As I said before, I've moved into a new house! Simon and I wanted to change houses mainly because where we were living before was very loud, extremely hot, bat-infested, and too expensive. Then, in April, our friends Kyle and Melessa (from New York) decided that they were going to move further south from Chinandega to a town called San Marcos to help form a new English group. They offered us to take over their house once they left. After looking it over and weighing all the pros & cons, we decided to take it!
Sidenote: When I went outside to take these photos, I accidentally locked myself out of my house. I had to round up a bunch of kids in the neighborhood to help me break in. And people say Americans are stupid!
This house has everything we were looking for and more. It's in a quieter neighborhood that's closer to the center of town, closer to many other Witnesses, and closer to Ojo's territory. It's cooler, it's bigger, and it's cheaper! And the best part: no bats! Overall, it's just nicer! Our landlady is also a Witness, my friend Eduardo's grandmother Gladys. She's had some work done on the place for us, which turned out really nice. It's been very different with Simon not being around, but I've at least been able to fix up the place and make it my own. I'm really happy with how it's turned out! Here's a virtual tour...
This is the gated front porch. Sometimes, stray dogs enjoy urinating on the corner of it, but other than that, it's a nice little spot. Gladys had some mesh put up around the gate for added security and shading, which came out great! I've put a couple of rocking chairs out there to make it a nice spot for coffee in the morning.
Here's the livingroom! I just need a little coffee table, but other than that, it's fully furnished. I've gotten various pictures from Ojo and from back home framed so that it feels a little more like a home. The new futon has been an excellent addition. It provides some good lounging space and more room for guests!
Over to the left of the livingroom is the dining area. Our table fits perfectly in that spot! And yes, the curtains mismatch.
My bedroom. It's great for me. I've got plenty of space for clothes and other supplies. I'll be getting a bigger bed next month as well. Also, whoever designed this house thought it would be a good idea to put windows from the bedrooms into the livingroom for some reason. It can be rather awkward if you're changing, hence the curtains. And now, the pièce de résistance...
...I got an air conditioner!! I bought it off Kyle and Melessa - they decided they didn't need it anymore because San Marcos is a lot cooler than Chinandega. It has been a LIFESAVER. It makes it much easier to wake up in the morning - not waking up in a pool of sweat! I actually haven't had to use it a lot because it's been a lot cooler these days. Still, it's my favorite part of this room. Plus, it's energy-efficient! Best purchase to date.
This is the kitchen. I just got a bigger fridge, which is serving me well. Gladys also had the counter retiled, which looks nice! It's got plenty of space.
Here's the bathroom. I can't really think of anything interesting to say about it other than the water pressure of the shower is really good.
This is an added bonus: a garage! It's very convenient. Renting a garage space here can be such a hassle. This works out really well for parking my scooter - I'll have more on that another time! (The motorcycle belongs to a friend of mine.) My washing machine also fits nicely out here.
Although I don't have a permanent roommate anymore, I at least have a guest room! I've decided to rent it out to brothers who come down to visit. My friend Bridget from Esteli did that for visiting sisters, and my friend Dominic did that for visiting brothers, myself included. It's a good situation - when you come down here for the first time, you feel much better knowing that you have a connection with a brother and have stable lodgings. You're much better off doing that than trying to find your own house, which is really hard to do here in Chinandega and even worse if you don't speak the language. So not only does it help me out financially, but it gives me a chance to help people who come to visit and make them feel welcome.
Once I get my bigger bed next month, I'll be putting my current bed in this room as well, so that room can fit two people. With the futon, I have room for three people total. So to anybody who wants to come visit and rent a room at Casa de Samuel, please contact me and I'd be happy to have you! I've got good Internet, a washing machine, and plenty to offer. I've rented out to four brothers so far, and it's been working out pretty well. Here's my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, this place is just right for me. After long, exhausting days in Ojo, it makes a big difference having a nice place to come home to. I feel very much at home here, and I think it's all gonna work out! Let me know if you'd be up for a visit!