Welcome to the Barbie House! This has been our home for the past 2 months and, as strange as it is to show off your home on the internet, I know you're all curious to see how we live here. We moved in here with our friends, Christian and Anne, when we arrived in Nyagatare, and it had already been dubbed "The Barbie House" due to its' fabulous colour. The girls love it!
Come on in!
Our living spaces are large enough for the 7 of us, and we're really happy that Christian and Anne had all this furniture already, because we don't have much yet.
The kitchen. The green walls certainly wake you up in the mornings! Behind me is a huge walk in pantry for all our food and extra bowls, etc.
Our school/play/sewing room. This is a big space and we are in here every day. We're not allowed to hang anything on the walls here, so it looks bare and dull.
The children's room. The three of them have been really happy to share a room together. Being in a new, strange place, it's nice to feel the comfort of others close by.
Our room. Yeah, we sleep on a mattress on the floor. Like I said, we don't have much furniture yet. Note the mosquito nets, a neccesity here.
Our bathroom. Not very pretty, but we are really lucky to have both an indoor toilet/shower, and to have running water in here. We're not complaining. Even without hot water, we are extremely privileged to live here.
Wondering where our washing machine is? We don't have one. Although there are many days I wish we did, the usual way to wash clothes here is to employ someone to do it for you. We've weighed this up quite a lot, but ultimately we can help a family here by giving someone a job. Meet our washing mama. She lives a few houses down from us, and works from day to day to survive, as does her husband. Our laundry takes her only the morning to do, but she earns the same as two full days hoeing in the fields. A happy compromise.
Here is our "new" ute/truck/pick up, whatever you fancy calling it. It's old, and breaks down every second week or so, but it enables us to get around (when it's working!) and to transport stuff, even during the rainy season when the roads are just mud.
Outside the gates. Gates and walls are also a neccesity, unless you want your stuff to get stolen or people to just walk in all the time. They have a group culture here. Whatever one person has is shared with everyone. Sounds lovely and idyllic, perhaps, but has it's downsides like every culture. We also appreciate being able to relax in our garden, as our kids are such a novelty to people here, and it gets pretty tiring being chased around, having your picture taken, or being yelled at.
The road outside our house is just dirt, or mud, depending on the season! It's also a really beautiful place to go walking, especially in the evening when the light is soft and the day's heat has subsided.
If you're lucky, you will see the most beautiful sunset in the evenings, and perhaps even see the mountains of Uganda on the horizon. The sun goes down between 6 and 6.30pm every day, all year round.
We've really enjoyed living here. It has been such a good transition from what we are used back home, and what is actually normal here. This is a total luxury house. There are plastered walls, tiles on the floors throughout the house, a flushable toilet, water connected to the bathrooms and kitchen, a wall and gate, and a lovely garden. The whole outdoor area is paved, which means we don't track in much mud. There is a lovely big verandah on the front of the house, and a little one on the back. Although not perfect, and wonky in places (our bedroom floor is sloped!), this is still a fantastic house.
We have just signed a rental contract for a house in Ryabega, the village where the project is. We are really looking forward to having our own place, and being close enough to the project to walk up and visit. Hopefully it will be ready for us to move in the beginning of June!