Central African House and Home #2

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There was one road to and from our Merlin base in Kaga Bandoro to our country headquarters in Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The red dirt road was absolutely beautiful, lined with massive flamboyante and mango trees, typical African mud huts and mud brick homes. But one residence always stood out for me, and on my last trip south, leaving Kaga (as we called it) forever, I stopped to grab a shot of this home cheered me each time I passed it.

KB house
KB house

It was so unusual compared to other homes. It had a distinctly European look to it. Other homeowners did not landscape their front yard–they were usually plain dirt compounds filled with wandering chickens. But this homeowner chose to create a real ambience around his home. He had fully landscaped his yard, creating a privacy hedge with two types of bush, the flowering type in front, delineating it with white rocks local to the area. He had planted accent trees along the front of his home, another rarity in CAR. He had created some real curb appeal!

Here’s  how it looked from the road:

CAR curb appeal
CAR curb appeal

Notice  how it really sets itself apart from the others. I really love that he painted the brick red and outlined them in white. It make the home distinct from its neighbours’. The house has a homey feel, and whenever I drove on this road, I looked for it. The driver caught on and often slowed down so I could take a better look. I loved this little house. It gave me a lift when I saw it, as it gave me hope that Central Africans still had hope amid the chaos, and that they were all ready, in 2009, to move forward in peace. So ready that they believed it was safe to set down roots, build a home, and tend to it lovingly, for it would be their permanent residence.

If I drove that road today, would this sweet house still be standing? Would the homeowner still be tending to his hedgerow?


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