Saturday, June 6, 2009

My new home in Lipunga

Here is the front of my new home in Lipunga village. It is big with a main room, 2 bedrooms and a utility room/kitchen.

The front yard has trees and grass which is actually unusual here. Most yards are bare dirt and they are swept every day.

My bafa or bath. It is made of udzi (grass), small trees, bamboo and tied together with strips of the inner back of certain trees. You just grab a top branch of the tree and rip the side off then strip off the inner bark. It makes a strong "rope" to tie things together.

Outdoor kitchen with thatch roof and cement floor.

My mud stove heating a pot of water. Mud stoves are more efficient, which saves trees, and smoke less than an open 3 stone fire. One of our projects is to teach villagers to make mud stoves. All you need are: clay soil, local bricks and wood ashes which are used as insulation.

Women keep their fires going most of the day cooking and heating water. Since there is no electricity or refrigeration food can't be kept long so each meal is cooked from scratch.

Since I am out most of the day working and don't have a wife to mind the "hearth and home" it is difficult to start a wood fire just to cook a pot of rice for dinner so I use this paraffin (kerosene) stove which is quick and easy to use. Paraffin costs about $4 per gallon.

This is the chim, short for chimbuzi (outhouse). It has a hole in the cement floor and yes, I can buy toilet paper.

Since the wether here is mild to hot and people are very poor, the houses are very simple in their contstruction. This is my roof made of "iron sheets". These sheets were used before so there are old nail holes - about 50 - but it doesn't seem to leak.

This is my bedroom. I still don't have any shelves or furniture so my stuff is on the floor, but I do have a small table and 2 chairs.

This is my utility room/kitchen. Here too everything is on the floor until I can make a simple counter with shelves. It's not that simple though - I could hire a local carpenter but bought my own tools to make them myself. I am getting boards which are sawed by hand, then I have to plane them smooth and cut them - all with hand tools.

Everywhere I go kids greet me enthusiastically! They always want me to take their picture and often ask for money.



Even though it is just little bits of electricity flying through the ether the contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps.