It was after 1 a.m. when I arrived at my new home in Uganda on August 1. The sight of the towering house literally took my breath away, and I was shocked as I was then shown to my very own bedroom and bathroom after walking through the giant living room and eating area.
I certainly didn’t expect to live in a hut. My adventure in Africa would be teaching high school English at an international school in city of more than a million people. I knew my place would be decent, and I certainly didn’t expect it to be primitive. However I also didn’t expect it to be really nice.
Housing here is so strange. The school takes care of our housing, but not all housing was created equal. For three months I have lived in a two-story house with two girls. We each had our own bedroom and bathroom. We had house help six days a week. We had double beds, large bedrooms, a huge kitchen and a nice yard. Other people have tiny apartments, twin beds, bedrooms less than half the size of mine, and house help only twice a week. I’m not blaming the difference in housing on the school, but it is pretty extreme, because they have to take what they can afford and what is close to school.
While the house is beautiful, it isn’t my ideal living space. I have always wished I lived closer to school, and I’m definitely not bonding with the dog I’ve been forced to live with. Simba is a great guard dog, but he causes me more stress than he’s worth, even though I try to pretend he doesn’t exist.
As I mentioned about a month ago, my friend Katrina left Uganda. Her leaving here opened a space in one of the apartments closer to school. The opening would be with my friend Ashile, from America, and the new girl taking Katrina’s spot is Dutch. Lots of wheels were turning in everyone’s mind as we realized how this could work out great for all of us- where Ashlie wouldn’t have to have a roommate she didn’t know, and the new Dutch girl could have Dutch roommates. And yes- I could be closer to school and not have to deal with the dog.
Yesterday was moving day. I moved to a smaller apartment, smaller bed, smaller bedroom, and I’ll be sharing a bathroom. But to be honest, the great house I was living in isn’t what I ever expected to have here. I’m happy to make the sacrifice of moving into a smaller place. In the end, I think it’s exactly what I need for the rest of my time here in Uganda.
I’ll certainly miss Debby and Elize, but I look forward to new adventures with Ashlie and our awesome neighbors!
Here are some more pictures of my new home here in Uganda: