March 3, 2011

Goodbye Cottage, Hello Change.

Two weeks ago today, we received news that we were going to be kicked out of our house in Dar.

This news struck me like a load of bricks. We had finally managed to kick out an oh so dreadful roommate. For the first time in our married lives we were going to have a place to call our own. We had pored love and attention into this cute little cottage full of potential to make it feel like a home. Things were looking up, excitement was in the air.

As if this news was not disappointing enough, Andrei was traveling in the Democratic Republic of Congo and I was scheduled to be in Mwanza aka the "Rock City" the day our lease was slated to expire. I pleaded for an extra week's stay in the house so that Andrei could be part of the decision-making process, and so that he could be here in person to help with packing and moving. No dice. In lieu of a renewed lease, or even a helpful compromise, the owner was sending in a wrecking ball. And these plans could not be delayed, even by a mere three days. I guess there is no room for delay when there is money to be made. The average rent in our neighborhood in Dar is approximately $4000/ month, far more than what we were paying for this little humble house. With green eyes, she could not muster any empathy towards my situation. I wish her all the best with these untempered dreams.

I spent a couple of days absorbing the impact of this news and mourning the loss of the place that we had learned to call home, even throwing out some rather idle threats to Andrei that I was going to book a one way flight out of here, and he could meet up with me whenever he so chooses, wherever that may, right!?  Very mature, Matty.

After spending sufficient time licking my wounds, I finally took up a broker who told me anything he thought I wanted to hear until I wrote a check, a big fat one, in fact. I toured seven places around Dar es Salaam, each one more depressing than the next. He finally convinced me to push our budget up by a very minor amount so that he could prove to me just how far that minor extra amount would buy up for us. I felt I was walking into a trap, until his promises did not fall flat.

And with that we have inherited a new little house to call home. Ok, its not so little, but it comes with an awesome garden, where Andrei and I can take up one of our favorite past times - gardening and entertaining. While our house will probably look something like this over the coming weeks as we get settled, I promise more pictures as things come together.

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