Meeting my new house...

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Benin  ,
Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Breakfast was an omelet, bread and hot chocolate...very good actually. I don't usually like hot chocolate, but it actually tasted good...compared to the fake coffee I usually get in the mornings (Nescafe).

9ish, Augustine showed up and we went to view my house...I didn't realize that was what we were going to do, so I didn't bring the paperwork I was supposed to fill out along.

I was really confused when I got there and the landlord showed me some place that needed a lot of repairs...and then he said I wouldn't even be living here. He said I'd be living next door to his building after the current tenants move out. They were supposed to be moving out a month after I move into town. I didn't really believe that I'd be moving into that other place; especially after he makes (supposedly) all the repairs to the place he showed me.

The place I'm supposed to be temporarily has 2 rooms. There is electricity, but the lights are just dangling wires...he said he's going to fix that.... There is not running water; which isn't a PC requirement, so that's ok....I guess....I'll just have to deal with it. (There is a well I can get water from for laundry and bathing, and there is a faucet a block up for drinking water.) The spot designated for my bucket baths has dirt for the floor; PC rules state cement is needed. The ceiling is just the roof, there is not drop-down part in between; PC rules require a drop-down section (a plafond). He said he's going to cement the ground for the bath area...and as for the plafond, the other spot I'm going to be living in has one, so I can just live with out it temporarily... uh huh... Oh, and there is no screen on the windows or screen doors, and he said he's going to put that up too before I come back in a month.

In America, it's possible for all of these changes to be done in a month...but in Benin, people are not ambitious...they don't work efficiently to get stuff done. That's why I'm so doubtful about all these changes getting done.

It also scares me that there is a room attached to the back of my 2 rooms that is padlocked shut and he didn't want to take time to open...he said it was my cuisine area (similar to a cellar). So, it's probably really dirty in there at the moment. He didn't show me the latrine either...which is on the other side of the "yard"/driveway.

Tomorrow, I have to come back, because I need to fill out some forms regarding the status of my housing situation. (The forms I would have brought had I known we were going to visit my house.)

After my house visit, Augustine and I went to the marche to walk around. It was Marche Day, so everything was hustling and bustling. It seems like a decent market, so I should be able to get whatever I need there....if not, Cotonou isn't that far away.

I met a lot of people that I'll be working with during my walk around the marche. Everyone seems nice, and glad that I'm here. That's encouraging.

After the walk, it was time for repo and lunch. The hours of 12:30 to 3 are always resting time...can't complain about that. I slept for 2 hrs. It rained, so that was very relaxing. Augustine was supposed to come and get me at 4, but because of the rain she didn't come until about 5:30..so repo was really long. I ended up sitting with the coiffeuse's 16! apprentices and visiting with them.

Augustine and I were going to go to the local radio station to look around, but since it rained and we got delayed, it was too late to do that. So, instead we walked around the mid/high school campus. It's where my post-mate will be teaching English.

Augustine showed me my post-mates house (comparable to mine, except her's doesn't need repairs to be done...lol). I also got to meet the host family that my post-mate stayed with, as they are friends of my Homologue's.

After that short little excursion, I went back to my host family's house for dinner. Visited with the family a bit, and then went to bed.
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