Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Those of you who know me well know that I don't like chaos. I like to have things in their place. And I like to figure out the best place for things. That's why my friends get me to rearrange their kitchens for them, right Nan?

For a while now, I just didn't feel like things were in place here. At least, not in the best places. Plus, I've had makeshift bookshelves--real shelves, but held in place by mud bricks that shed red dust. Same goes for the shelves in my storage room... Not a good thing.

So last week I employed a carpenter who
a) built a little storage cabinet on my porch for paint cans and car parts to go. This cabinet doubles as a patio couch, ideal for morning quiet times
b) made my makeshift shelves into real shelves
c) built shelves in my greenhouse so the kids can come and cultivate seedlings
d) built some little end tables for books

But in the process of him fixing my bookshelves, I've had to take all my books off my shelves and so my kitchen counter, desk, coffee table, chairs, everything's covered with books! It's pretty chaotic and driving me nuts! I cannot wait to have the shelves dry and brought back into the house! And then I can find the best spot for everything again.

Yes, I do work. This is just "life" stuff... Though out here, it's often very challenging to separate life and work. It's hard when you live and work from the same space, and live on the same compound where you work. At times, especially on Sundays, I put a "Please don't disturb" sign on my door. I'm not entirely sure that's culturally appropriate. I can't imagine Kenyans ever doing that. But it's one of the only ways in which I know I won't have a kid knocking on the door at an odd hour just to say hi to my chameleon... Which is fine, most of the time! It's just sometimes good to be unreachable.

Tomorrow morning, I'm taking the visitors to the airport and will stay in town for a while to get work done from somewhere in town. I miss having someplace like Java Creek or Panera's to go park for several hours and get work done. We don't have a single coffee shop in our town. Not one. Nada! I think there's one fast-food joint, a chicken place that I've never been brave enough to try out. Though there are ample little stands on the side of the road this time of year where people sell grilled corn on the cob. Field corn, grilled on the fire. No butter. No salt. (I'm actually starting to like it! But when I think of Iowa sweetcorn, it's hard to eat the corn here...)

Point is, on a day like tomorrow, if I want to go "hide out" somewhere and get work done, I go and occupy a table at a local restaurant. And then I can return to my crazy-for-the-moment home to connect to the Internet and send all the e-mails I've answered from town. And get the books back on the shelves, which should be indoors by the time I come home. No more chaos, that's my goal for tomorrow!

Today (Tuesday), the shelves were indeed brought back in. I was able to get everything back in its place. Ah! Order. Pure bliss.

1 comment:

  1. I think I understand how you feel (to a small degree ;)) as Tom and I still have about 30 unpacked boxes and still need to buy a bunch more furniture! I am SO ready to be fully moved in! (Yes, I am a nester! ;))