Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our Casita

[22 Feb 2017]

From the street view our house just looks like a garage door set in a wall, but when you open that door you see a courtyard with two garden areas in the middle. Our landlord is a bit of a gardener and he has tomatoes, corn, peppers, and much, much more growing in our courtyard.

Entrance to our apartment

The courtyard – our apartment is at the end on the second floor.
Our washing machine – hand driven.
There are two levels, soon to be three when they get the rooms finished upstairs. We are on the second level. There are two stairways going to the second level. Our landlords, or dueƱos, live on the second level as well.

We have six rooms, all with a door that opens onto the courtyard, or the balcony in our case.

From the left – the bathroom, our bedroom, the “clothes drying room”, the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen.
We will start with the kitchen. It is painted a cheery yellow and there is a window over the sink that looks out onto the courtyard as well as the beautiful red mountain. The sun rise is amazing from this window. Our windows don’t have screens, there are very few bugs. There is however, a lot of dust (which I prefer to bugs). In our kitchen we have a stove, a little refrigerator, a set of shelves and a small table with shelves underneath all that we bought at the market. There is also a good counter space with a cupboard underneath. We also bought a microwave and a blender. So you see I pretty much have the comforts of life in the kitchen. The only difference from home is that there is no hot running water, so my tea kettle is always full of hot water. Every other day, we don’t have running water into the kitchen, so I have a 20-liter bucket full of water that I can fill my tea kettle with to have clean hot water to use. I have already made noodles, cookies, and bread, along with the normal stuff in my cheery yellow kitchen.

The kitchen (panorama view, which distorts it a little). Note the pass-through window in the wall on the left.
The next room is the dining room. It is painted a lovely beige color. The unique thing about this room is that there is a little window high up on the wall, not to see out of but for light. It is made up of glass blocks. The other feature is a square opening into the kitchen to pass dishes of food through. We bought a little table and four chairs.

The dining room. Who needs more than a table and two chairs? Note the little pass-through window in the wall on the right.
Next is our Living Room. It is a light orangish color. Our District President knew we needed furniture, which is hard to find in the market here. He was in Oruro, where you can find furniture, and called to see if we wanted him to buy some for us. He sent us some pictures and we made our choice. He not only bought it but had it sent by train to Tupiza and then picked it up and had it delivered right to our door. He and Elder Lyon carried it up the stairs. It is a four piece set. It is black and grey fake leather, one piece seats three, one seats two and one seats one and it came with a little coffee table. It looks very nice in our living room. They are not very tall, but then again, Bolivians aren’t very tall either. We entertained 8 young missionaries in this room and we fit beautifully.

The living room. The couches are pretty small.
Our next room we use to dry our clothes, for now. Our washing facility is a basin in the courtyard. There are clothes lines for drying, but some things we prefer to dry indoors. We bought three coat racks that we connect with the wooden handles of our broom and mop that we hang hangers on. It takes a while for things to dry due to the lack of ventilation, but it works for us. This picture was taken while the room was used for staging the build of the wardrobe. It now has some coatracks and a fan for drying the clothes.

The clothes drying / project room. This was the wardrobe before assembly.

The wardrobe after assembly.
The next room is our bedroom. It is the largest of the rooms. It is a lovely orange color. We have a queen size bed that one of the branch presidents is building a frame for, so for now the mattress sits on the floor. Charlie has built us IKEA style (meaning you get them in boxes and put them together yourself. They come from Brazil, and aren’t quite the fit and finish of real IKEA) night stands and a wardrobe. They are white and lovely. The wardrobe holds all of our clothing and is quite large. The only way to move it out would be to dismantle it, so we hope our landlord wants to keep it when we move. We also have a table that Charlie uses for a desk. We are waiting on a table to come available for a desk for me as well. It is a lovely room and it is right next to the bathroom.

The bedroom. We’re waiting for a frame for the bed, and a desk for Molly. The newly finished wardrobe is on the left.
The bathroom is bluish green in color. The toilet and sink are green. Charlie rigged us a shower curtain to help contain the water when we shower.  We turn the water on and then flip an electrical switch on the wall to heat the water. I was a little nervous about this before we got here, but it is not a problem at all.

The bathroom (panorama view makes it look bigger than it really is).
That is our casa. We feel very safe and happy to be here. We can catch the bus right down the street. There is a little tienda (store) across the street where we buy our juice and water. The owner of the store knows us and knows what we want. We drink a lot of juice and water. There are also several places close by where we can buy rotisserie chicken, which is the safest way to buy chicken here and it tastes pretty good too.

The view from our casa is quite spectacular.

The view – the pointy, red mountain is the Cerro de la Cruz (hill of the cross), and the one just to the right in the distance is called Elephant Hill.

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