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I am currently living in a volunteer house with 25 people, which is absolutely amazing! I was not expecting anything quite like this. There are rooms inside and then two buildings behind the main building called “the stables.” I live in the girl stables with 7 other girls at the moment but it’s big enough to fit 12. Since it’s not full, we have some of the beds to use as a living room, computer room, and lofts for all of our use. There are cubbies for all of us to use and store our stuff in. I was very organized to begin with but as the week goes on I tend to just throw my clothes into the cubby. It’s beginning to look like my room at home, but at least I’m not the only one.

We’ve made up nicknames for one another and made different nametags to hang on the beds for ourselves. Slowly but surely, this place is beginning to feel more and more like home. I bought a string of stuffed animals to turn into ornaments, since we all know how much I LOVE Christmas. They are hanging by my mosquito net to make it a bit more unique and homey of a space. These beds are quite interesting and comfortable surprisingly. Just today I found out I was sleeping on a piece of foam. It’s quite lovely, as our Manchester gal, Antonia, would say. 


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The stables are very close friends and we all spend a lot of time together, which has been nice. There are quite a few people from Canada, a girl from Manchester, a few Americans from all over the map (New Jersey, Idaho, Colorado, Virginia), quite a few Australians, a guy from Saudi, a guy from Mexico, and a girl from Thailand, Bangkok to be exact living in our entire house. It’s a great group of people I can picture myself being friends with for a long time to come. We’ve already begun talking about trips to take visiting one another and doing various trips with one another. Who knows, maybe we’ll all go to a new place together to volunteer again!

It’s amazing to me to think that I have only known these individuals a week and am already such great friends with them. We’ve had so many great adventures already and I am beginning to fall in love with this place. The house is amazing and the mamas are so great. They cook and clean for us and teach us Swahili here and there. It’s hard to imagine people do this, but even here people leave their dishes sitting around. Reminds me of the deeg haha! All the different aspects of this house are very similar to living at the deeg and make me miss all of my friends there. I’ll have to send a little letter to all of you soon! :) It feels like I never left the deeg!


There is a lawn here and large sitting areas. We like to use the patio furniture cushions to lie on the lawn and moon bathe to look at the stars. It’s amazing how clear the sky is here and how many stars I can see. I even fell asleep underneath them for a bit last night. For laundry we have to use a bucket and hand wash everything to hang on the line. I know what you’re all thinking, I probably wash my clothes all the time here like I do at the deeg. To your all’s surprise, I have not and do not plan to wash my clothes for at least another 2 weeks. It’s acceptable to only shower 1 or 2 times a week here. After all, the water is usually freezing or scolding hot if we even have hot water. Gosh I can’t wait to be back in the states for a great, warm shower with amazing water pressure. It feels like the water is just trickling out of the shower here. Can’t complain though as I have a shower compared to a bucket shower I was expecting. It’s a great house with many memories to come in it! Hope the pictures ease your mind Mom on where I am living. 
We are in a great neighborhood and our security guys are great! Emmanuel cracks me up. Every time we say “mambo” (hello in Swahili) to him, he responds in an identical tone with “poa.” It’s quite entertaining especially when we come home from a night out on the town. Thomas is a bad ass and has two Massai burns on his face to represent the lions he has killed. Rama is a sweetheart and always making sure we are safe. Aichi is our main house mama who is always teaching us new Swahili words and helping us get better. Her and the mamas are even letting us make French toast tomorrow for breakfast!

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The food is interesting and consists of mostly rice and vegetables/beans in a weird sauce. Let’s just say I am eating pretty plainly. The pineapple is amazing here though! Going back to the deeg’s fruit is going to be difficult after this.  The weather here is paradise and I am enjoying each and every moment of it! Even the mosquito net I sleep in is an experience but one I don’t mind at all! 



With love from Africa,

Lauren

 





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