My tukul is my sanctuary. It has mud walls and a grass roof; I share it with a hedgehog, some lizards and an assortment of insects and spiders. At night, the bats flap in and out on soft wings. Inside I have a bed, a chair and a mosquito net. Yes, it is hot and dusty.but it is mine. At night, I sleep under the mosquito net and let the cool breezes circulate through an open door. If I have to get up at night I am careful to turn my flashlight on and check the floor and the inside of my shoes for scorpions. I have never seen a scorpion but I am told they are unmistakable.
There are thirteen tukuls in the MSF compound if you count the latrine tukul that is under construction. I saw tukuls in various stages of construction in the village. They start with a square or rectangular wooden frame; balls of mud are wedged between an outer frame and an inner frame.
The gaps are filled in with more mud and the whole surface of the wall is smoothed over and finally adorned with a relief pattern around the doorframe.
In the center of the compound are several large spreading trees with a few smaller shrubs here and there around the periphery. One of the staff is nurturing a banana tree near the kitchen tukul. The birds are beautiful: a small green one with a black eye stripe and a long tail, a small brown sparrow like bird with a blue bottom, a black raven with a white bib.