Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cultural Idiosyncrasies (by: Mike)

In Ecuador you don't put toilet paper (or other paper products) in the toilet.  That's right, you heard me.  When you wipe, you put it in the waste basket next to the toilet.  Most of them (fortunately) have covers on them.  The septic systems aren't designed to handle paper.  It sounds a bit gross at first.  But, it was not that hard to get used to.

Ecuadorian plumbers don't use traps in their plumbing.  A trap is designed to hold a small amount of water in drainage pipes so that the odor from the septic system does not get into the house.  I am not sure why they don't use them, but they don't.  Maybe it is to save a few dollars?

Instead each sink or shower has a bung, or drain stopper, if you will.

This will prevent the odor from the septic system from filling the house.  As long as you remember to plug the drain with it when you're done.

Musical Garbage Trucks
The municipality of Vilcabamba provides garbage pick up 3 times a week.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the garbage truck rolls through town collecting garbage.  I was walking back from the center of town and I heard music playing.  The kind of music that most of us associate with ice cream trucks.  Initially I couldn't see the source of the music.  As I continued to walk I turned the corner and saw the source of the music.  It was a garbage truck.

The garbage truck plays the kind of music that we'd normally expect from an ice cream truck.  They use it so people can hear the truck coming and get their garbage out.  Crazy cool.

More to come...


  1. That sounds so cool. I can't wait to visit you guys. I will try to read this often to keep u with you guys and where your at with everything. I miss you guys. When Mike dances, has he got the Galaxy Arms swaying?

  2. Yes, but because we're slightly South of the equator they rotate in the opposite direction.