La Vida Sencilla

The simple life isn’t so simple here. I’ve been upgraded to a mattress on the floor of the family house after the flood and we’re officially more or less on the same schedule. The rooster calls the day usually around 6AM but sometimes howls without remorse at two in the morning. It takes me about a half hour to make breakfast. My abilities dictate a menu of arepas, rice with vegetables or fried cheese with yucca. About the food here, no one can complain. But before breakfast there’s always something that needs to be done like go fill up our gallon jugs with drinking water from the neighbor’s farm or sweep sand off the floor. Once that’s all in order there are dishes that need to be done via the two bucket method. There are usually dishes and pots left over from the night before since there’s no electricity and it’s hard to make things clean in the dark.

A run to the store is made about once a day since there’s no refrigerator and is a great opportunity to stop at a friend’s place or the internet. The internet here can be tricky. There’s none on Sundays and Thursdays and other days when it’s not working or weather conditions force the town to turn off the electricity switch. After lunch there are probably some clothes that need to be washed, also via the two bucket method or you can take a shower, you guessed it, via the two bucket method. During the winter, the rain makes everything difficult. Aside from dampening the morale, clothes take many days to dry and require constant coordination of indoor/outdoor drying time, mosquitoes rejoice and streets turn into muddy streams. Flooded homes and roads complicate everything even more.

Last night, after my rear bike tube popped, I took it out and tied it to the side of the bike to get home. It rained of course and my last set of dry clothing was now gone. Frustration swept over and I loathed the sand and muddy water encapsulating my lower body. As I struggled to keep my eyes open despite the bullet like rain in the near dark, I realized it is all a part of the simple life here and slowed down.

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