This week was great because I finally moved into my house. I can unpack my bags and settle in to a place that's completely and totally mine. My first night in the house was Monday. I was really excited to put up a calendar I brought because it's a calendar showing pictures of a camp I went to in Michigan. Something to remind me of home. I had no way of putting a nail in the wall, and there was a screw on the wall from when a previous resident hung a picture. So logically, I took some scissors to make a bigger hole.
Mistake #1: Assuming the scissors were not that sharp
Mistake #2: Putting my left hand directly behind where I was making the hole
Mistake #3: Having a lot of oomph
I cut a circle about the size of a thumbtack out of my left index finger. The cut wasn't too deep, and I actually didn't even feel any pain for about five minutes. Probably because for those five minutes I was running around like a crazy person who hadn't unpacked attempting to find bandages, anti-bacterial cream, and soap. Oh, and also attempting to not bleed all over the place.
But what's moving if you don't get hurt a little bit? My finger is fine now; it's just annoying to type because I kind of use my index finger a lot. You live and you learn.
My house is wonderful and beautiful and I love it. I was feeling pretty down while staying in the guest house because even though it was very nice and accommodating, it just felt like I was homeless and had no where to put my things. I was very dependent on others for food and water, which is a little annoying.
I went to the market yesterday with one of the college secretaries, Alice, to buy some food for when my stove is in action. Right now the market is still pretty overwhelming to me: lots of people, everyone stares at you, as a white person you get overcharged for everything, it's hard to tell the difference between “good” and “bad” food because you're not used to the food, etc. I was happy Alice came with me, and we talked and she invited me to take a walk around campus in the evening anytime I wanted. Some of the staff have commented I spend too much time in my house, which is the same thing my homestay family said about my room. I try to explain that Americans spend more time by themselves, and I remind myself that I'm integrating at my own pace. It doesn't do well to compare myself to others, and besides, I've only been at site a little longer than a month.
My house has two bedrooms (with mattresses and bed frames) electricity, running water, and dining room and sitting room furniture. I am very thankful for the housing which has been provided to me, though I know I would have been able to adjust and be happy anywhere, I am very comfortable and I think it bodes well for my service (and for any visitors who want to come see me! Talking to you, PCVs downcountry and to my American friends and family).
I got my gas tank for my stove delivered today – my neighbor kept it for me until I got home. I was so freaking excited to cook, so I present to you my first meal. Grilled cheese, an egg, and water. More pictures of my house to come, I promise.
Today was pretty busy; I had a departmental meeting for the math department, where we decided who is teaching what and went over what we expect to accomplish for the year. I was also scheduled to attend a meeting for PES (Professional Education Studies) which was scheduled at the same time, because teaching computers falls under this umbrella. Unfortunately I have not figured out human cloning, self-replication, or time-travel, so I missed that meeting. Seeing as how I'm not teaching computers until term two, I think I'll just speak to the head of the department in the next week when I get a chance.
Tomorrow I'm excited to do laundry and clean my house. Strange? Nope. Clean clothes, a clean house, and not having to leave said house for breakfast are some of the best things here. Even if the curtains on my main window fell down because one of the supports fell out of my wall. It'll work out eventually.
I keep thinking about how sometimes people tell stories about their first apartment or the first place they lived on their own, how it was full of roaches or they had noisy neighbors or it was very very very very small. I keep how thinking about how the story of my first house is going to be different. It will start with, “I was in Uganda.”