A house with pillars, pineapples and a mango tree!

We had been told that from the outset that our initial accommodation in ‘Sonia’s House’ would only be until the end of September. However we rather took it with a pinch of salt and thought it was most likely that we would remain there until I leave at the beginning of December and then Mark would move in with John, who is now living alone in ‘Dorothy’s House’.

At 4.30 on Friday afternoon, just as I was recovering after a day spent chasing a green card, there was a knock on the door and we were presented with a bunch keys to our ‘new house’, and could we move out tomorrow!

Saturday morning and we were up at the crack, packing our bags, and shifting the VSO furniture a couple of hundred yards down the track to our new home. We had to move  everything by hand but Claude, our domestique, and Jean Pierre, a neighbour and chargé d’affaires for education in a neighbouring sector, gave us a helping hand.

Between the four of us it only took a couple of hours but it was hot and thirsty work and following the move we were in desperate need of a Fanta Coca or icyai n’amata (sweet tea made with hot milk – not my bag! ) at Innocent’s Cafe where he took the opportunity to offer us an impromptu Kinyarwanda lesson which we could have managed without!

Claude was a gem, working all day on what is normally a day off, mopping out the rooms, hanging mosquito nets etc  so we paid him double his usual daily rate and charged it to VSO expenses given they should really have provided us with a removal service. Claude’s face lit up and he asked if we needed him tomorrow!

The new house is adjacent to the recreation area and Nyakarambi School, and slightly nearer to town. It’s quite impressive looking from the front with four pillars supporting a portico and a large garden full of pineapple plants, although it doesn’t look as if they are likely to mature any time soon.

To the rear the back the garden is just bare earth and nowhere near as nice as the planted courtyard area at ‘Sonia’s House’, although we do have a mango tree.

Inside there is a kitchen, living area, dining area, two bathrooms and eight bedrooms! It is far too big for the two of us really, so we have shut off one wing and still have plenty of space to spread out.

My bedroom is twice the size of my previous one and amazingly has a built-in wardrobe, of sorts, so I no longer have to hang my clothes from the curtain rail.

The only down side at the moment concerns the water supply(what a surprise!), which has to be switched on and off at the bottom of the garden. We aren’t able to leave it on permanently because of a faulty tap in the kitchen which can’t be isolated and constantly pours out water.

I wonder how long it will take to get a Rwandan plumber in to fix it!

One Response

  1. Awww – I want Claude to be my friend! He sounds lovely. Well done on the expenses. I’ve been rinsing mine for cabs and drinks in The Smoke recently (a different world, I know!)

    I have such a clear idea in my head of where you are and what you are doing. Can’t wait to see how the align with/differ from the reality when I see you photos at Xmas!

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