Dual Entry #7
"Changes Around The House"
continues to be interesting in Cantel.
We’re feeling like our little room is now “home”.
We’re excited to walk through the door after a long day.
We’re even to the point now that we sometimes forget how
different our living conditions are here when compared to our life
back in Texas. Luckily,
anytime anyone from the U.S. stops by for a visit, we are reminded
of the contrasts.
Our Humble Abode
example, yesterday, a mission group from Ohio made a surprise visit
to our house. We
weren’t there but Martín let them into our room so they could see
how we live. Thankfully
we had just straightened up the place and swept.
I was feeling quite relieved UNTIL I remembered.
We didn’t empty the “pee bucket” from the night before
because we were being lazy. Besides,
we are used to seeing a clear plastic (yes clear plastic) bucket of
pee by our armoire. The
best part is that it’s the FIRST thing you see when you enter the
room. As much as we
would like to tell them we were just storing leftover apple juice, I
don’t imagine we’ll be invited to Ohio anytime soon.
than that, there have been a few changes in the last few months. Our family has worked wonders and made several improvements
to the property. So, in
case we haven’t made it known to everyone, we now have a new
bathroom setup. However,
it’s a little different than you are probably used to.
a real-life, flushing toilet enclosed in four cinder block walls and
a tin roof. It’s
great, but you still
have to walk 50 feet outside, over rocky terrain to get to it.
This has helped us realize that the real value of indoor
plumbing is the “indoor” part. A flushing toilet doesn’t excite me unless I can get
to it without putting on a coat and hiking boots.
To make things even more interesting, the room doesn’t have
a door on it. It has a
sort of “open air” feel to it.
The other day, I was sitting on the pot, doing my thing when
Marlon walks by and says “Hi Gabby” and keeps on walking.
Too funny. Still,
it flushes, and it has a roof, so we can’ really complain.
also have a shower, right next to the new toilet stall.
It is a concrete room with a shower head that is supposed to
heat the water before it falls on your head.
Unfortunately, the water pressure isn’t high enough to
activate the heater, and the electricity isn’t strong enough to get
it hot, even if the water is flowing well.
But, as always there is a silver lining.
Even though we still have to go outside and heat up our pot
of water with burning wood and trash, we now get to bathe inside
this new little room naked! Let
me tell you, bathing naked is underrated. It is so much better than trying to do it in a bathing suit.
They should really be called swimming suits because, bathing
– no sirve (it doesn’t work).
So now we carry our bucket of hot water into the room with a
bucket of cold and mix it and douse ourselves.
The little shower room is much warmer than standing outside.
We love it.
Bathing Naked Is
Gabby In The
sink is outside of the toilet room.
It’s a nice porcelain maroon sink (everything is colored
here, even toilets and sinks).
Unfortunately it was built on a foundation that is well above
ground level so when I go to brush my teeth, I feel five all over
again. Unable to reach
the sink, wondering when this will ever be possible.
And this is with a cinder block to stand on. Ah, the ingenuity one finds when you have to.
the new bathroom is not the only thing interesting around the house. The seasons have changed.
The apple trees on our property are barren, and we are
nearing the end of the very dry season.
There hasn’t been any measurable rain for months.
This is normal here. The
problem is that the tall grass surrounding our house is like a
tinder box. With the
strong mountain sun, the chances of brush fires are high.
Add to that the neighborhood kids who think it’s funny to
light a match and throw it into your bushes, and you have a tough
came home yesterday to find Francisco and Eduardo taking precautions.
Even two-year old Josesito was tasked with putting out some burning
embers! But don't call DHS! This is normal here. Apparently, around the first of March every year, they burn
every square inch of their property (a couple of acres, I imagine).
Since my only experience with fire usually involves a Weber
grill and some marinated chicken breasts, I was intimidated by the
“semi-controlled burning” of the brush.
Still, we all grabbed tree branches, threw a couple of
matches, and watched the burning until something looked scary. At which time, someone would run to the flames and beat them
into submission. Secretly,
I really enjoyed this job. Gabby
tells me that if we tried this on our Yard-Of-The-Month in Austin,
we would quickly be thrown in the slammer.
Still, it was a lot of fun.
I’ll let you know when my eyebrows grow back.
A Big Smokey Mess
Overlooking Their Handiwork
Josesito At The
And, for an
afternoon, our house was turned into a barber shop. Twenty
years ago, Martin went to some barber classes at a local school
because his father-in-law thought it would be a good career.
Well, Martin had other plans, but he kept his skills intact, and
cuts the boys' hair whenever he gets the chance.
how he needed a haircut, too. Luckily, Gabby is a quick
study. She happily grabbed the shears and tore into Scott's
auburn-colored locks. The finished product is a pretty darn
good haircut. Gabby sacrificed a finger in the process, but is
happy with the results. Maybe a new career is waiting for her
when she gets home!
Twenty Years Of Experience
Of The Year
that’s about it for now. Stay
tuned for more. We
don’t have much time left here, but it’s sure to be full of