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I’ve been to a lot of different places and have stayed in many houses, but the one I love the most is the one my family, friends, and I built. It is the homiest and most comfortable house I know. I know the house pretty well since I helped or watched all of it be put together. It’s fun to look around the room and think, “I remember when we put up that wall.” Or, “That was a lot of fun building that couch.” Our house here on the mountain has lots of different things that give it character, just little knick knacks that make it feel like home. For example, I’m thinking of a certain basket that we put blankets in, or the headboards above our beds.
One of the things that makes this place home is the climate. In the mornings, it’s chilly enough that you’d want to wear a sweater, but not so chilly that it’s uncomfortable. Then, in the afternoons, it’s a warm, almost tropical temperature. At nighttime, it drops back down. During this time, it’s very nice to sit next to the wood stove, or dive underneath the covers and roll into a ball to keep warm. I think Newt (our pet cuscus) likes it a lot too. She enjoys sleeping in warm blankets just as much as we do.
It’s not actually really cold here. The lowest it has been is 48 degrees Fahrenheit, and that was a one-time thing. It is usually 60 to 70 degrees. It’s mainly the wind and dampness that chills us.
This climate not only changes our attire, but it also changes our diet. We eat a lot of soups and hot meals because, when in the tribe, hot soups and tea sound much more appetizing than smoothies or cold things that we want when it is hot out.
Also, we have an absolutely incredible view. All around us, majestic mountains stretch up from the dipping valleys which are covered with dense jungle. Shrubs and thick moss cover the more flat areas where swiftlets swoop in and out of the jungle. It is a beautiful scene to look at on the mornings when we wake up.
These are some of the parts that we love about our tribal home. But along with these great parts come some rather annoying parts. In 2013, when we were picking a site build our house, we had two options. The first was to build on the side of the airstrip with a sure water source but a very limited view, or build on a ridge with an amazing view and just an idea for getting water. We chose the latter. We tried to dig a well, but we were just too high up to get any water. That wasn’t too much of a problem because we could live on rainwater quite comfortably as we do today. But when there is a drought for a week or so, we are in a little bit of trouble. Because of this, we must go sparingly with our water sometimes.
Our power system can give us a little trouble too. We use solar panels to get power to charge our laptops, run lights, pump water into our sinks, take showers, and so on. But, when it is a cloudy day and the sun does not reach the panels, we don’t have as much power. This is okay though, since it is fairly bright each day. Altogether, the house we have here in the tribe has been my favorite out of all the others I’ve stayed in. God has blessed us immensely with the house he has given us and the surrounding area.
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