We lived in a homestay for the first week, allowing me to take a break from cooking three squares a day for my hungry teens. The family was very kind and welcoming, a couple with grown children, living in a large home with eight rooms to rent (not all occupied). Our two rooms were on the second floor, with a terrace overlooking the volcanoes and hills in the southeast of the city.
After a week we had to move, since the price of housing and meals for a family of four was more than we could justify for long. We found a house in a family compound near the center of the city, which seems to be ideal. The family who owns the compound lives next door with their four children, allowing us more interaction with teens. Around our house are flowering orchids, geraniums, and lots of greenery. The house has 2 bedrooms, a large dining room (with overflow sleeping space) and living room. There is a modem so that we can get internet access. What could be better? It is true that the setup is simpler than most North Americans would accept at home, with a kitchen sink that leaves a huge puddle by the back door, a daily pile of termite dust in the living room, and no reading lights. But there is electricity! And hot water! So we are very happy. It’s great to be living in the community, where we can experience daily life, from loud music to the roosters that wake us up each morning, to the firecrackers which are set off morning and evening.
Pictures of our house to come!