October 15 marked the one year anniversary for moving into my apartment in Maputo. It also marked a new beginning that I definitively decided on as I fell asleep one night: composting. Now, I live on the top floor of a very urban apartment building, but in the last year, my apartment has seen my modest plant friend collection expand. I recently bought some new seeds and started harvesting some from the vegetables I regularly consume. Then I decided that by golly, I WOULD make my own verandah garden. I do realize that given the neighborhood threats of rats, cockroaches and ants, my venture into back verandah composting could be compromised. But I’m going to stay positive and start rotting my foodstuffs. My goal is that in time, I will create enough fertilizer and/or soil to support my garden and produce herbs, flowers and at least one avocado, pineapple, green pepper, green bean, and squash in the next year. We’ll see.
While I can’t believe it’s already been a year since moving into my humble abode, I also can’t believe my transitions and personal growth over the last year. I remember the sorry state my apartment was in when I first walked in with my suitcases. There were only two working light bulbs, which is more than could be said of the latch-less front door slamming in the breeze. But in the last year, I’ve slowly turned a grungy bug hole in the ghetto into a cute little Pintrest-inspired home. I’ve learned that living without electricity at night, water during the day, and gas for a stove over a weekend all makes me appreciate those amenities so much more. I’ve learned to embrace the satisfaction of not having ants covering every surface of my kitchen. I’ve watched holes get drilled into the walls, the kitchen floor get ripped out, pipes get exposed in every corner, and sinks get dismantled, all to learn the blessing of plumbing. Intrusion of rats quickly taught me the importance of keeping my kitchen window closed and that my boyfriend is a merciless rat-smasher. And, after many solitary evenings alone, I’ve recognized the beauty of community and hosting friends.
But I think all in all, this last year in my apartment has taught me the importance of getting dirty in order to grow. So in this concept, the composting shall commence in the hope of bringing forth new life in the next year of apartment life.