Snapshot: Shelter (Part One)

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is “what is your house like?”, or something to this effect. Do we have electricity? Do we have plumbing? What is the roof or what are the walls made out of? You get the idea. For this reason, I thought it would be interesting to share with you about our home, as well as the homes of our local friends around here. I’ll share some photos – and NO, I did not clean my house, so welcome to our real world!

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I finally added some family photos to our living room area! (It only took me about two years to do it.) Hanging things on these cement walls is challenging! It takes a serious drill and special supplies, so some walls remain rather empty.

 

Here are the basics:  Cement walls and tile floors. Tin roof and wood ceilings. Metal doors and windows, with metal mesh netting throughout. Gas oven and stovetop. Fridge and freezer.

Plumbing? yes

Electricity? yes

Actual toilets – with somewhere to sit? yes

Dishwasher? no

Clothes washer? yes

Clothes dryer? no

So you can see, it is rather civilised. (You can throw away your sympathy now!)

When you drive up to our house, this is what you see: the hangar (carport thing) on the left and the house behind. We are blessed to have shade trees all around the house!

 

Our porch is very big, though it is not enclosed with netting so it always has tons of flies and mosquitos. We hope to have it enclosed this year so we can use it more often.

 

Next door is the men’s dormitory for the Bible school – many of the residents are actually students at the Niamey University.

 

Behind our house is the laundry line – a.k.a. “the clothes dryer” – and you can see our one hot water heater and an air conditioner unit on this side of the house.

 

AIR CONDITIONING: Since I just mentioned this all-important feature, I feel I should explain. We have individual AC units in each bedroom and one in the living room. Of course you know that it is very hot here in Niger! We use these AC’s at night, and often in the evening we will use the living room one. We would probably use them all the time except that electricity costs are out of this world here. So, we pick and choose the most needy times and enjoy the cool air thoroughly. 🙂

 

This is where we burn our garbage (on the left) or dispose of compost (on the right). It is located about 10 yards to the side of our house and is shared by one other missionary family.

 

Now let’s move inside…. 

That is our front door and when you enter the house, you are in the dining room. (“Open concept” – ha ha!)

 

There is our cute little kitchen. (The oven is on the other side of the fridge.)

 

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Living room – we bought nearly all of our furniture from departing missionaries. Even the rug! It is an indoor/outdoor rug that works well for a cat-claw sharpener. Hi Shadow. 🙂

 

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Here is the kitchen sick – even with our dish water! (I told you I didn’t clean up). Right outside this kitchen window is our water filter and barrel… I’ll add a photo so you know what I am talking about.

 

Here is where we keep a store of filtered water, just in case there is a water cut in the city. (Gotta love that random cord just hanging there…I have no idea what that is for? Welcome to Niger.)

 

Hallway… (yes I chose the wall color). Lots of sunshine in my house! The back of the house has three bedrooms and one bath.

 

I wonder whose bedroom this is? Take a guess!

 

Here is the bathroom that all five of us share. (Okay, so maybe you can have a little bit of sympathy for us!)

 

So that pretty much gives you a good snapshot of our home. Thank you for enduring the amateur photography, though I hope it satisfied any curiosity you might have had. I will be adding a “part two” with some other types of dwelling here in Niger, so stay tuned!

Now I’m curious – what was the biggest surprise you noticed about our home here? Reply or mail me at nikki.gray@sim.org.

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Snapshot: Shelter (Part One)

  1. Very nice, Nikki! Thanks for sharing this with all of us, I’m sure you are right that we’ve all wondered! My surprise: that it’s as big and as nice as it is, though I know it’s a lot less than what a family of 5 would aim for in the U.S. I remember the place where you stayed on your first “tour,” and I remember knowing that you were really being tested. But your current bathroom? Yes, you’ve got my sympathy. And I’m sure it’s all a lot trickier than it looks. I will never cease to admire you all for answering this call.

    Love you – J.

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