Ever since I moved to site, I had been increasingly aware that I needed to get some furniture. On the occasions in which a teacher or two came over to my house, we had the chairs that came with the place, but that wasn’t enough, and didn’t work for me. I had seen several types of furniture since installation: wooden, wicker, woven banana leaves, and professional-looking fancy ones that were well outside of my price range. I decided that I wanted to get a set made from woven banana leaves, but since I had no idea where to get them or what a good price would be, I wasn’t getting any closer to furnishing the house.
I had asked all of the other teachers and my headmaster, but none of them knew where I would get furniture- then one day, a teacher realized he knew someone, and he helped me arrange to buy four chairs, two loveseats, and two coffeetables. I would go and pick them all up that weekend, and as it happend, Mimi, a PCV who lived in the East was coming to see me (my first PCV visitor)! After meeting up and taking care of a few errands, we went to the parking lot of a bank I had never been to before and waited for the contact person as planned.
No one arrived, and while we waited I noticed a woven banana leaf chair in front of the artist cooperative directly across the street. I investigated, and learned that this was indeed the place. One of the shopkeepers went and got the furniture from behind the shop while I paid. Mimi and I got the furniture loaded onto their pickup truck, and they drove us all the way to my site and unloaded the furniture for me in my yard. Thanking them, we took the furniture inside and went to make ourselves dinner.
We had picked up some produce in Musanze, and were thus able to cook an interesting pasta dish- spaghetti with green beans and cauliflower florets, seasoned with a dry vegetable soup mix, some olive oil, and some onions and garlic. It was very enjoyable. After eating we went to bed, and in the morning we returned to Musanze so Mimi could go visit one more friend before IST, and I could pick up the remaining table from the furniture store.
Weeks previously, I had tried inviting a bunch of people over for a party to celebrate: a) that I had not been sent home (I had survived the first term!) and b) my having been accepted to graduate school. Out of everyone I had invited, only Genevieve, a PCV from my training group had been able to come- the party had been scheduled for that night. Once she arrived in Musanze, we picked up the table and took the bus back to Kidaho where we walked up the mountain to Kagogo. I couldn’t believe it- until the day before, none of the PCVs had come to see me, and now I had two guests in two days!
Genevieve helped me do some interior decorating and when we finished, the house looked like a cozy home! I celebrated by hanging the African animals mobile that my mom got me before I left over the coffee table arrangement. Afterwards we cooked an enormous pot of curry, made shirley temples, and watched Inception on Genevieve’s computer, before getting to sleep- in the morning, we would leave for IST.