Friday, 2 November 2012

Blog Therapy!

I have been in Burundi for 8 weeks now. Just beginning to feel a bit more settled down. Routines beginning to fall into place. So imagine my joy when recently I was informed that I would need to move house! The situation had arisen whereby, the three staff houses, housing 14 staff had become untenable.  3 Houses (2 x 4 bedroom, 1 x 6 bedroom)  2 women each in of the four bedroom houses and 10 men in the 6 bedroom house. Basically, the numbers were against us. So we  were asked if we would mind moving 500m down the road the the other ladies house.

At first we were reluctant. Why can’t the other ladies move up to our house? Then we were persuaded that the other ladies house was in fact much nicer than ours. Trouble is, my aversion to change was not coping well with the logic and reasoning it was being offered. A childish little voice in my head has been wailing, ‘but I just began feeling settled, I like my home, I don’t want to go, I want to stay, I don’t care if it’s nicer...........’

You’d really think that after moving across the world to a new coutry, from one of the richest nations in the world to the eigth poorest, I might actually have got a bit more of a handle on coping with change. But it seems not. There is still a large part of my ‘self’ that clings to anything that can be considered safe and secure.

So, here I am sitting in my new house. Still feeling a bit insecure and unsettled. Here is how the Blog Therapy will work. I am going to write an essay using the following title:

Compare and contrast your old and new dwellings. Evaluate the impact the change in dwellings will have on your extistence.

I will begin by presenting  a visual representation of some of the changes.

The old dwelling will always be the first picture in the pair. Not too much to chose from when looking at the front door of each house.

Front garden comparison, demonstrates significantly more pleasant front garden aspects. New dwelling also features a very pleasant veranda, overlooking the lawn and flower beds.

Rear garden comparison not entirely fair, as old garden picture take during dry season. It also has to be noted that the new garden has a dead cat rotting in the bushes. Not a strong selling point! However, it does not have the attractive rubbish ‘fire’ in the corner.

Living area comparison, not easy to do visually, old dwelling had one sitting area. New dwelling has two sitting areas. Above picture shows the light and airy one. Second area, much darker, but will be useful if residents have visitors. Also as already mentioned, new dwelling has a veranda adjoining the light, airy sitting room.
So far the comparisons have not demonstrated any significant disadvantages to either property. We shall move onto some more important internal considerations.
Moving into a room that though humble, carries much weight in the comfort stakes.

Any Burundians reading this will of course be wanting to point out that in both cases the author should be pleased that either toilet sports a toilet seat. Such luxuries are not to be taken lightly. A toilet seat is to be valued, whatever it’s condition. However, I can attest to the  considerable discomfort of the old dwellings offering. The toilet is not used as an optional extra!
You may be forgiven for perhaps not understanding the significance of this comparison. Old shower, needed to be held to be used. A considerable advantage when taking a cold shower. On the other hand much more labour intensive when applying shampoo or shower gel. New shower can be hung or detached, thus giving the best of both worlds. Old shower also lacked the capacity to fill the bath. No taps, no plug. New bathroom has both! Small point, but  important. Toilet roll holder in old bathroom - edge of the bath. New bathroom has a proper wall mounted purpose built appendage.

Finally, a visual comparison that will serve to represent a number of other issues as well as its own.

The light bulb represents all the lights in the old dwelling. The light fitting in the new dwelling represents a rich variety of shades and fittings. There is a richness and variety in the new house that was somewhat lacking in the old one.
In conclusion then, to evaluate the impact the change in dwelling will have on my life. I think perhaps certain activities will be significantly more comfortable than before! The new dwelling holds much more potential for feeling like a home. Iyou think I will enjoy sitting on the veranda on a sunny afternoon and taking a stroll around the front garden. All in all I think if I can just silence the pathetic child inside me, who keeps bursting into tears because ‘things changed’ this is going to be a change for the better.
So the essence of this Blog Therapy has been to take up my first afternoon in my new home. I have now been here 3 hours and have not suffered with mind numbing boredom. You however, when you read this might not be quite so lucky. At least you can switch off and walk away, if it all gets too much. I am still learning to live without TV and internet at home!!
Thanks for sitting in on my therapy, you’ve really helped.

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