The last few days have been filled with many strange and new adventures... after the marathon trip to the "Super Target," we actually cooked our first meal at home. It can be tricky figuring out how to cook and wash dishes without using the tap water. We made spaghetti - a pretty easy and safe meal to begin with. We have to be careful - any fruits or vegetables that will be prepared for the meal have to be soaked in order to kill any bacteria on the food. So food preparation takes longer than usual. There are no dishwashers in Guatemala so we have to wash by hand - which I don't mind, but it gets complicated with boiling water, adding bleach and how do you rinse in a single sink?? We decided to wash in the sink and rinse in a bucket. Both bucket and sink have to include a small amount of bleach to kill any bacteria. It has to sit for 30 minutes in order for the bleach to be effective, which means you have to add a pot of boiling water to the sink so that the water is warm for washing. It gets tricky and everything takes longer to do, but we are continuing to refine the process.
In our kitchen there is a small step up - maybe 3 inches. The tile makes it very hard to see the step up. One of our first couple nights here, I walked into the kitchen and smashed my big toe into that step. It was excruciating. Well, the very next night I did the same thing to the same toe. I am amazed my toe isn't broken. I immediately burst into tears - not sure from physical pain or emotional?? Probably both! Anyway - while I was still crying and trying not to curse like a sailor, my sweet precious children made signs to post on the steps and counter - alerting all passersby of the step. It was so sweet of them to look out for the mama, and the good news is that we have not had anymore stubbed toes to date.
Anna Kate standing on the step with her warning signs.
The other day, we tackled another first. We washed laundry. We are blessed to have a washer and dryer in our apartment, but electricity in Guate is very expensive. So - we washed the laundry in the machine and hung it on the clothesline - OUTSIDE - I was mortified to hang my skivees out for God and everyone to see. We finished them in the dryer for a couple minutes so they are soft - and it began to rain!
Hanging laundry together, hoping it won't rain anytime soon.
Here is what cracks me up - at home in the good ole USA, Lee never goes to the grocery store, he helps in the kitchen because he wants to, not because he has to; and he rarely does laundry. I have happily managed those areas of our home. But here - all these tasks take more time and thought to accomplish. You can't just throw a load of laundry or dishes in the washer and forget about it. You have to think through what you're doing - it takes both of us to get these menial chores completed. I know in the weeks to come, we will find a groove and these things will become second nature. But for now, it is fun to be co-laborers as we figure out this strange but new world.