A Tale of Two Houses

Thursday Morning.

So, wow. A new house. Morning two in the first house of our own. I don’t think it is very common for newly married couples, especially those right out of school to get to move into a four bedroom house only a little over a month after they are married. It is something new.

I’ve set up house before, but that was by myself, and in Kenya. And in Kenya things were a little different. I had a large entry room, and a decent sized bedroom, and a tiny kitchen, and a space to bathe and a storage space. The chimney leaked.

The chimney leaks in this house, but it is a little different, here if it leaks, there is a trickle, but in my house in Kenya, I had a puddle in my kitchen for a few days after a rain.

Eyah, I need to give the floors a good mopping, but that is because I like to walk around barefoot. I’m sure that I won’t have to work as hard as the house in Kenya, where when I got home from Christmas vacation, I found that my house had flooded, and there had been four inches of standing water in my house for an unknown amount of time. There was still a puddle under my bed when I found it. I had to mop my floors seven times just to get all the mud up. This is nothing.

We need to buy a bed and some other things to make it the way we want it, but in my house in Kenya, I had to go to a fundi and order each individual piece of furniture to be made. No Ikeas in Kajiado. I designed my couch, because the couches in Kenya are really either cushioned benches or overstuffed and weird things on which to sit. So I told the new fundi that I wanted him to string tire rubbers as the seat of the couch, to give it some spring. It really was a very comfortable place to rest after a trying day.

My bed in Kenya was a “full” bed, which really is just the most common mattress size, and the fundi was more than willing to make it plenty big. The mattress was just the right size, I had to push it into the frame to make it fit. Since I was designing, I also asked for a simple frame to go over the head and foot boards so that I could hang my mosquito net from it. It was great to have, though the men who set my bed up in my house thought the mosquito net went over the frame, and I quickly had to both stop them, and to prove I wasn’t crazy, string it up with some spare yarn that was on my suitcase. That was the last time a Kenyan man was in my bedroom. I had to go to the market to buy a blanket, that was scratchy, but I had a sheet set that I brought from the US to use with it, so it was ok. And very good for the nights that got below 60 degrees.

Here in this house I have a new bed, that has a beautiful new quilt on it and luxurious and soft sheets on it, and a handsome man sleeping in it. My husband, of course.

This bed is new to us, rather, it was in the basement of our new house, and though it is not what the former pastors used, it is sufficient for my husband and me to use until we save enough for a new one.

In Kenya, I had  four light bulbs, one for each quadrant of the house. That includes over the store and the bafu. (The bafu was the rectangular closet/alley in my house with a pipe running from the corner of the floor to the outside. That is where I bathed for a year and a half. Here we have a great shower.) I also had a single electrical socket. I ran a power strip for the toaster oven and the water heating wand and my computer. There wasn’t really anything else that required power in my house.

It seems that here we have had to use more power cords and extension cords than are believable. It is amazing the kind of tech that a couple of people can bring with them.

We have more space in this house than we really need, but we are steadily filling up the spaces and living into them. Though I lived alone in my house in Kenya, I had neighbors that lived in the other side of the duplex. Remember when I had two and two halves rooms? A family of four lived in the same space next door. My husband and I have easily six times the space that I did in Kenya. And running water, and numerous outlets in each room. The only problem I seem to have here is a desire for more kitchen counter space because I have so many kitchen toys. And I do like to cook.

Two houses. Two countries. And now two people living together figuring out how to work with each other and set up a house for the first time together. What a fun adventure.


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