>back and forth

>it is hard to describe the effect of leaving our house for the city. maybe the easier way to approach it is to describe how easy it is to leave the city for our house. we have started calling it “the brown house” because of baki. while i was in new york and he was staying with ali, he started to mention “the greenhouse” when i spoke to him on the phone. naturally, this was the first i had heard of the greenhouse having been started since no one tells me anything. when i asked ali if they had started building the greenhouse, he said airily, “oh yeah, and baki calls our house the brown house now.” so anyway, i went down to the brown house to pick baki up last weekend. and the thing about going down there is that i just fall into the rhythm of the place so easily. life has gotten even easier there than it was, since there is a water pipe right outside the house now, so i did laundry right there, likewise dishes. the only problem is, it is still outside, and that was inconvenient because it was pouring rain the first day! it had started raining the night before i got there, so ali drove the car down the hill and he and baki took off from there to pick me up. by the time we got to the house where we park, it was pouring, and we were soaked when we got to the house, and i mean really soaked. baki loved it, though — it was so exciting to him! ali got the stove going, and man, that thing is a raging inferno when it gets going. the house was like a sauna — by nightfall, our clothes were bone dry. we still have no electricity, but i have to say that i was glad because i love the lamp light in the evening. both of the kerosene lamps are mounted on the walls now, and it is so sweet and nice to have that warm glow fill the house instead of the harsh glare or electric light.
i had a wonderful sleep. there is really no sleep so nice as the sleep in our house. outside, the wind was going, and the rain was pounding on the roof and windows, and every once in a while there was a flash of lightning. it was dramatic, and it basically sold me on the premise that we ought to get a wind generator as well as solar panels because, in the words of the dealer, “when it’s not sunny, it’s stormy.” man, we would have generated some serious stuff that night! the next morning, it was dry, so after breakfast i did the dishes and soaked the laundry. i walked down the hill to fetch the amazing laundry devicethat had left in the van because of the rain; as i walked down the road, i heard the stream roaring like a waterfall. i looked down and it had swollen into a raging river!
later, we all went down to the bottom of the garden to check out the site for the second little house. it will be the same size as the brown house, but with no kitchen and with an outdoor bath and shower. there will be a bed for guests, a desk, lots of bookshelves, a closet, and storage space. there will be no big house, contrary to our original plans, but now that i have spent time in the brown house, i feel like that is just fine. we are already four people living in the brown house now, since ogun is staying there too, and it is really fine. as long as i have somewhere to put up guests, i am fine!
after lunch, baki slept and i finished the laundry and hung it up on the line. it will probably take about a month to dry in this weather, but at least the stuff is clean! all too soon, it was time to go and now i am back at work for another three weeks before we finally move. i feel out of step with things here, and although i know i will be down there soon, i can’t help but long for the simple, sensible pace of things in the brown house.
p.s. — pictures tomorrow! my mother kidnapped my camera.

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