Sunday, December 4, 2011

Beautiful Sunday- Housing

This Sunday I sit here cleaning like mad and wanting to purge the house of all the stuff Matt and I have collected in our 30-some years. We have our first case worker visit Wednesday night! True to form though, I sit here worried- do we really have a big enough house for Baby? Is it clean enough? Is there enough space for Baby to play and get toys out?

With all this in mind, I thought this Beautiful Sunday should be dedicated to housing. The average rent in Kinshasa is about $120/month; or a house will cost about $2545 total. Utilities run about $15 and internet is about $500 a month (no kidding!!!). For Expat standards of living, rent can go up to about $1000/month.

Most rural Congolese live within a family compound. The compound is a plot of land where family members build adjoining houses.  This type of communal living is ideal for raising families. Families share children-watching duties since parents may be miles away from the living houses for extended periods of time.  2002-46-Img05_edited

It takes patience and dirty hands to build a mud and stick wall for a rural Congolese house. The work can be done by women or men.  Strips of bamboo are tied to the supporting poles of the wall. The strips are put on both sides of the support poles to create a slotted wall.  They then make mud and press it into mud balls. The balls are put in between the slotted bamboo walls. The mud fills the wall to give it a solid appearance.

Electricity can only be found in about 10% of residences, and 3 out of 4 Congolese have to walk 2 or more hours to reach clean water- everyday! With all this in mind, our home is a million times better than anything Baby will live in back home....hopefully the case worker thinks so too!