Posted by: Matthew | September 8, 2010

La Luz

(This post has been delayed a couple weeks due to non-functioning internet during our last visit to the internet center.)

Well, as Lydia recently wrote, we are now happily ensconced in our very own pink shack on a foot path above the cool Rio Manatí.  Nesting is going well and our new home is really beginning to shape up.  When we first arrived, after a week in the capital sampling many sorely-missed culinary deprivations, hanging out with our fellow volunteers/friends, suffering from internet-induced overstimulation, and acquiring a nagging SCUBA addiction, it was a bit of a shock.  You know how it is.  When you first move into a new place, everything is a lot more work than usual.  There is no routine.  Basic actions require thought.  Our fridge doesn’t work.  We have to cook for ourselves for the first time in 6 months .  I couldn’t even take a nap without breaking into our host family’s house to sack our old bedroom of sheets and pillows.  All of these small inconveniences were compounded by our location in the middle-of-nowhere in a developing country and thrown into sharp relief against the relative modernity and carefree excitement of our recent stay in Santo Domingo.  In short, it was more stressful than I anticipated and I admit to having a rather pathetic attitude that day.

Now, however, we couldn’t be happier living in our own place.  Being the last house on the footpath affords us a degree of privacy unheard of in this land of familial warrens and underwear-clad street showers.  We control what we eat now, which means a lot more protein, vegetables, and flavor.  Even though we are eating less, we feel more satisfied and healthy than before.  Also, we enjoy cooking and are drinking a lot more coffee (Café mocha to be exact: I scored a pound of raw bitter cocoa powder from a PCV in the capital).  It’s a lot easier to work in our yard now, so I’ve finally finished the garden fence.  Furthermore, we are much less cramped in this 4 room house than in that concrete bunker of a bedroom, though we still tend to spend 90% of our time no more than 5 feet apart.

Also, we’ve had electricity for nearly 24 hours


It’s too good to be true really.  And actually has nothing to do with our house.  The luz arrived yesterday evening and stayed uninterrupted until the next evening.  We may even have had it an entire day.  We spent the time in bliss: washing clothes, sitting in front of the fan, and using our computers.  However, through that whole day we were also rather nervous.  You see, this breaks the schedule.  Normally we can expect luz in the morning and evening/overnight one day, and in mid-day/afternoon and early morning the next.  Now we don’t know what to expect.  It’s hilarious really, that when we have something we can only think about losing it, but when we are in our usual state of deprivation it’s comforting to know for, more or less, how long we will be deprived and when.  Of course, this sense of schedule is illusory as the regular departures from regularity prove.

While writing this article, the electricity finally went out.  I have no idea when we will get it again.



  1. We undoubtedly fail to realize how “good” we have it in the developed world. Thanks for the blog detailing life in a third world country.

  2. You are so right, we tend to want to have some control in our life even in the state of deprivation. Good that you can get away and enjoy fun activities,scuba diving takes you into a new magical world. I can understand wanting to repeat the experience as often as possible. I sure do miss having you here to see at least when we got to Wisconsin. Sending you much love Dear One.

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