I just figured out the trick to taking a hot shower here! On the shuttle to the hotel this morning, all 10 of us in the car were talking about how we turn the knob this way and that to get the water to stay warm for at least enough time to rinse the soap off. I guess I’m not the only one! There’s these wires connected to the showerheads and when you turn the water on too much, it’s cold. But if you don’t turn it enough, it just trickles and doesn’t do much of anything for you. I turned mine a full turn, then back halfway, then back to the full turn point. Hot water! Then it’s boiling hot, so I had to turn it down- freezing, hot, warm, cold…. It’s a process. I was able to keep at it for a good 5 minutes though, enough for a quick shower, but it’s definitely a success!
I feel like as frustrating as these experiences are to the other students in our group, this is why I came here- to appreciate these sorts of things. Simple as they may be, they are luxuries that we take for granted. When I came here, Brian (mi prometido, or fiancé) reminded me not to sweat the small stuff. I remind myself of this daily and instead try to embrace these things because there’s so much that I can learn from them. If hot water is a rarity in a wealthy town like Antigua, I wonder what it’s like in the poorer towns. From the background we’ve been given, I’m sure a hot shower is the last thing on peoples’ needs list.
Just when I figured out how to work the shower, my housemate Erica and I found out that we will be moving to another host family. The place we’re staying at now is 9 blocks from the rest of our class, and on the other side of town. Since we’re in different sections of the field school, and thus have different schedules, it’s not ideal for us to live so far from the rest of the students because we have to walk alone often.
Though I understand and am sort of relieved to be closer to the other students as well as the center of town, I’m also sad because Jorge and Marie are such amazing people. Jorge is a Chiropractor just like Brian, and Marie is a nurse (or enfermerda) just like my mother in law. Marie makes the most amazing and beautiful food for every meal, fresh made juices (we’ve had pineapple, lime, and tamarind so far), and a small dessert (tonight was chocolate cake with icing) which rivals my grandmother’s cooking. We laugh with them every night and talk about holistic medicine, cultural traditions here, and just life in general. They appreciate my humor and malo espanol (bad Spanish), and I’m amazed by their genuineness and caring. I’m going to miss themL