Extreme Makeover Home Edition

After spending some time in Lusaka, I have finally moved to Kitwe and am starting to settle down. As per the agreement with GHC, CHEP is providing housing for me and Mwansa. They have a large compound facility with offices, a training center, and hostel rooms to house guests that come for workshops.

Mwansa and I are housed in the hostel rooms, each of us with a separate room. I must admit that upon first seeing this living arrangement I was a little taken aback. My room had two twin beds pushed together, a large closet, a bathroom (minus a shower curtain), an ironing board and iron, a small desk, and a coffee table. I did not think I would be living in a hotel/dorm room for an entire year – am I back at NCSSM? Realizing this, CHEP outfitted both rooms with TVs, mini refrigerators, and hotplates to help make them more suitable for long-term accommodation.

I appreciated the gesture, but the first few nights without power I saw no use in anything. I didn’t even unpack. On Tuesday, though, Mwansa and I headed to Mukuba Mall and became serious about settling into our new home. I bought bathroom rugs, a purple shower curtain, giftwrap to put on the walls to prevent stains from when I actually use the hotplates, power strips, snacks, food, and more (Thank you, PEP and Shoprite).

And when I got back to the room, I started rearranging. Any roommate I’ve ever had knows I love maximizing space in my room. And let’s be honest, do I really need two twin beds? Not at all. So I kindly asked CHEP to remove one, and after explaining that, no, I was not expecting any boyfriends from the U.S. and that, yes, there was plenty of room left for anyone else who would visit, they obliged. I now have a kitchen/pantry setup near the fridge, a sleeping area near the bed, an office space at the desk, and a full living room area near the TV. And, yes, I did do all of this rearranging by candlelight. I’ll be a pro soon!

My new place only requires a few more adjustments (such as Wi-Fi and passing the GHC housing checklist) and unpacking, of course, before I can call it my new home!


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