Peace Corps volunteers are notorious for not having lots of money. When we all moved to our permanent sites a month and a half ago, we were given money to settle into to our new homes and make them more homey. Because the settling-in allowance is rather modest, creativity and imagination become as important as money.
I live in a spacious octagonal roundavel (I’ve named it, “The Palace”). I moved into a blank canvas, and had to figure out how to add my own flair. I mapped out how I wanted to use various areas, and went to work. When shopping for home furnishings, I took note of prices for various things on my shopping list. I noticed that basic wardrobes (metal poles fitted together with a zippered cloth covering) were priced around 200 emalangeni. I decided against buying it then and there.
On one of my walks to get familiar with my community, I saw a rather sturdy looking tree branch laying on the ground. I had an idea. What if I could make a hanging wardrobe? I picked up the tree branch, and brought it home. I shaved the bark of the branch to have a relatively smooth piece of wood. Then, I threw rope over the rafters, and tied many knots to make sure it was sturdy enough to support the weight of my clothing. Before placing the branch in the rope loops, I sprayed it with bug spray to kill any bugs that may have still been present. I hung the branch in the rope loops, and secured it with even more knots. The entire process took about 90 minutes, and was a great entry level project in home improvement.
Be kind to yourself.