It was an ordinary working day back in 2014, when my husband and I had been working in the field until evening time. We were exhausted after a long day of work so were keen to head straight home afterwards. As we walked down to our house, we could see the sky turning grey and smoke filling up the air. We wondered what was causing this, but could not figure it out. But as we arrived home, we could not believe what we saw: our house was on fire!
It was a huge fire and we were so shocked. Our neighbours were panicking and trying to help by pouring water over the house, but it wasn’t much help. We tried to save as many things as we could, but in the end all we could do was stand helplessly and watched our house completely burn down. For us, it was not just a house, it was a traditional house. We built it according to our traditional custom so it was very special.
Until today, I still cannot understand how it happened. Did I forget to turn the stove off? Did a cat knock over a lit kerosene lamp? We will never know. So much was taken away, but we have to live with it now.
After spending several months in one of our relative’s houses, we gradually started to save money to build a new house of our own. Because the cost to build a traditional house is very expensive, we decided to build a small house made from bamboo. Our new house is simple and consists of one bedroom, one living room connected to the kitchen, and one additional room for storage.
Though it is a simple house, we like it very much because we built it ourselves. However, it was still lacking one big component, a bathroom! This is of course an important part of any house, as we use bathrooms every day. But at that time we did not have enough money so the construction of a bathroom was postponed. In mid-2015, through the Wonder Woman program, I had the chance to earn extra income for my family. To my surprise, not only did I find that I enjoyed selling clean energy technologies, but also that I became very skilled at it. This kept me very motivated to keep selling more and more products. I travelled to many villages, conducted various ‘tech fairs’, and promoted the technologies everywhere I went. And within a short period of time, I had enough money to build a bathroom!
The construction of our bathroom took only one week. We positioned it in a separate location from the main house, to improve the airflow of the room. The bathroom is also made from bamboo, with a toilet and a water basin inside. Now, we don’t have to use our neighbor’s bathroom anymore.
Finally, we have a complete house of our own, and I am very proud of it.