So, I have mentioned occasionally in my blog something about a guard and have had a few questions about it, so I will go ahead and explain. I do in fact have a guard for my house, but his role is really more like that of a doorman. My house is inside a small fenced in area, so he is the one who opens the gate for me when I come in and helps me unload anything that is in my vehicle. If someone knocks on the gate, he answers it, not me, and determines who he does and does not let into the compound. He also does things like waters my plants, cuts the grass (with hand held shrub clippers), and runs small errands to buy things (bread, eggs, veggies, etc.). I know, right now you are probably thinking I am just about spoiled rotten…and I am. The thing is that it is fairly cultural to have a guard. I don’t make the rules people, I just play by them! Obviously, no one in the mud huts has a guard, but many people in the capital city have one and many people live within a gated compound with a guard. It is expected that as a firinge I have a guard. I guess the need for a guard originated from thievery and in the capital can be a really big problem, but we still have one here even though thievery doesn’t really seem to be an issue. Seeing as how no one really has a gun and most people aren’t out just looking for mischief, there really seems to be little to no threat of any harm being done to me or my home. Just in case I didn’t feel secure enough though, every door and window on my house is barred…virtually impossible to get into, especially without any of the fancy tools people would use to do such a thing in America. Anyways, I do have a guard, but his role is more like that of a doorman.
While I am at it, I will go ahead and admit that I also have a houseworker. Go ahead and judge me….when you start making every single thing you eat from absolute scratch and then wash every dish by hand and when you don’t own a vacuum cleaner to clean your house with…then you can judge me. : ) Anyways, again it is cultural that anyone with money (and lets face it, no matter how I look at it, compared to everyone here, I have money) has a houseworker. Even a couple of my local friends here have houseworkers. It only costs me $18 a month to have a worker and it gives her and her family additional income in an economy where there are very few jobs available. I’m just doing what I can to help the economy 🙂 She comes each morning for three hours and washes the two sinks full of dishes, sweeps the living room rug, washes any vegetables that have to be washed (everything has to be disinfected before we eat it), and then on various days she cleans the bathrooms, and changes the sheets on the bed.
So, yes, I have a guard and a houseworker and they help me a LOT and I am very grateful to have them! I realize I just lost a lot of sympathizers with this post….