Daily life here is quite different than anywhere else we’ve lived. We leave our windows open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, unless the rain is driving in a specific direction and pouring into the house, then we close them during the storm.
Our home is made of concrete, tile floors throughout and a tin roof.
There are 2 seasons, wet and dry. Wet season we just had and now we are entering the hot, dry season. Everyday a thin layer of red dirt dust settles on all the things in our home and the floor of our home. Therefore, everyday it is necessary to sweep.
We have ants (this is not like ant invasions in the States, these ants come in by the thousands and attack whatever attracts them) so we cannot leave anything out. Dishes must be done immediately after use and there aren’t any dishwashers to stick them in, plus ants get in our food supplies, but they float to the top during cooking of pasta and rice so you can skim them off. We have termites, wood mites and cock roaches. All par for the course living in a tropical environment. Every day we have little wood termite piles around the baseboard areas of our home. Another reason why sweeping and mopping is vital. Mold grows extremely quickly and things need scrubbed much more often and this includes shoes, belts, bags, back packs, pretty much everything.
Food preparation: I’ve (DeAnna) always prided myself on cooking. I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen and I used to think since I made my own marinara or something that is bought largely in a jar that I was really going all out. Now I have come to appreciate convenience foods or prepared foods, like foods in a jar or can. We can buy some things, but in comparison to the States, very little. It is necessary to make most things completely from scratch, so therefore meal preparation takes hours, not minutes. In order for us to use produce, which is abundant and very tasty, we must clean it and store it a specific way to help prevent cholera. After shopping for produce one must then pre-clean all the dirt from the item. After soak it in a solution of javel and water for 20 minutes. After that you must rinse it in filtered water. After that lay it to dry on towels. If you have a lot of produce this takes hours (a full day every Tuesday in our house from 10am – 4:30pm) and after all that the things need to be stored in the refrigerator to help prevent ants and cock roaches and other bugs.