So where did I leave off? Souly the school driver picked me up from the airport, which saved me tremendous energy after a 2 hour adventure at the airport. I walked into my apartment and all the windows were opened (I left them closed) and the fans were on which meant there was dust everywhere. I lived on the first floor and we live on a sand road. Stupse. WHY?!!! As I walked into my bedroom I was hit in the face with the smell of mold and I knew immediately that it was worst than I expected or could have imagined. My entire closet of clothes was had mold on them some worst than others; the sheets, the towels everything had mold on it. The mattress cover was grey with dust, and the fan was black with dust. Sigh. 😭😩 I have no idea how long it has been like this because I have been gone for months. F@$K F@$K F@$K MOLD !!!!! DUST Everywhere WTF?
I wanted to break down into the ugly cry and turn around and leave but I had no time for that. It was almost 11pm and I needed to sleep so I got to work and I held in the tears. I took all the clothes out of the closet and put them on the bed in the second bedroom (Thank God for privilege) and then I put all the stuff from the closet and onto the kitchen floor in piles to be washed the next day. I sprayed the closet with a cedar and tea tree oil in water mixture and wiped down everything in the bedroom. Then I cleaned the bathroom and I mopped the entire apartment. Once that was finished I wiped down the bookcase in the living room, and the dining table and the counter tops in the kitchen. Then I talked to my mother, sent an email to the Director and the GSO who is responsible for the apartment, took a shower, took a Claritin, 20 mg of melatonin, got a t-shirt, my beach wrap and pillow out of my luggage and laid down to go to sleep. By then it was almost 1 am and I was angry, pissed, exhausted emotionally and physically and I prayed exhaustion would quiet my screaming mind and allow me to sleep.
Luckily I slept until 9 am the next day despite jetlag. I got up and started washing the sheets and towels first, then I called the MS Counselor and asked her to take me to the grocery store. I spent the rest of the day washing until about 8 pm then I took a shower turned on Netflix and cried for about an hour while I watched a movie. I knew the crying was coming because throughout the day I felt so overwhelmed by all of it. I knew there would be some mold because I had issues with it last year but I had no clue that everything (except the cushions on the sofa) would either be covered in mold or smell like mold. Luckily I have a washer and dryer so I can wash all day and night until I get it all done. Yesterday I had an in person conversation with the GSO because the gas canister was leaking, and the building manager was nowhere to be found. Thank God for my neighbors they came down and tried to help me. 30 minutes passed before someone came to replace the gas canister but it prompted the GSO to come by. I told him I don’t plan to live in this apartment again this year, the landlord could care less about the mold issues and I am done; I need and deserve a better living space. He was supportive and said he would continue to look for a place for me to live. Amidst the power outtages of which I lost count I was still able to get a lot of washing done. The second bedroom is now clean, most of the clothes have been washed so I was able to finally sit down and write last night.
Yes there’s a growing pile of clean clothes on my dinning room table but today I am feeling less stressed and not nearly as emotionally exhausted. This summer has been emotionally difficult: I didn’t get to go to Barbados to see my Gran or go to the beach, I was disappointed and hurt by people that I loved and now I am back in Abidjan early dealing with mold issues and other foolishness. Yet my life is filled with privilege and goodness, I have someone who will come and clean my apartment once I settle. I am grateful for my therapist because I can be totally honest with her in a way that I cannot be on this blog. #thelittlethingsinlife #selfcareisrevolutionary God knew I would need this appointment today. Writing and talking makes me feel better. I have been writing in my journal more recently but I am challenging myself to share more of myself outside of traveling in my blog💁🏾♀️. And there is still the possibility of a beach weekend in my future.
Here’s my epiphany: I’m resilient because I wanted to have a breakdown but I had to take care of business. I have too many damn clothes OMG I need to downsize😆 . I don’t plan to unpack my luggage because I plan to move🤷🏾♀️. I need to live in an apartment where mold is not a major issue. The last time I had significant mold issues was in the DR 8 years ago and it wasn’t even as bad as this. I need to live in a country where if there are daily power cuts then the apartment complex has a generator. I miss the life I created in Egypt, it was not perfect and most of the women are now gone onto other countries but I miss that level of support. Don’t get me wrong my co workers are nice but I miss having friends who get me. The MS Counselor brought me hummus today because she is my work partner in crime. My apartment is now cleaner than it was when I left and that is a good thing. The organization of clothes well, that will come later this week. For the rest of the evening I will rest and watch TV. Music saved me from losing it many times this weekend. I am grateful for all the privilege and blessings in my life but I’m not settling for a mediocre living experience. I need my friends to check in on me, I’m not always gonna post rough experiences on Facebook. Mummy and my sisters do a good job of doing this and I’m so grateful. This year will be challenging and good and messy and good. #BlackExpat #myexpatlife #lifeinAfrica #anewnormal #pushingthrough #praychangesthings #socajunkie #grateful #itgetsbetter #internationalschoolcounselor #browngirlblogs #blackwomenwhoblog