Posted by: zdy1 | 8 March, 2009

Where do I live?

This is the biggest question facing me at the moment (there are many others, but this is the most immediate!). I am currently living in temporary accommodation in the compound of a Ugandan family. It is perfectly adequate for what I need at the moment but isn’t a long term option. I therefore am keen to find a permanent place so that I can at last unpack fully for the first time in 6 months and hopefully start to settle!

But where do I live? One of the criteria I set before I came was that I wanted to live simply but that is not as easy as it first seemed…

    • It appears that small rented accommodation is very limited. It is rare for people to live on their own.
    • There is no such thing as letting agents here. There is one person who is the closest that can be found to a “realtor” (I’m learning American speak!) but she appears to have her own agenda that includes raising the price to increase her share and changing her advice according to what is most beneficial to her. Word of mouth appears to be the only way to find out what accommodation is available – literally stopping people on the street and asking them if they know anywhere – people see a white face and direct you to the largest property they know of.
    • The pricing of properties is not very consistent. A large four bedroomed house with a separate house for a worker was minimally more than a one bedroomed apartment as part of a student hostel.
    • Safety needs to be taken into consideration – as a single white female I could be a sitting target!
    • Mental health is an important criteria. Being in a place where I am likely to have constant visitors could prove a problem if I am in need of a bit of own space!
    • I may need office space as there is no guarantee that the hospital or university will give me any.

I have also been challenged by a number of people about the fact that the size of the house I have is going to have less of an impact on people’s impression of me than the colour of my skin. i.e. people are going to see me as rich no matter what.

So I still want to live simply but I may need to adjust what that looks like.

I have a couple of options at the moment. One is a property near to the university but it is a Duplex (another American term!) i.e. two houses together in one compound and there are some questions about the guy next door and the landlord. The other is a lovely (if a little dilapidated!) three bedroomed house (the cheapest house we have seen so far and complete with own dog and banana plantation!!!) very near to the rest of the AIM team members, however this is 5km away from the hospital/university. Both properties come with a on site workers house -which is just a single room- another tough thing to come to terms with.

Hmm??? What to do??? If you pray then please pray for me as I try to make a right decision on this one.

All this for just me?

All this for just me?


  1. Nice pad. I’d go for it. Could be useful in the future for home groups : ) Oh, and visitors!

  2. Not sure I believe you about the cheap price of this house! I reckon you are slyly making a lot more profit at the Duka than you are letting on… 🙂

  3. Doh! Found out!

  4. […] is the same house that I put a photo of here and I do feel very privileged to be getting this house but after all the deliberation it does feel […]

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