Aid Africa has a new office in Gulu! Well, more than just an office. We have been in our office on Market Road for about three years. It has a room for desks and improvised meeting room and a storeroom filled with stove bricks, well drilling equipment and spare vehicle parts. When I call on the phone, I can always tell when they are in the office. The bare concrete walls echo and it’s hard to hear in there. One of the best reasons I know to move is the man across the street from our office that bangs his hammer on sheets of metal, making charcoal stoves and cooking pots. Bang! Bang! Bang! All day long! He must have lost his hearing years ago. We also rent an apartment in the same building for our Peace Corps volunteer, Steve – a basic two rooms with a bathroom downstairs.
The Aid Africa staff has found a three-bedroom house just north of downtown with a large living/dining area that will serve as our office. One bedroom will be Steve’s and the other two for guests. There are two kitchens. No, I don’t know why. It has electricity and hot and cold running water. I have to mention those things because we take water and power for granted, but they are special in Gulu. There’s also a storage room and a garage. All this makes it a big step up for us.
Our present landlord wants three months rent in advance this week, so we’re moving right away. Our new landlady is going to renovate the place at her expense. Or we’ll do it and deduct the cost from the rent. Steve’s parents are arriving in about a month, so we have to move quickly to make it a really nice place. Then I’ll be there in October with at least three guests, so we’ll be taking advantage of the additional room right away.