Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Downside to Vilcabamba? (by Nani)

Judge for yourself after I have stated my own perception... Good luck with that!

1. biting gnats. They make big welts and if you scratch... aigh! People wear long pants even when it's warm out! I am determined to find an anti-biting solution other than pantalones.

2. Internet is slow. Wireless is what we have though rumor has it that fiber is coming... Rumor indeed! I'm not sure how a government can make Internet access a priority over better roads. Oh, wait - what am I talking about? Is this the US?

3. no TP down the can, please. That's right... we do not flush the toilet paper down the hole. It's better for the plumbing and septic situation. It really doesn't smell up the bathroom and is more eco-friendly, so I'm all for it, though I will be using more than one square, Sheryl Crow.

4. no plumbing traps. OK, so there are some odors, but mainly from the plumbing (which I think can be better anyway). In Ecuador, they don't use septic vents and plumbing traps, so there can be a wafting of odors if you forget to use the plumbing covers for each "hole". We have strainers and plugs for each sink and tub or shower and keep them plugged when not in use. Pretty simple. Besides, I brought incense.

5. celebrations. Weekends are a major time for celebration. Libations, music. The town square seems to be a place that people hang out and celebrate life on Saturday nights and holidays. Did I say celebrate? I meant hang out and drink in public.

6. factory farming. There still exists an element of factory farming here, but on a smaller scale than the US. Much smaller. But even the eggs from these farms (called local) are much more orange than the store bought in the US - even the organic ones. We have learned that there is a "country" version for almost everything including milk, eggs and meats. It's called criollo. Getting to know our farmers is the key. And speaking the language probably wouldn't hurt.

7. water. The tap water here in town has a very light tinge to it - in large quantities, like in a tub bath (where Dec is now) it's noticeable. We brought our water filter, but the locals drink the water and are fine. A few days ago when we went to Pierre's property and drank from the river that comes straight from the mountains. It was clean and pure and no one got sick, Holly.

8. bureaucracy and information. Apparently, rules change all the time here. Visa requirements, especially. What may have been true yesterday may not be today... but isn't that the nature of life anyway? Be flexible and aware and things always work out. I always wanted to visit Peru anyway.

9. electricity. The main power here is run off of hydro, so we have occasionally experienced outages because there's not enough water right now to run it consistently given the draw, so they shut it off at night and one hour during the day. Once the rainy season kicks in, there will be more consistent running power, if not then I guess we'll just have to install a hamster wheel.

10. less than quality kitchen things. I don't think I'm a snob when it comes to pots, pans and knives, but holy shit if these aren't pieces of crap you'd get for your child to place house with! I mean, I wouldn't even take these things camping because they'd melt in the fire. Thinnest pieces of aluminum ever before seen with the thinnest coating of nasty Teflon that will peel at the sight of match. OK, drama aside, it really is poop. I'm sure the lack of boxite in this world would warrant a recall of all Ecuadorian pots and pans - for the greater good. I mean there's no way a piece of steel is more expensive. I refuse to believe it.

1 comment:

  1. I am ecstatic to hear you all are happy. I did note the reference to my worrying about you getting sick from drinking the water. Yes, I am worried... but you live there right now so you have to adapt to the new stomach flora, so drink up Honey! You will definately have to use more than one square of TP, but it has to be done. Much love to you all.