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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

International alliances built in Haus of B

joanna silverman Christine Ajinjeru, Natalie Richardson Gentil, Na Chainkua Reindorf and Thelma Chiremba (all ’14) represent. Photo by Joanna Silverman.

Beauties, brains, bachelorettes and broken hearts. Any of these could finish the ambiguous moniker of 1208 Main Street, affectionately called The Haus of B. However, there is no definite word for the house known for its laughter, theme parties and hospitality. The B stands for different things for different people, explained Christine Ajinjeru, Thelma Chiremba, Na Chainkua Reindorf and Natalie Richardson Gentil (all ’14).

The inhabitants—all international students from different countries—believe the name developed out of habits, brought with them from their home countries that are perceived as “bougie” by the domestic students.

“The things we do and the people we do things with, it’s like we have a very international view of things, but then we interact with a lot of domestic students, so when they come over it’s like ‘Wow. You’re in America doing not very American things,’” Ajinjeru said.

The living room of the house is adorned with the four flags of its inhabitants’ homelands of Brazil, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Uganda and visitors are challenged to identify the country of each flag—a feat most fail. Their status as international students brought them all together during International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP) and the group has continued to grow their friendships since then.

“It’s funny, I pulled up an old picture … and all of us are in the picture side by side. And that was a week in,” Ajinjeru said of a photo taken during IPOP first year.

The house is sometimes mistakenly called ‘The International House’ because the house atmosphere is unavoidably influenced by the residents’ home countries. Though this is far from the only reason that the house works well, it gives the house members common ground in similar experiences.

joanna silverman Christine Ajinjeru, Natalie Richardson Gentil, Na Chainkua Reindorf and Thelma Chiremba (all ’14) represent.  Photo by Joanna Silverman.
joanna silverman
Christine Ajinjeru, Natalie Richardson Gentil, Na Chainkua Reindorf and Thelma Chiremba (all ’14) represent.
Photo by Joanna Silverman.

“We kind of get along because of the international experience,” Reindorf said. “And we sort of understand each other as coming from places outside of America.”

Each resident has been able to introduce her housemates to some element of their country of origin, primarily through food. “It definitely comes out in the cooking,” Gentil said.

After years of friendship, and now cohabitation, the friends also jokingly call their group dynamic “Married Housewives.”

“We are actually married to each other, it’s like an open relationship with other sexes [or] whatever else you’re interested in, but ultimately we’re married,” Reindorf said.

The group goes out of their way to help each other out by waking each other up in the morning and cooking for each other. To further solidify their bond as married housewives, the group also took photos for a Christmas card in matching outfits. While the four have different personalities, majors and schedules they all use the weekend as a time to spend together.

“On the weekends, we’re always home and we’re always together,” Gentil said.

Haus of B, which is off the beaten path on Main Street, was the last house available when the group decided to move off-campus. After some renovations by the landlord, the interior is now a nicely-decorated, clean space for the students to live in. Though the four separate bedrooms are a major plus to the house, when all the residents are home, they like to be in the same place.

“We all like cuddle time, so when we are all at home together we all kind of jump into the same bed,” Reindorf said.

Aside from physical intimacy, the four students also throw themed parties as a method of house bonding. In fact, birthday decorations that seem more fitting for six year olds still hang in the living room. The group also keeps a book filled with hilarious out of context quotations.

The group often has visitors of all sorts—friends for parties on the weekend, unwanted animals (usually taken care of by the men of Goat House) and a ghost, named Steph, living in the basement.

“There are two chairs downstairs and duct tape, so we think that the previous owners of this house had … some victims,” Reindorf said.

“Steph is nice, though. She doesn’t come out. She stays downstairs,” Gentil said.

But the inhabitants of the Haus of B face all ghouls and guests together and know that married housewives means for better or worse, till death do they part, and ghosts and graduation will not change that.

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