It has been just a couple days short of us living in Ecuador for a month now. Life has become in so many ways very simple as compared to life in the United States. Some people may find it boring because we are so accustomed to being entertained non stop or having our schedules filled to the brim. As I reflect on life in Ecuador as compared to my previous life in the US, I like to think of it as simple. I’m truly enjoying the lifestyle though it takes some getting used to for sure. I can suppose that someone who thrives on business and activity may find it rather difficult to live here, but even then I believe if that person would take a step back…they may find they like it.
- Today was water day in which a big water delivery truck came to fill up our cistern. Cistern water is not our drinking water, but only our washing water. The fill up cost was about $35 and we think it will be a monthly occurence but that of course depends on our water usage. Occasionally the town will turn water on to the homes and it will trickle in a little at a time, but my understanding is that it has not been even close enough to sustain the average household which is why it is fairly common to have it delivered.
- Drinking and cooking water is delivered by a lovely woman named Margaretta on her bicycle/delivery cart for $1 for a large 5 gallon bottle. We go through a bottle every couple of days or so.
- Food is readily available at the local tienda which is nearly on every corner. They are very similar to small walk up gas stations in the US, but they have most everything you would need in a pinch in small quantities. Bakeries and pharmacies are also very easy to find in any town. For larger quantity shopping and purchasing things like flour, sugar, salt etc, we go to SuperMaxi in Porto Viejo. It takes some planning for sure and there are much fewer choices in terms of products but we aren’t lacking that’s for sure!
- Church is very simple and I love that. Yesterday we had the privilege of attending a tiny church (maybe 15 adults and 25 children) which was located in a concrete building in the middle of rice fields. Voices echoed due to the concrete and there was no glass in the windows but it was lovely and the presence of the Holy Spirit was there! Several times we heard chickens and roosters crowing and saw and occasional bird fly through the building. The people were lovely and welcomed us to their small group though we were foreigners from the US. It was simple, but it was powerful.
- We have a wonderful cleaning lady, Lucita. Just for the record, she comes as part of our rent…typically I clean my own home as a matter of choice. 🙂 Lucita uses mainly vinegar and water to clean and everything sparkles when she’s done! It’s so uncomplicated. I always felt stressed shopping even for cleaning products when I had choices because there were just too many! Choices are wonderful, but maybe I’m wired to live where there are fewer.
- Transportation although less convenient than driving whenever and wherever you want is way less complicated for us as well. At this point, we have opted to not have a vehicle so we walk or we hire a tuk tuk or we take the bus! All of which are extremely affordable here. We don’t have car insurance or gas to pay for and there’s no maintenance!
- Paperwork (on real paper) is important here. It’s important not to lose it because whatever you need is most likely not stored in a data base somewhere or easily pulled up on a computer. If a bus ticket is purchased, the receipt/ticket will be on a piece of ordinary paper (probably hand written) that needs to be presented if you are to ride that bus. If you lose it, it’s not good. Again…simple.
- We have gotten to know so many wonderful people. And get this…it’s not presumptuous or rude to just show up at someone’s house. I remember years ago, relatives or friends stopping in at my parent’s house unexpected. My mom always had banana bread or something she could pull out of her freezer to serve them if that happened, but no one thought a thing about visiting unannounced. Today it is almost considered rude. Not here. In fact, if a visitor shows up, most likely you are happy to see them!
Living in Ecuador is very reminiscent of life in the United States years ago where life was slower, people knew their neighbors, and nothing happened fast.
Life here is different. There certainly are so many benefits, blessings and conveniences to living in my homeland, don’t get me wrong. But so far, here in Ecuador, life has been more simple. I think I’m going to like it!