On arriving to site, I found that my house was comprised of 8 sticks poking out of the ground. Every volunteer is supposed to have their own house, so Peace Corps told my village they had a week to finish building mine before they pulled me out and found me a new site. The process is still ongoing and has taken more than a week, but through the mistake, I've been able to help build my own house from the ground up, as well as interact with my community in a way I never otherwise would have been able to. My house is also made out of half modern, half custom materials, ideal for Vanuatu weather. It's concrete floor, half bamboo walls, and Natangora leaf thatched roof will keep the house cool during sweltering days. Which, in my opinion, makes my house well worth the wait. Below are the pictures that illustrate the journey of my kitchen and my house in their construction.
Those eight polls, and the frame of my kitchen behind it
Mixing cement for my half bamboo, half concrete walls
Structure is up
They removed wood from part of the school to temporarily hold the cement walls until they dried
Bringing over bags of dirt for the foundation
The battlefield. Two mice and one very large spider have already attempted to claim my house
The view from my backyard
Some Mama's thatching up pieces of my roof. It's made from Natangora tree leaves and is basically sewn together.
Proof that I did work
The kids hanging out in my kitchen
The finished kitchen. To tie each piece of roof up, we went further up the hill to gather the inside "rope" of long branches grown out of certain trees.
My wash house
My brother and Papa taking a break "spel smol"
The roof going up!
Yes, those are nails in his hair
Yes, those are nails in his beard. Yes, he is looking away from me because he's terrified of heights and I made him pose for a picture
Sitting in my room, hoping it doesn't rain
That gap in the roof would be why I'm hoping against rain
So close! Next up: bamboo walls and concrete floor
Work begins with sunrise, ends with sunset...two out of seven days of the week. The other five are for resting, obviously.