Angie discusses the development of our home…
When we arrived to Khaling, we had our pre-bought items from Thimphu and the bed frame left by the home owners. We had bought the essential mattress and luxury appliance items, but had started with no furniture or decorations that make a house feel more like a home.
Slowly, we have acquired items, hung items and just made the house feel a bit more comfortable.
For the living room, we are unable to use the bed frame as an actual bed because the mattress is too long to fit, however, it has made a well-sized couch. We have hung pictures and tried to decorate the walls to add a bit of ourselves to the atmosphere. The school gave us a few tables and chairs, so we have an eating table and desk.
In the bedroom, we have made it as cozy and comfortable as possible. Our mattress lays on the floor, which isn’t bad, unless the snakes come in as rumoured to occur in monsoon season. We took a workbench from outside our home and made it into our shelf for clothes. We’ve used a big box to make myself a ‘vanity’ as I like to call it. It makes it feel a bit fancy despite it being just a box with a cloth on it. We were very sad to lose our friend Carmelita back to Canada, however, her curtains have really helped our bedroom feel more comfortable.
The kitchen has been filled continually. The shelving space seems too little for all of our items, as it needs to serve as a shelf, work space and pantry. However, it seem to be working okay. A suggestion from another BCF teacher was to use a bucket top as our dish rack, and it seems to be a practical usage for the lid. Sometimes, creativity is key for making what is needed. Our kitchen also contains a bit of luxury – a fridge and oven. They are both extremely useful here.
Finally, the wonderful bathroom. We have a squat toilet, which shortens you time you spend in the room. The tap to the left is what we use for our bathing. We fill a bucket with cold tap water, then wait 30-45 minutes while the immersion heater warms the water. Bucket bathing isn’t as bad as it originally seemed. We are still able to bathe daily and have gotten used to the situation. Again, creativity was needed to come up with some ‘shelving’ for our shower items. A few rocks, bricks and pieces of wood do the trick.
In our 4 bedroom house, we use 1 room as our bedroom, the 2nd room we hang our kiras and ghos on rope strung between the windows, the 3rd room serves as our laundry drying room with only rope strung throughout, and the 4th room serves as our trash and random junk collecting room. The house would probably be better used by a large family, but it’s ours for now, and so this is how it will be.
On the outside of our lovely abode, the fields have turned from dry brown into beautiful green from all the rain and crops. Brett had successfully built a garden, and we are looking forward to the results. We brought zucchini and beetroot seeds from the USA, which Khaling does not have, and they are growing great. We are hoping these are vegetables we can leave here, which the people will continue to harvest.
It feels as though we have successfully turned our house into a home. It is a comfortable place to be, as well as a retreat.