It is hard to believe so much time has passed since my last post. Then again, a lot has been happening.
Over the past two weeks we have moved, traveled to the US, and begun teaching. The most arduous part of it has been getting our new home set up. So many things to consider!
First of all, everything here is stucco and brick. Just trying to put up a clock is complicated. It is almost impossible to put a nail or a screw into the walls; they just start to crumble. My fix involved going to Home Depot and buying lots of double stick strips. They work to a point, although they don’t hold much weight. I tried to put up a key holder, but it keeps falling off the wall. At least the clock has stayed up.
All of the locals we spoke to told us that you don’t need air conditioning here, that a fan will suffice. Well, that may be true, but sleeping when it is hot is just not possible for some of us.
I love fresh air, but I also like quiet, which open windows do not always allow. While we live in a small and relatively quiet neighborhood, there are younger families and people here as well. Since we’ve been here, we’ve found that weekend nights are particularly noisy from people coming home late or having company or parties.
Then there is the very large dog that lives nearby and barks throughout the night.
These considerations led us to buy a mini-split air conditioning unit. They are pricey by local standards — $8,000 pesos and up — we felt it was essential. We ended up paying just under $12,000 pesos for an LG unit, plus another $1,000 pesos for installation. Sounds like a lot, but US, it is only about $700. The same unit in the US costs over $1,000 US!
Other things we have had to purchase include more linens (sheets and towels), an iron and ironing board, clothes for work, pans, plasticware, coffee pot, toaster, and a variety of other items for the house.
When we first looked at the house, there was only a washing machine. Many people here line dry their clothing. We prefer to use a dryer, so we asked the landlords if they would split the cost of installing a stacked washer/dryer unit. They agreed, however, they were unable to find a unit that would fit in the space, so they opted to buy a single machine that does both.
Sounds great! Not so much, though, as it doesn’t dry well. It can take hours.
Once again we had to be a bit creative to solve this problem. Our solution was to buy a tension rod that we could put above the machine in the laundry area. Then we can hang the slightly damp things up to finish drying. Of course, they will probably need ironing. Just one more thing!
Tomorrow, Lyn and I are going to the immigration office to finish his permanent residency visa process. Fingers crossed this won’t be too challenging, although, I am not hopeful.
From what we understand, it is quite a process. I will just have to be patient. Yikes.
Sophie and Izzy are doing well here. They like the new outdoor spaces. There is a dog park with agility equipment, although they didn’t quite know what to do with that. They just like to run around a bit in the sunny grass over by the amphitheater.
Since it is spring, lots of flowers are blooming. Gives me something to enjoy while they run around.