Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Roof!

My host family, the Souarés, are wonderful. At the beginning of each month I give my host father and mothers a modest cash contribution, to cover the cost of feeding me, sheltering me, just generally taking care of me. At the beginning it was awkwardly difficult to get him to take it, there was a lot of "No, you are part of the family now, we can't accept that!" but I would insist. By now we've fallen into a more comfortable oh-you-don't-have-to-but-thank-you-oh-no-thank-you sort of arrangement, and I've never had any problems with my contribution being squandered, (there are PCVs who have had problems) I'm confident that it goes toward food and basic supplies. 

When I gave my monthly contribution right before I left for vacation it got awkward again, with my host father insisting that I shouldn't be giving money for food that I wasn't going to be around to eat, but I said that it Peace Corps gave it to me to give to them (which is pretty much how it works) and so he considered that and then said "Ok, well, we'll repair your hut's roof while you're gone, so it will be very ready for rainy season." I said that sounded just fine, and when I got back to village I had this lovely, still-golden, water-tight, relatively spider-free thatch roof, and I was totally, totally happy about it. 
Fixed up for move-in day  - May 2011
Older, weathered thatch - Feb 2012



  1. Their new roof is so much brighter now, unlike before when it was dry and dull! It's a symbol of your host family's warm hospitality towards you during your stay there. I bet I’d be able to sleep soundly in that hut with the air freely flowing inside and the temperature settling at just the right level.

    Rodney Orton

  2. Thatch roofs tend to blend well with rural environments. After some time, a thatch roof will lose its fresh, straw color and will appear dusty gray, which makes it very attractive. Plus, it provides good insulation, it cools during summer and warm in cold season.

    - Santo Caridine

  3. I just love the soothing sight of thatch roofs. I guess because it’s environmentally friendly. Thatch is made of natural crops like water reed; thus, the entire production of material is highly sustainable. By the way, the new roof is a superb one! =)

    - Willie Norman

  4. Oh, lovely!!! Whenever I see thatched roof huts, it always reminds me of tropical, breezy season. Perhaps, the natural materials used for thatching have made it very refreshing to the sight. =)

    Nelson Mcglaughlin

  5. Thatched roofs reminds me of beach cottages! The best thing about this kind of roof is that it’s highly sustainable and eco-friendly. Thatched roofs surely does look appealing! I’m not quite sure how to put it, but there’s something really tribal about thatched roofs.

    -Kip Whitehead

  6. Nice! It’s impressive how the transformation of the thatched roof enhanced the look of the whole hut. I can just imagine the family’s glee upon seeing the light of the sun approach this golden thatched roof. I’m sure it has given them protection from heavy rains and comfort and relaxation as well.

    Allyson Duguay


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