Moving house (& still catching up)

Monday 5th November

I am a volunteer with VSO but all entries on this blog are my personal responsibility alone and do not represent the views of VSO.


The big event this week has been moving house. Negotiations about the contracts were still going on but progress was being made – slowly – and it was agreed that we would move on Saturday.

So up early and packed (didn’t take long as I’ve only acquired a few extra things since arriving). Went to my language lesson which was to be the last with this teacher. We hope to arrange more with someone else.

We had help from the VSO office and (crucially) use of their vehicle. We moved everybody’s stuff in a couple of trips and then spent the rest of the day going around buying things for the house – some basic garden type tables and chairs, cooker (electric and gas rings) , various kitchen pots and pans etc, and some bed linen. We caused a stir at one point. As we were driving to the main store, the others spotted a street seller with a garden lounger that they really took a liking to. We stopped the car and ran after him. A policeman and several members of the public thought we were chasing a thief and tried to help. We had to explain that the poor chap had done nothing wrong.

Sunday was spent doing lots more shopping – food and things for the house and in the evening we had our first home cooked meal!

The house is similar in some ways to the guest house, with single rooms (each with bathroom) around a courtyard – all within a secure compound. But it’s smaller – there are seven rooms and because there are 4 of us we are the main occupiers and the kitchen area is just for our use. But of course we have to do things for ourselves here, cleaning, making and changing beds and so on.

The building is actually in 2 parts – on the other side is a family home with its own entrance where the landlord, his wife and children all live. They are from Eritrea as were the people who owned and ran the guesthouse, and a number of other businesses. Before leaving the guest house I was talking to the manager and thanking him for looking after us. He told me something of his story and about living in a number of countries since leaving Eritrea. He and the others there have become friends and we go back there quite often (it’s a 10-15 minute walk).

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