These are some photos of the new house I moved into recently. It is super big and is full of what passes for super upper class furniture would be in Somaliland. As you can see the couches and chairs and my bed are a little ridiculous and covered in elaborate designs, but are make out of cheap wood and particle board painted to look like mahogany. Plastic chandeliers that are painted in gold in every room. The tiled floors are actually pretty nice. It lacks the same sense of design that the other house had and uses space a lot less efficiently, but the place is massive and that definitely makes up for it.
I chose my room because of the giant bed. The crappy bed I had before was throwing my back all out of whack and now I almost feel guilty at the massive comfortable bed I get. I originally wanted a room on the roof that had a balcony, which Josephine is in, but the balcony wasn’t nearly as comfortable as it originally looked and there’s apparently a lot of dust. There is a giant rooftop area where we have BBQs (camel and goat meat and sometimes fried bananas with nutella smeared inside) and cheap Ethiopian gin when we can get it (which is almost never). Pierre and Josephine have rooftop rooms and there’s a bathroom upstairs. Then on the bottom floor there is a dining room, living room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms.
I’m really enjoying the people I live with right now. Pierre (from France) helps me practice my French; Josephine (from Germany) is a pro at Somali and seeing someone who works at HALO, which means we get to see those guys pretty frequently and they’re really cool and have some great stories; Peter Chonka (UK) started the English program last year and speaks great Somali as well and is a general legend throughout Hargeisa. He was back in England last semester and people would always yell “where is Peter!” at us whenever we walked around the city. Shawn (Chicago) arrived the most recently and is a nice guy, we plan on travelling together soon. Brandon (California) sort of keeps to himself but is easy enough to get along with. We have dinner together every night (we have a cook) and meet at the old house, but most of the old house people either eat in their rooms or do their own thing for dinner and it always seems to be our house plus James (UK) eating in their livingroom. We make lunch together and cook on Friday’s when the cook has the day off. The internet doesn’t really work outside of the livingroom so we’re all pretty huddled around our laptops or grading in the evening.
Josephine has been working hard on turning the yard into a garden, which is developing really nicely. I’m told we’ll soon get our herbs from there and it’s just good to have practical work in general going on. Speaking of which, Pete and I built a ping pong table which is only lacking a net before it adds to our activities. Sean built some horse shoes and we’ve been playing that from time to time as well. We’re generally all pretty busy, but manage to relax and hang out together and generally keep one another sane.