I was just thinking about all the little things I took for granted living in the states...and its not to say these aren't available in Ecuador, they just aren't AS available. Do keep in mind I am living in a very rural community here, there isn't even a local grocery store, only small vendors. Everything is a trip to the bigger city, Porto Viejo, about an hour away, including the movie theatre!
1. Paper products are seen as a luxury here, they can be fairly expensive as well. A short roll of paper towels is about $2.25 that's an off brand too. Whenever you use the bathroom at any public store they will offer you toilet paper for about $.25 for a wad.
2. Dishwasher- Washing dishes is my new favorite sport! I say, whoever cooks doesn't have to clean, but I have started enjoying my time with the dishes. They even have names now! haha... It was so easy to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher whenever they were dirty and let the dishwasher do all the cleaning back in the states. However, here, if we cook we have to clean immediately, cause otherwise our little friends come to collect their portion of leftover crumbs (aka ants).
3. Dryer- also known as, air dry here. The weather is so beautiful year round, its almost stupid to buy a dryer. But this means if you need something dry quickly to wear later that day, more than likely isn't happening! We do about a load of laundry a day and then we have a clothes rack we lay everything on. The doors are always open here with the wind blowing in and out, so its very breezy!
4. Electricity/ Air Conditioning- Almost like clockwork the lights go out in San Clemente around dark (dark is always right at 7pm year round). Of course we are of the lucky since the hotel and townhomes have a backup generator, but for about 4 seconds the electricity goes out. I just hope I am not on the toilet when this happens! Thanks to my daddy, I have an AC unit in my room. The condos here don't come with AC because the weather is just beautiful and you don't really need it. However, I am apparently really sweet and the mosquitoes love me, so not only do I sleep with a princess net (mosquito net) over my entire bed at night, I also get the luxury of having some cool air :) Thanks daddy!
5. Fresh water- a lot of people living in the smaller towns don't have running water, or even a bathroom in their house. They have to go get the water from a local source or share with their neighbors. The complex we live in and the hotel have their own water tanks and the water will be treated with the reverse osmosis system soon!
6. Cell phones-this is my favorite! I was a texting queen back in the states and here I haven't really had a phone. It took a lot of getting use to at first, but with Santiago's help I should have a working phone soon! However, it is easier to text people in Spanish here...otherwise you use your minutes up trying to put one sentence together! There are 3 main cell phone companies here: Porta, MovieStar and Allegro. All incoming minutes are free. Most phones use the prepaid system, however I am lucky enough to have the hookup with a plan which is cheaper. My dad and I haven't quite figured out though how much one minute to talk to someone is. We just know that after putting $10 on a phone it has an expiration date and can poof be gone in a few days... then the lady comes on in Spanish and says blahblahblah, por favor...which means time to recharge!
7. Car- I think I have forgotten how to drive!!! Here it is very typical to use your horn for everything. Honk when passing, honk when you see a friend, honk when you are wanting someone to move out of your way. Mostly we take the bus, which is nice, cause I can sleep on it. Although, that never seems to happen since people are standing up in the aisles a lot of the time and there are vendors selling food. The bus is a social networking place! Oh yeah and if you fall asleep and miss your stop, you are in trouble!!!
That is all I can think of right now...thanks again for reading my blog! I enjoy all the comments and am very thankful for each of you. Life is beautiful, don't take a second of it for granted! I know its hard to stop and enjoy moments in life through the daily bustle, but take the time to do something that makes you happy. You will see a huge adjustment in your attitude and people will notice too!
R.I.P Tequila. She will be missed! She passed away a few days ago. Thank you to Santiago for helping us through everything and being there with her.