Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tired Feet but a Happy Heart!

Standing at the gate in front of our new home
Moving day at last! It finally happened! I still have to pinch myself to make sure that it is true. After 21 months of living in a hospital room we were finally able to move! Its not as if we didn’t try to move before this, it just seemed that every single housing option always fell through. We were only supposed to live in the hospital for a month or two so it was just a wee bit longer than expected. All of us  long-term volunteers would go through phases of trying to wait as patiently as possibly to feeling like we couldn’t handle it for another minute. But through it all we actually did survive (although I now have at least 21 strands of gray hair to prove it).

The housing that we are in is actually still within the hospital compound and just 200 feet or so away from the hospital, but regardless we are out of the hospital and have a fence around our house… so it is still a little haven that isn’t accessible to all people at any hour of the day. There are 2 duplexes and another small house that all 9 of long-term volunteers get to share. It is wonderful because now we can sit on our front porch to enjoy the outdoors and actually get a break between work and home life. I think we all might even be able to regain a little bit of sanity back—maybe.

We went from 250 square feet room and bathroom to something close to double the size. The duplexes we moved into were in major disrepair with no plumbing or electricity so it was a big feat to get them livable. We were supposed to move in the 2nd week in January but for many reasons the construction was not close to being done. They still aren’t perfect but compared to what they were there is no complaining. They are now cute little duplexes that have a little living room, bedroom, bathroom, a nook for a table, and a little kitchen. The kitchen is just of 7x7 feet but to us its seems amazing. We now have a cute little stove and even a sink that our dishes can actually fit in. We don’t have to wash them in the shower anymore! And as I was cooking the other day I realized how comfortable it was to actually cook using a countertop instead of bending over the floor or a low table.

Boxes and boxes of supplies
unloaded from the container
New furniture for the duplexes and
new supplies for the hospital!
So it finally happened, and you know what? The very same day that we started moving our worldly belongings, the shipment container with the housing furniture was finally released out of port and was delivered to the hospital. The very same day!!! If we had tried to plan that we could have never pulled it off, but seriously God’s timing is perfect! We had been waiting months to get it out and if it had come through earlier we wouldn't have had a secure place to put them because the houses weren’t finished yet.  Now we have a little couch, a bed, table and chairs and organizing bins and shelving! It is absolutely wonderful! Plus we were able to get 4 larger fridges in country so we don’t have to all share 1 or try and squeeze our produce into a college dorm room fridge. We are living in mansions now and feel so blessed!

Marc excited about some
of the new equipment.
Another huge blessing about the container is that we didn't have to pay a bribe to keep all our supplies. Once the container arrived and the customs official came to inspect it, he went over the entire list and asked what each item was. Then he wanted to actually look inside every single box. Nathan took me aside and whispered what was going on and said "pray." We all kept silently praying as we unloaded the boxes and then through a miracle the customs official left without demanding to look in every box. What a relief!

It seems like many things are finally starting to fall into place here. There are lots of projects going on and it is a relief to finally actually see some progress. We have now had a few days of “commuting” to work (less than a minute walk) instead of waking up already at work, and let me tell you…it feels great!

Nathan with his adult tinker toys-Ikea furniture
Emily also putting together some Ikea Furniture-
Our fold away table!

After a hard day unloading the container we ordered
pizza from the Auberge

There wasn't room to eat inside our houses with all the boxes
so we sat on the card board boxes and had a picnic in the dark.