This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Monday, October 09, 2006

9th October 2006

So about 30 seconds after I published my last blog, things (of course) changed. And then 24 hours after that, things changed again. Leland and I are now living in one of the most beautiful apartments in all of Vila da Sal Rei. I walk about 10 minutes to the high school, and can now officially cook my own meals. Now for the story....

Literally 30 seconds after I clicked the "Publish Post" button, Leland gets a call from his immediate boss at the Peace Corps (his name is Aguido and he is Leland's boss the way Yonis is mine). We had been looking at several apartments but they had all been one bedroom. One we had looked at came fully furnished, including a futon in the living room/kitchen. Leland didn't really want to go to Jão Galego, and if you read his blog, that is evident. So he and Aguido discussed all the ways it was possible for us to stay in Vila almost at any cost. Leland told Aguido that if it came down to it, he even wouldn't mind sleeping on the futon until our permanent apartment is finished (it is in the building process, but with things moving and changing the way they do around here, we are not even considering guessing when it may be finished. They say 2 weeks, but we'll see). It has always been the plan to find temporary housing until this permanent apartment is finished. It is more in the middle of town, and we will have Cape Verdean neighbors, which is good.

Anyway...So we started to set things in motion on moving into a one bedroom apartment, with Leland on the futon. But by the time we decided this, the one bedroom apartment had already been rented out!! We then get a call from the Safety and Security Director of Cape Verde saying he is coming in the next day with the regional Safety and Security Director. The two of them, in three days, were going to find us a house. Lovely. So we spend all day Friday looking at houses and talking with several landlords about pricing and all that, etc. Housing in Peace Corps is usually done with the bare minimum. They usually rent out a cheap house or apartment, and furnish it themselves. They promise us volunteers a bed, a refrigerator, a table and four chairs, and a two burner stove. But anything outside of that we have to save up and purchase for ourselves. Needless to say, there are no cheap apartments here. Not yet anyway. So the only two bedroom apartment my Security guys could find was a tourist one that comes fully furnished with pots and pans and everything. And get this!! a washing machine. Ha!! Peace Corps is paying a ridiculous amount of money for this apartment and I will admit that even Leland and I were slightly ashamed to be living here (by the way I will upload pictures, hopefully tomorrow). The rent is about equal to $700 a month, which is over twice the usual maximum Peace Corps allows for rent. But we can finally cook! And we have a balcony with an amazing view and a fully stocked kitchen. But it is only temporary, until we move into our more Peace Corps-like apartment.

So that is the situation. Leland is ecstatic that we didn't have to move to Jão Galego. I have to admit I was slightly disappointed, especially because now we don't have any neighbors and we are living in a tourist apartment which doesn't help our image any. But I can't complain because it is a beautiful and convenient place to live. And I can cook :)


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