I have spent the past few days getting situated. I've unpacked, done a lot of laundry, cooked a little. My first cooked meal was oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins. I used Jungle Oats to make it, which is the brand of oats sold here in Malawi. I've also been drinking a lot of tea. During homestay, I acquired the daily habit of morning tea. My amayi insisted upon it. (Although "tiyi" was a loose term, and could refer to anything from actual tea to coffee to hot water with sugar in it). Here, I am drinking locally available black tea that is grown here in Malawi.
After living with a host family for two months, it is nice to be able to stay in my pajamas a little later, wear trousers around the house, and sing along to music as loud as I care to.
My house is made of mud bricks, with a tin roof and cement floors. Outside, there is a kitchen area and a bathing area, both made of mud bricks. And of course, the outdoor chimbudzi (pit latrine). Best of all, I have a view of the mountains from my front porch. And they are beautiful.
I replaced a volunteer who just completed his service, so the house came already furnished because he left all his stuff for me. (I inherited the bowl in the above photo, as well as the spoon.) So when I walked in the door it already felt like a home. Soon it will feel like my home too.
I thought I would be living alone, but it turns out I have flatmates! Here is one of them now, up near the roof:
I saw three of these lizards yesterday crawling on the wall. I also met another flatmate last night-- a gray, furry little mouse. He was squeaking and doing some kind of scritch-scratching under my bed, but I haven't figured out what he is up to yet.
It's been raining here, which is amazing after the drought back home and then arriving in time for the dry season in Malawi. It is very green here in the Mulanje district, so I am hoping that means we get rain more consistently throughout the year.
I think I am going to enjoy living here for the next two years.