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My life has changed significantly since I moved to Guatemala in October. Here is a list of things one wouldn’t probably expect at first that are now part of my daily life.
Wake up at 5am
This one is not strange for many of you, especially if you have a young kid jumping on your bed at this time of day. Or night. I still call it night, until my usual wake up time, around 8am. Now I wake up with the sun and get so much done by 10am that I feel like having lunch and a nap. With the jet lag from Europe, it has been very easy for me to wake up this early, and this is a habit I am hoping to keep, my mornings are much more productive. I usually check emails, write a little, make the bed, and have breakfast ready by 730. The handyman gets in at 8 and we start working on the house.
Beautiful early morning colors (and a freshly thatched deck still with green leaves).
Be in bed at 7pm
When you wake with or even before the sun, you will probably find yourself tired very early too. The sun here sets around 6pm, so at 7, I have usually had dinner and am tucked in bed. When there was no electricity, my day was over and I went to bed, or had a candlelit night with BF, playing the guitar and drinking beers. Going to bed at 9pm feels like a crazy night out.
Pack all valuables before leaving the house
At the moment, the house has no windows, just mosquito nets, so it is really easy to break in. The water pump of the previous owner has been stolen, as well as most of the electric wiring, suffice to say that I take my laptop, money and other valuables when going to town.
Shake my clothes and check my shoes before wearing them
So far, the scorpion death count is
2 9. I have seen cockroaches (big, ugly ones) crawl out of my bags when I open them. So to avoid a bite, I shake my clothes and check inside my shoes before putting them on. I have a flashlight to go to the bathroom at night too.
A disgusting surprise to find in your bed.
Wear the same thing over and over
Remember that suitcase that I packed? I haven’t used a tenth of my clothes. I wear khaki pants and a gray tank top most of the day because it is comfortable to work and you don’t see the mud, dirt and other stains. Then I go down to the lake and bathe fully clothed, hang my washed work clothes and wear sweatpants for the night. When we go shopping for groceries I wear jeans and feel like a million dollars!
Never store my bathing suite
Nice one! Because I swim every day in the lake, my bathing suite is never stored in the closet, always out for grabs!
As there is no running water yet, I shower in the lake, using as little soap as I can. It is fun to be in the middle of nature and have the fish come and say hi. They prefer when I do the dishes, so they can eat too.
Have dinner for breakfast
Because there is no fridge, the food goes bad quickly, and everything has to be eaten as soon as possible. Resulting in breakfasts made of dinner leftovers.
Use a pit toilet
There is a dry toilet on the land, with a whole about 5 meters deep. Very convenient while the water gets installed. Except that there was a strange noise at the bottom once, and BF says it is a bat. Now I am afraid to go.
Update: Since I wrote this post, I have had access to running water (bye bye, bats) and electricity (hello, blog updates, and you can see the last update about Guatemala here).
Have you ever spent a few days without luxuries we usually take for granted? What is your experience?