Monday, June 27, 2011

My New House

My house revolves around this
nine-meter square courtyard

On Sunday morning, I took possession of my new house then spent the rest of the day with several of my host sisters and brothers cleaning. I’ve included some pictures and a plan drawing, roughly to scale, except that it doesn’t include the thickness of the walls, which are nearly two feet thick. It’s basically a square, built around a courtyard with an opening to the sky and a raised garden in the middle, where I hope to plant mint for tea and some herbs for cooking.

The two large rooms are roughly 40 x 9 feet. I jokingly call them my bowling alleys. And maybe I will turn one into a bowling alley for an “American Night” sometime. I plan to use one of them for a public room – dining and living – the other for my bedroom, office, and storage. The entryway is large, a room in its own right. The kitchen is empty except for butagaz fueled range (the only one I’ve seen in Morocco) left by the previous tenant. I spent a lot of time cleaning it yesterday, and I don’t even know if it works yet. The bathroom consists of a Turkish toilet (or squat toilet – two footprints and a hole in the floor), as is common here. Spent a lot of time cleaning that yesterday, too.

I visited the house after breakfast this morning (it’s only about a 3 minute walk from my host family’s house), and it was cool and inviting. I liked it. The challenge now is to turn the house into a home. It’s a big space – too big for the budget we Peace Corps volunteers have – but I have some ideas, and I’ll give you visual updates over time. For the next few days, my task is to make the essential purchases and get them delivered so that I can be reasonably self-sufficient by the time I move in on Friday, July 1.

My front door, with newly repaired steps

The entryway with window to kitchen

Lane 1: The Salon
Lane 2: Bedroom, Workroom, & Storage

The kitchen, with windows to courtyand and to entryway
Needs no explanation

The Floor Plan

A view from my roof: Looking east to the Saghro Mountains
A view from my roof: Looking west over the Dades Valley to
Kalaa and the Atlas Mountains 

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