I really, really love my house. I live in a circular house with a thatch roof and a single room – it’s called a rondavel, and they dot the hillsides of every village in Lesotho.

I’m going to take you on a little tour of my favorite corners (ha, it’s funny because my house doesn’t have corners).

I have a bright teal door that I can see from far away as the taxi approaches my village. It’s so warm and welcoming – even if I always slice my foot open on that sharp metal rain guard. I made a screen door that fits over my burglar bars, so I can keep my door open almost all the time, letting in light without letting in flies or puppies.  I have to sweep this area daily, thanks to the Lesotho dust which gets everywhere. 

Turn right from the door, and you’re going to walk straight into my bed. Because my house has only one room, my bed is also a couch and sometimes a dining table. I love the way the sunlight comes in through the orange curtains.

I have come to really love my bucket bath. I miss a lot of things about the states (sushi, a dishwasher, a fully charged laptop), but a shower isn’t really one. As I bathe, I usually listen to music and admire my wall of photos, letters, and yes – the certificate that proves I’m a real Peace Corps Volunteer.

My life here is overflowing with buckets, and sometimes it feels like I spend hours just pouring water from one bucket to another. Pictured here: pee bucket (purple), toilet paper bucket (yellow), bohobe bucket to make bread (orange), dishwashing buckets (blue).

My kitchen is my favorite part of my house. I have a lot of free time, so I spend a lot of time cooking and baking. Who knew you could make pizza, pop tarts, and even bagels without running water or electricity? I reuse everything here – water, even matches.

My space is decorated with things that make me happy: the flag of Lesotho, photos of places I love, and drawings made by my extremely talented neighbors.

Look up, and you see a mesmerizing pattern of thatch (and sometimes, a few spiders). I’m lucky because my hut was never used as a cooking house, so the roof hasn’t been stained black. That, along with my huge windows, make my house much brighter than many. The clear things are solar powered lights – they chill in my window during the day, and at night I hang them over my kitchen counters.

This is not how I pictured my first home would look, but I’ve truly fallen in love with my space and the details that make it unique! 


2 thoughts on “Ntlo

  1. You have made your house a home, and that makes all the difference. You are living in your village and you are OF your village for the next 2 years. I’m so happy that your rondavel is a delicious blend of Africa , America (I see us on your walls) and quintessential Jillian. I can’t help thinking how fantastically different your life is now than it was on Oct. 5. You delight in the everyday differences and roll with the everyday challenges. You are living the dream! Thank you for sharing your world with all of us.


  2. Hi Jillian- so happy to read your latest blog about your house. You describe it so well and I can picture you inside doing all of that baking. By now you may have your teaching assignment in place. Good luck with your large classes! I know they will be so appreciative of everything you teach them. I hope all is going well!
    Barbara Raffa


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