Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our Humble Home (For a Month)

This is the road where we live for the month we're in Bolivia. Gerson's parents' home, which they rent, is the one with the huge tree --- NOT the one with the razor wire on top the wall.
Although the house doesn't have all the comforts of our house in McAllen, it does provide for all our needs and contains an abundance of LOVE!
This is the room Gerson and I share with Edson and Jayden. My amazing mother-in-law raised the money to buy the toddler bed and crib for them by renting out the trampoline to neighborhood kids in the evenings! What an business woman!
The kitchen is the structure in the background where Gerson is working. The second day we were here the wind was so strong it almost blew the tin roof off the kitchen! Gerson and his dad got to work putting heavy wooden rods on top. The room where we sleep will be the dining room when we leave, so for the time being we mostly eat outside on the plastic table where you can see Jayden sitting.
 Don't worry about the rustic conditions. My mother-in-law believes in cleanliness. Even though she cooks in rough conditions, she maintains a clean kitchen! She doesn't even have a sink in which to wash the dishes; instead, she uses plastic tubs.
If you are a detailed person, you may have seen the washer and dryer in the back of the kitchen. However, since Gerson's family has just moved to this new house, they have not been able to hook up the washing machine to water yet. Therefore, all of our clothes have to be hand-washed! Bless my sister-in-law, Silvana, for washing our clothes for us! I'm thankful she actually ENJOYS this chore. I've never had such clean clothes in my life! 
After washing them by hand, she had to hang them all up to dry. Don't worry ---- she really did have a sense of humor about it. She loves serving in this way!
Our bathroom is NOT an outhouse, for which I'm very thankful. Our sink is outside, but at least the toilet and shower are INSIDE. :)
 Bless my father-in-law for realizing and understanding that his "gringa" daughter-in-law considers hot water for showering pretty close to a necessity --- especially during these winter months. The temp can drop into the 50's during the night and can stay pretty cool throughout the day. This gal doesn't like cold showers on HOT days, let alone COLD days! Most Bolivian homes do not have hot water heaters, nor do the they have heat in general, so if the cold remains for several days, it feels colder than it actually may be. So, Daddy Fermin installed a rustic hot water heater. If I explained how it worked, it would probably make you nervous for my safety, so I won't go into details. Suffice it to say that I flip that black switch and turn the white switch on the shower head, and VOILA, I have enough hot water "to skin a pig," as they like to tell me. This gal is happy with whatever hot water I can get! :)
 The kids take even a more rustic approach to bathing. They bathe out in the yard. We heat water on the stove in our almost-outdoor kitchen, add a little cold water, and my two boys are happily splashing away.
Although it may seem backward and lacking in today's luxuries that many consider needs, this home is full of joy, laughter, love, and the Holy Spirit! I will admit it is sometimes a hard life. But, it's a GOOD life --- one full of blessings that can't be put into dollar signs!


  1. Look how HAPPY Gerson looks to be home with his family.

    I LOVE your little bedroom.

    If it doesn't rain all the time, I could LOVE living like that - - - cooking and doing dishes in that rustic way and eating outside at the big table.

    Another way to get hot water is to run the hot water pipes across the roof before they come down into the shower. That's how they did it in the guest house in Haiti. True - - - you need to shower before the sun goes down, but that's at least doable.

    Looks like y'all are having a great time.

  2. Yes, Keetha, I've heated water in a similar way, as well. However, in order for that to work, you need some SUNSHINE! We haven't had an over-abundance of sun since we've gotten here. I'm loving the cloudy, cooler weather, though. I DO enjoy eating outside, which we do most days. We didn't eat outside the day it was super windy or we would have been eating pure sand! Otherwise, it's nice! :)