I arrived in Nick’s village with both Nick and Cole shortly before the sun started going down. The village was filled with clay roads, green plants, and lots of animals and children running around. It was basically the kind of village that I think of when I envision Africa.
The 5 Princeton students (Jessica, Kathleen, Aria, Cole & Nick) all stayed in different compounds close to each other, but they joined together to eat and hang out the Chief’s compound, which is where Nick lives. The compound consisted of about ten rooms forming a square with open air in the middle and concrete floors. Towards the back, there was a kitchen that had a fire going and some pots and pans around the floor. Unlike Mercy Ships, there was no stove or oven or any other kind of electrical appliance.
To the left of the kitchen, there was a room where showers were taken. And by showers, I mean a bucket of water and a cup to pour the water over your head! A little further left is where I brushed my teeth…I took a cup of water, poured some on my toothbrush and over the hole in the floor, brushed my teeth and spit the foam by the hole, then rinsed it down with the rest of the water from the cup.
To the right of the kitchen was the toilet…which I also got to use. The toilet was a hole in the ground. End of story : )
Nick’s room was the one closest to the toilet. To get from one room to another, you had to walk outside, so the entire unit was not your typical house in the states. In fact, Nick’s room was one of the nicer ones because it had a light in it! But there was no fan or air conditioning, so we found it most comfortable to sleep on the floor and keep the windows open. I heard roosters and sweeping all night long. Again, a true African experience : ) Here’s what his room looked like:
On Sunday morning, the three girls showed me around the town a little bit more and let me see some of the schools that they worked at:Jessica told me that her neighbor wanted to meet me, so we went to her compound and talked to some of her neighbors…including the cutest little kids:
(After taking this picture, I showed it to them, and I don’t think that they have ever seen a picture of themselves, because the little boy on the right got the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen. The three of us busted out laughing.)
Before I knew it, it was time to go home. I wish I could have stayed longer, because the village and all the people within it were so sweet. Maybe one day I’ll end up living in a village much like that one…showers and all.