I can only really remember watching the Brady Bunch if I was home sick from school and had nothing to do, or my sister and I were really bored during summer vacation, and in both cases there was nothing better to watch on TV. For either reason, I know that the Brady family had 8 family members and then a lady who helped around the house.
Right now, our host-family is bigger than the Brady Bunch. We have 14 people living in our 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, home. It is a bit insane, and to be honest, a bit stressful.
Currently, as in the US too, it is summer vacation. In order for the kids to get to have some fun and get a change of scenery it is very common for kids here to travel and stay with family members in other parts of Cameroon for a few weeks or a month or two. On a normal day, our family has 5 kids, 2 parents, Shaun and I, and someone who helps around the house, totalling 10. Right now, we have 4 additional cousins, ranging in ages from 2-16, staying at the house.
While all of the kids are polite, and the 2 year old little girl is adorable, I am wishing that our family was smaller than the Brady Bunch. There is constant noise, commotion, and chaos at our house, and we seem to put off going home as long as possible, as sitting at a bar here seems far more tranquil than a living room full of 10-14 people.
In all honesty, it is difficult. As you can imagine, that many people requires a lot of cleaning, a lot of dishes to be done, and someone to somewhat run the house, all of which isn’t really taking place. Thankfully, we have our own room, which we retreat to as soon as dinner is over to find some sort of personal space in a scheduled day that is dictated to us.
I am sure this time will be one of those experiences where we look back and talk about how crazy it was, but, in the mean time, we are counting down the days until we swear in as volunteers and can move to Nkongsamba and establish our own home…a home that will only have 2 people living in it on a regular basis, with more room and space for visitors.