Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 5.
As I type, I can see the slow spinning motion of the ceiling fan blades in their reflection caught by the rim of my glasses. The motion matches the fan’s hum and the caressing breeze it sends downward to cool me. Unfamiliar bird songs float on Saturday’s hushed stillness which hangs heavy around me. This morning, the sun is brighter, the clouds are fewer, and the sky is blue. But they say we will have rain later. In any case, I can tell it’s going to be a muggy day.
morning view to west as sun rises
(from my son’s rooftop terrace)
When we arrived, my son had jokingly told me that he had a short list of things to help us experience true Ecuadorian living during our visit. I wrote of one here (although I don’t think this one was on his list), and of another one here (“greenfrost”), and now I write of a third one.
In the middle of the afternoon, we realized we were without running water. Do you know what that means in a home with seven people?
The city had shut off water a day ago (who knows why or when this will happen), so our water tank had been slowing emptying and by afternoon it was at a level it should not go below. So, my son ordered a tank of water to be delivered by truck. We waited and waited. Finally the truck arrived; water shot from the hose into the tank and churned up the sediment. So even when we finally had water, we had to wait hours for the sediment to settle on the bottom again before turning on the pump.
You cannot imagine how much you use tap water to cook and serve and clean up a meal. And then there is the washing of hands and the flushing of toilets. And at the end of a warm, sticky tropical day without air-conditioning, imagine no shower.
I wonder what else is on that short list?
Here’s a peak at some of the authentic Ecuadorian cuisine we are enjoying.
(my son’s delicious version)
with plantain chips
Parrillada de costillas chancho manabita (grilled baby back ribs)
with patacones (thick green plantain chips)
menestra de lentejas (lentils)
fresh avocado slices (not on my plate)
and salad dressed with fresh lime juice
my daughter-in-law cooking patacones
(these were yummy)
Ecuadorian Lentil Stew
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for hosting
2017 Slice of Life Story Challenge
Yes, here in the USA we take things like drinking water so for granted. When living in Lima, we used bottled water for everything, even brushing teeth. At restaurants, no glasses of ice water- it was bottled water, “con gas o sin gas”- carbonated or not? I notice some similarities in food- ceviche (my husband loved it, i never tried it, although I have actually made it for a church international dinner) and avocado- called palta in Peru.
Bottle water is all we use in Ecuador also. My son has a filtering, purifying system that connects to his refrigerator so we can get ice water and ice from its door. That is really nice!
Your post reminds us to not take water for granted so easily!
I love to read about experiences in different places and cultures, and am glad some “slicers” are doing that!
I enjoyed your piece.
Thank you, Frances. Yes, drinkable, accessible water is something to be very grateful for.
OK, your pictures are making me hungry. Living where I do I find it hard to imagine not having running water. I find the occasional boil advisory to be a pain. Oh the things we take for granted.
You are right! Here, all drinking, cooking, and tooth-brushing water must be purified.
Love when you can experience life like a local when you travel! I know it was frustrating, but it was an experience you won’t easily forget!
It is the best way! Most of the time we do that. I’m pretty flexible and low maintenance–as a fellow traveler you know what I mean. 🙂
This visit sounds like it is full of adventure Alice. I love your description at the beginning of the slice. I can picture the fan and the view from your words. Hope you have water today!
Thanks, Lisa! Water is running today, and so are the fans.
I love your opening description – what I powerful lead. I had to keep reading! It sound like you all made the best of the situation and you are really getting an authentic experience. Enjoy!
Thank you, Clare. We are loving our visit!
There’s something to be said for having an experience very unlike our own. We took our two boys to Ecuador a few years ago. Some things like family and beaches and gathering together for meals are universal…although many other things seemed entirely unfamiliar. Enjoy your experiences!
🙂 Thank you. So easy to take for granted the things that make our lives easier, like power and running water. When we experience a disruption in the services at home (US), it is usually connected with diaster–storms, flooding. Here it happens without disaster.