Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unexpected new kitchen and hallway...

My landlady is great, we love her. Every year she makes some improvements to the house. On the one hand this is good, but on the other hand means we have to put up with workmen, etc coming and going...and it usually is at an inconvenient time, oh well.  This year two things were on the agenda: a new front door, and to take the panelling off the ceiling in the kitchen (as it was starting to seriously look like it would fall down on top of us...) Both of these things seem innocuous, but reality is: nothing is at it seems here in Bosnia!!

The front door was mostly done while I was luckily gone doing stuff with the team - so Ljilja took the brunt of that. The frame also had to be replaced, so it was actually quite a big job, and LOTS of dust was generated... So, while we already had a dirty house, our landlady decided it was best to also do the kitchen... After the team left on Thursday morning (the 20th) she told us on Thursday night late that the workmen would be coming at 7.30am on Friday to do that... so now it was my turn to be on duty.

They came and started working, and when halfway done realised why it was falling down: the ceiling plaster above the panelling had been soaked in a flood from my landlady's bathroom (and this before we moved in, so over 10 years ago) and slowly had disintegrated and fallen on top of the panelling. So, take the panelling out and guess what: half the ceiling fell down as well. Unexpectedly, we were now without a usable kitchen until the ceiling could be fixed up properly...
And of course things weren't helped by the fact that it was Orthodox Pentecost and no one wanted to work on the weekend or even into the next week because of the red letter days! So, we were looking at Wednesday at the earliest for getting our kitchen back. Aaargh...

I had already invited all my volunteers from the Children's Home project to Ihtus on Saturday afternoon and the plan was to bake up a storm of goodies to treat them! But without a kitchen, the plan became make "peppermint crisp tart" (Transkei mud!) as I luckily had the needed ingredients (I have to bring stuff from SA, as you can't get it here). We had a great time hanging out together and enjoying the special treat: (and aren't they all lovely :)
And another stroke of luck is that Ljilja and I already had a "groupon" discount thingie for a hotel on a lovely mountain called "Kozara" about an hour from Banja Luka, so we managed to get away there for two nights for a break: otherwise I think I would have gone insane without a kitchen! It was also nice just to get away and have a break after the craziness of the last couple of months...despite the fact that the weather changed while we were there so it rained most of the time... this is the view from our window: gorgeous!
And then Wednesday arrived and our friend Damjan came to finish up after the other workmen - by painting everything a lovely shade of yellow. And Ljilja came up with some great ideas to make everything a little different and special (and I just helped her put them up). Here is the finished result: the photos are of Cape Town on the right and Trebinje (Ljilja's hometown) on the left. (and yes, I have a lot of books :)
On the opposite wall is one of Ljilja's creations: a photo clock... with a mix of mine and Ljilja's photos. The photo doesn't do it justice - it is 1,2mx1,2m and so is actually quite big and I love it!
The kitchen is now just so light...(this is what it looked like before) and we have a new linoleum floor as well as no ugly panelling on the ceiling... making everything much brighter!
And on the wall in there is another of Ljilja's ideas: a "Fruit of the Spirit" cross... just as a reminder to us to pick up our cross every day and be filled with the Spirit, so we can display the fruit... love peace joy, etc (and if you are struggling to read it, it is in the local language: ljubav, mir, radost)
So, unexpectedly we now have a completely "new" kitchen and hallway...and we are very happy with both!

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