Entry #48: Adjusting to my New Home

Date: 11 August 2019
Time: 10:42am

How’s your new house?!

Three empty rooms means three empty canvases.

I like designing things. I have bitten in to the bug of “total efficiency” and so having this empty house means I am ready to spend a bunch of my free time figuring out what I’m going to do with my house.

Because I am now living alone, and I finally have my own space, it means that I can do many of the things that I have wanted to do while I’m here in Uganda.

Off the top of my head, this is what I want to do:

  • Start my new garden
  • Building my new work desk
  • Propagating new plants
  • Designing my tiny kitchen space
  • Creating a system for recycling 80% of my food waste
    • Avocado pits for shampoo and ink
    • Vegetable and fruit skins for compost
    • Pineapple skins for juice
  • Restarting my program with gymnastic rings
  • Restarting my calligraphy practice with some homemade inks every now and then
  • Practicing my village language everyday

Of course, this is all going to start AFTER I’m adjusted in to my new home.

What’s on your to do list then?

Spending racks, losing stacks.

I have spent quite a pretty penny so far since moving in two days ago. From the gas stove, cooking supplies, general stationery, and food for the night, it’s all I’ve spent my money on and I still have so much more I want to get.

But, in terms of living conditions, I can bare with this very barebones lifestyle for another month.

Basically, since we are now volunteers with a new house, we get what’s called a Move-in Allowance. This allowance is to help new volunteers buy some of the things they need to live. This would include a stove, mattress, bed sheets, and some other things, depending on your situation.

I have a pretty big laundry list of things I want to buy, and it’ll be quite a while before I can fulfill that list, if at all.

So, what do you have so far?

The better question is, what don’t I have.

No electricity. No running water. No refrigerator. No freezer. Not a single electrical appliance. Washing machine and anything like that is out of this country, lol.

It was difficult when I was first moving in mostly because I had so little to work with than what I was used to. Even during PST, we had some amenities to work with most of the time, however, now that we are at our official site and home for the next two years, the majority of us are starting from ground zero.

All I had brought with me for moving in was a gas stove, some ingredients for cooking and a few basic necessities for cooking and eating. And I mean basic. Just a plate, a few utensils and one pan.

There is no fail-safe at this point, I mean other than calling for an emergency from Peace Corps, we are now responsible for our livelihood. And many ways it was liberating, but a lot less magical than what I had imagined.

What do you mean a “magical” move-in experience?

Hard to say.

Moving in to site, after weeks of anticipation to be free from all of the bustle from PST, I had imagined moving to site would be this rite of passage kind of experience. For some reason I was imagining a quaint welcoming from my neighbors and having a small dinner with my neighbors. A warm welcome to the village.

However, it wasn’t that I didn’t get that warm welcome, it was just a lot less grandiose than I had thought. I dunno why I had set myself up for that, haha, but moving in was a lot more stressful than anticipated. The next few days weren’t much more captivating.

It’s just moving a to new house. Nothing magical here, haha.

What’s next?

I think these next few posts will be about adjusting to my new living conditions. I think to depict an accurate picture of how things are in Uganda, I would not give it proper justice if I simply open and close a very large aspect of the Peace Corps experience, the living situation.

For future PCVs, I want to give my personal views of what it’s like to live in this kind of way. And for my fellow friends and family, don’t worry I’m safe lol.

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