Friday, July 27, 2012

so its over,.. (2 of 4)

>> the staff quarters! so as we all know, for those of us who have been playing along, the construction of the staff quarters went over-budget and over-time, an unimaginable surprise to me! (not really.) let's recap. six of the ten of the staff quarters were burned during the war. the school has solar power now, has plentiful chairs and desks (see my work with the Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund), and strong zinc and general structures. However, there was a shortage of staff quarters. The house assigned for me as the Peace Corps Volunteer was too big (cavernous) with six rooms and a parlor. Most volunteers might have two rooms and a parlor. So, I said, Let's build a staff quarters, I'll move there, and they can put three teachers in this ridiculously big house. We pushed forward and, a huge amount of cement, work, and palm wine later, the staff quarters is finished. I had a rough fence installed (to keep those meddling kids away from my porch) and we step up onto a double-wide veranda. I found that most of my time was spent outside and this veranda is wide enough to allow people to sit opposite each other and (likely) enjoy food and drink. Moving into the parlor, we find it is long and narrow, my day bed already holding habitat there, the chairs and tables nestled together. The walls are yellow (as is the exterior of the house). The house could not be red (APC political party) or green (SLPP political party) or orange (PMDC political party) and my neighbor (the principal) has a blue house, so YELLOW it is! Moving down the main center hallway, we have mirrored rooms on either side, a kitchen (right) and office (left) and then a bedroom (right) and my bedroom (left). The 'tala' mats (woven mats) were installed above (functioning like a drop ceiling). Instead of pricey celotex (think strong cardboard) we went with the woven mats because (they were cheaper!) it is much cooler in the dry season than the celotex. The walls are again yellow yellow yellow. Exiting the back door, we come to the latrine. One of my biggest grievances with Sierra Leone is the lack of hygiene, especially in terms of the latrine / toilet. thusly, i spent some extra money to tile the walls to chest height and the floor. yes, it's a luxury. (it is your author's opinion that your bathroom, where you are naked, should be a clean inviting place, not cringeworthy and dirty). And that's about it. The house is impressive and (in my opinion) just about exactly what a Peace Corps Volunteer should have. This leads us to the opinion of my replacement, which we'll talk about in post #3. i love and miss you all :)

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