Tuesday, December 27, 2005

About Amy's house and school (email excerpts and pictures)

Anker- is a small place. They told me that it's 2000 people including the surrounding countryside, but I think that the surrounding countryside might be a couple of kilometers in either direction. This is what Anker has - a primary school, a clinic, a police office, a traditional leader's office, a Catholic church, A Lutheran church, two "supermarkets" (which sell cornmeal, sugar, and coke), and five bottle shops (bars).

Other than that, Anker has houses, goats and donkeys. Most of the houses in Anker are traditional. They are rectangular, built out of sticks fitted close together and then covered in a mixture of dung and mud. Some of them have thatch roofs, but most of them have corrugated tin for the roofs.

The principal and his family took me out to their farm and I saw the communal grazing area, where anyone can graze their goats or donkeys. Donkey carts seem to be one of the main forms of transportation in Anker. They look like two or four wheel carts and they usually have two donkeys pulling them.

My house in Anker is quite nice. It's in a block of government houses which are built for teachers, so connected to my house on either side is a neighbor's house. You enter the front yard through a gate that's made of sticks strung together with wire. The front yard isn't much to look at.

I think I'm going to try to paint the front of the house and plant a garden (I'm thinking that onions and carrots will grow well in the sandy soil). There is a little front step area with a sink (which is common to see in Namibia).

When you enter the front door you come into the kitchen. The kitchen sink is on your left hand side and on your right is the cupboard (only one, but I won't have that many dishes so it works out). Next to the cupboard is the refrigerator (small, but I won't have that much to refrigerate anyway). All of the milk is UHT super pasteurized so you can put it on the pantry shelf until you want to use it. The fridge also has a freezer on the bottom where I can keep ice water (a necessity), ice cream, or meat).

On the far wall is my stove/oven. It is tiny and from what I hear you can only turn one of the burners on at a time and you shouldn't even think of trying to use a burner and the oven. I think I'll be cooking a lot from scrap. You can get the staples really easily-rice, potatoes, flour, pasta, sugar, yeast, etc. are all cheap and easy to find. You can get special foods and prepared food on occasion, but they're expensive and you have no guarantee that you'll find them again.

From the kitchen you go back into the house and you find the living/dining room. It's a really great room. It has lots of windows that look out onto the back yard (which is much prettier than the front yard) and it's a bright, airy room. It has a table and two chairs, and a bed that serves as a couch. The girl who was there before me left a blanket spread like a table cloth across the table and she left a really cool wall cloth and hanging on the wall, so it looks nice.

As you come into the living room my bedroom door is on the right had wall and there is a hallway that comes off of the wall behind you. My bedroom is beautiful. It also has a view of the back garden and the volunteer who was there left me a bunch of stuff. As you come into the room the bed is in the middle and there is a large wardrobe at an angle in the right corner. There are also two low tables. The last volunteer left me a bunch of books and magazines, some tea, a CD player, and a bunch of random stuff.

The hallway off the living room goes to the other bedroom, which I think I will use for storage as it is one of the most depressing rooms I've ever seen. It's painted a dark shade of forest green and it has a broken bed without a mattress and a couple of boxes of junk in it.

On that same hallway there's also the bathroom and the sink/shower room. The toilet is in one room and in the room next to it there is a porcelain sink and a pipe that comes out of the wall that serves as a shower. I think one of my first jobs is going to be trying to track down a shower head and then trying to attach it to this pipe.

That's the inside of my house. The back garden has a shaded porch (and the volunteer who was there before left me a rope swing that I can hang from it. It has some hedges and a tree and a clothes line. That's my house.

The school is shaped like a U. It has five classrooms on one side and five classrooms on the other side. At the end of the school there are three rooms- the Principal's office, the head of department's office, and the supply room. There are no hallways, just shaded cement walkways. In the middle of the U there is a sun shade made out of corrugated tin and logs that they use for morning assembly. They also have some flowering hedges. Nine of the classrooms are being used for classes- grades one through seven, two grade ones and two grade fives (apparently because so many grade fives failed last year and had to take it over.) One of the rooms is used by the library.

No comments: