A day in the life of my mother-in-law by Alex Vinson
Wake up about 6am.
Verify today is the day that water is available (every 3rd day).
Prop the front door open with a stick.
Remove the carefully coiled garden hose from its storage place under the bed, take it out to the road in front of the house and hook up to the spigot.
String the hose out back to the pila (cistern) and begin filling it up.
While the pila is filling, sprinkle water on the hard-packed dirt floor in the house, simultaneously shooing the chickens outside, and then sweep.
Put water on to boil for instant Nescafe.
Clean the front porch the same way, while watching out for the bolillo lady to pass by.
Buy the fresh hot bolillos to have with coffee.
Shake out the bedclothes, make the bed, sweep.
Walk ten minutes to the main road, exchanging chismes (gossip) with the neighbors along the way.
Catch the combi (VW bus transport) into town to shop for fresh fruits, veggies, and this morning's catch of fish from the harbor.
Take the combi back, resigning herself to the task of carrying her purchases down the dusty road home.
Pour some oil into a pan, throw the fish in whole, and fry it up.
Prepare salsa on the spot with the veggies and put together a little fruta and enjoy.
Put the dirty dishes into a pail and take them out back to wash at the pila.
Fill bucket of water to bathe in and to use to "flush" to the outhouse.
Wash clothes at the pila and hang up to dry.
Make a second trip to town to do errands (tasks that are separate from grocery shopping - don't want to be hauling fish through the bank or clothing store!).
Plan how, si Dios quiere, you can buy shoes this week, a dress the next week, maybe a handbag the week after. Personal expedentures are planned this way: one item per week.
Back to the house.
Some eggs, some beans, call it supper.
Wonder where the day went.
Settle in for the evening, light the Raidolitos to stave off the mosquitos.
Turn on the 12" B&W TV that gets one channel, lie in the hammock and watch the soaps.
Give thanks to God for a day in which nothing bad happened.