Monday, December 14, 2009

Moving in

Well, we moved into our home in Buea last Friday. We spent the morning and early afternoon in Douala - an adventure itself - and upon return moved from the Pavilion Hotel.

Since images take a bit to upload, I'll try to describe the interior of our home. From the living room / parlor wall to the other end of the far bedroom walls is about 46 feet. The living room is 26 feet long and 14 feet wide (the 14 comes out of the 46 feet). Inside the front doors, to the left is a fireplace. At the far end is a wall of windows. The windows end of the room is the dinning area (currently sans table and chairs). Actually the table and chairs are at the top of the "lift" landing, which has become my favorite place to perch (N 04º 09.236' E 009º 15.588'). From there I have a wonderful view of Mt Cameroon. In the morning we get interesting cloud displays as the sun rises. In the evening, the sun sets just to the left of the big mountain, more or less of the smaller peak. Again, mother nature treats us to some really neat lighting effects.

The hallway to the kitchen and bedrooms cuts the parlor almost in half. The kitchen is the first door to the right. It is bright with windows across the far wall, a glass door on the far right corner (just beyond the refrigerator) and windows opposite (above the sink). From the door, almost directly in front a table is to be placed (the refrigerator is just beyond). It is out being repainted. We have the dog bowl there right now. Cabinets are above. To the left of the door is a pantry cabinet. A five burner gas stove is on the left wall with the sinks just beyond.

The next door on the right is the main bathroom. When were here in April this was the only bathroom. It is sizable containing a sink, shower, and toilet. There is a hot water heater, but so far it as produced only less cold water than the cold water knob. However, I am told to turn it on two hours head of use and it will be good and hot. I haven't thought that far ahead yet...

The last doors on the right and on the left are bedrooms. When we where here in April the first door on the right was a walk in pantry/storage room. It was suggested to turn that into a bathroom and we agreed. On our arrival, that first door had been sealed over and the current first door (of two) is to the master bedroom. The size is the about the same as the other two bedrooms. The difference is that it connects to the new bathroom. When I first walked in to the new bathroom I was surprised by just how big a room it really was. Secondly, it is very tastefully done. Very attractive blue tiles line the walls. Immediately inside the door on the far wall is the sink, to the right on the near wall is the toilet and, in front of that, is an open shower. The shower head is mounted up nice and high, while connected to a hose so it can be unhooked and moved around. On the far wall, under the window is a full size, western style bathtub. There is a second shower head with connected hose, mounted lower over the foot of the tub. The brand new hot water heater is mounted between the open shower and tub. This heater produces hot water within minutes of use, no external switch.

We have used the new bathroom, but we continue to have a leak in the sink. Also the shower head cord (the one in the tub area) got pinched and sliced by the metal coiling around the tube, so we'll be looking to replace that one with a tube that doesn't have metal rings around it.

A note about plumbing: It seems to be a problem here. I'm not sure where the "problem" lies. The least expensive parts, I am told, come from China. The locals can most afford these materials, but seem to loathe them as well. So they may replace the item, or more likely use "duct tape" type solutions in order to live it the problems. Where a European part would perform well for a long time, it is much more costly.

I should also note that, like most other mission type homes I have been in, this one too has very high ceilings, making the rooms feel much bigger than they really are. We have emptied our five boxes in one bedroom. We have two holiday decorations up - our two stockings, mounted by the fireplace with care.