weather decided otherwise. One day in mid-November, while I was taking my afternoon nap, a huge gust of wind came and knocked in a chunk of my wall. There I was, lying in bed, with part of my wall missing. Well, great!! So I needed a new place to stay. However, there weren’t any huts available to move into at the time, so I took some of the concrete blocks currently being used for my bathroom and built myself a wall. This would work for the time being, but it wasn’t going to fly for long. My principal assured me that they would build me a new hut, and while I was off on holiday vacation traveling around, they did indeed do that.
A brand new hut! I was thrilled! As soon as I got back from vacation, I moved in. Then one of the tates (fathers) from my village came by to move my original door from one hut to the next. I asked if I could get a new handle and lock since this one didn’t have a key, and they brought me a new one. I was feeling good. Well, somewhere in the installation process, something got messed up, and the lock and key situation weren’t aligned properly. So I was unable to use the handle from the inside to get myself out, but I was not able to use the lock from the outside. Go figure. I could lock myself inside my hut, but I could not lock it when I left. Pretty crazy!!! Well, there I was living in a hut that doesn’t lock. It was not too big of a deal. After all, the door on my last hut didn’t lock at all. One day, I was looking at the ceiling when all of a sudden a giant chunk of straw and dirt fell on me! This started to happen every day. I would sweep all this dirt out of my hut because the ceiling kept falling in on me! After talking with my principal about this issue, it came to his attention that since they were trying to build the hut so quickly, they forgot to put some type of oil on the roof to keep the termites away. Slowly but surely the termites were eating away at my roof! Then I was told that they couldn’t put the oil on the roof while I was living there because of toxic fumes! Luckily for everyone involved, I had a trip planned to come home to the States for a family visit, so they could oil the roof while I was away.
When I returned to Mayenzere , I was all set to move back into my hut, but I guess while I was back home, they forgot about my little termite problem. So when I arrived back at site after my holiday, the roof of my hut now had portions of it missing from the termites! So, you guessed it, I again had to move to a new hut. The catch was that this new dwelling had no door!!! This was at the beginning of June. After several attempts to get everything set, things are now looking good. After a month with a sheet to cover the entry, my door has finally arrived. It locks, it closes, it keeps the animals out. It is GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
All this moving around, adjusting to different living situations, has really tested my adaptability. Although I never complained, except to some other volunteers, it is a relief to finally know that my belongings can be protected while I am away. I am very grateful for all the help the people in my village have provided. Hopefully, this hut will last me for the whole next year while I finish out my service.