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A day in the life of my mother-in-law by Alex Vinson

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.

  • Swat flies.

  • 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.

  • Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Alex Vinson © 2008
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