Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home sweet home. I pray to god this is the last one.

Generally in PC, people have health problems or they have housing problems. Those are the two of the biggest annoyances that plague volunteers, and it's impossible to go two years without one of these two becoming an issue. Be it guardia that just won't quit, or a land lord that scams the electric company and tries to peg you for the bill when they get caught. (That's for you, Rick.) This is the reality. I however, have been served up a double dose of reality this past year. Not only have I had any number of health ailments that I don't like to describe to my doctor let alone on this blog, but I have had a hell of time finding stable housing.
First one on the right



I put up a post a long time ago about my living quarters in Paraguay. That first place was great but lasted all of 4 months. I got kicked out because the land lady told me she was going to sell the house. The house has not been sold and I believe that room remains empty.

Then there was the big two bedroom mansion with tile floor and back yard, although I did have some very unwelcomed roommates. That place ended when the land lord wanted to raise the rent after my not agreeing to be his girl on the side. This place too remains empty. He has since told me that he would again lower the rent if I moved back in. My answer was something akin to "go fuck yourself."

Then there was the emergency apartment, I like to call Cell Block D.
Cell Block D. Mine is the one with the door open
It was a single room in a row of 4 similar cells, about the size of a dorm. I slept, cooked, ate and even worked out and in a few square meters. I could almost touch two sides of the room at the same time. Clearly my expectations had hit rock bottom. It was my 4th "house" in Campo 9 in less than a year, but despite it's drawbacks, the first that didn't give me extreme grief. The shared bathroom sucked, and it was really fucking small, but there were lots of fruit trees and the land lady was really nice. That's hard to beat. However, one morning I woke up and just couldn't take it anymore so I moved on.

My whole life at my finger tips. 

Then finally! Oh finally! I found what I hope to be the one. A cute two room (one bedroom, living room) house in my friend's back yard. It's newly built and has some real perks.
Now that I look at it, is the roof slanted?
The water has been the most stable of any of my homes. It hasn't gone out once since I moved in a month ago. It has a ceiling, not just a roof. You have no idea how much this helps with temp control. Plus, it has space for me and people other than me! That's a huge improvement from cell block D. My land lady is a friend of mine, so I know I'm getting a fair price, and the likelihood of being kicked out for a vague reason is pretty low.

I've already put a lot of work into this place. I made a table and benches from salvaged wood. I spend most of my time sitting in that yellow chair, working on the computer or eating. I bought a new mattress so the old one went to make one of the benches a couch. Super clutch. TBD if the second bench will ever get padding.

I do have a real bed. No more sleeping in my tent. I even upgraded the mattress. It now fits me and Mo on the bed comfortably, and I can't feel any of the slats of the bed frame underneath me. Talk about luxury. I still just use my sleeping bag as a cover, but I know people in the states who do that. They are named Zack.

The kitchen is just a table and a two burner stove/ oven. The burners are really fancy, they have two settings, on and off. They only shock me every once in a while, and the oven seems to be just fine. Nonetheless, I've already started cranking out some pretty decent meals.

It is amazing how space can affect your mood. My general joy has noticeably increased since entering this house. I feel like I can breath for the first time in a long time. I've already hosted my first party. I had maybe the only Peace Corps party where guys outnumbered girls. It was for my regional volunteer group and apparently Peace Corps decided the eastern frontier lands are best suited for guys, Julia and I being the only two chicks in this group closest to the border with Brazil.

Mostly I'm excited to feel settled. I haven't felt settled in a long time, maybe ever. Even before the roller coaster of PC I hadn't had a single address for 365 days since leaving high school. I hope that I can make the most of this place for the next year, and please, visitors are welcomed.

The view out my front door.