I decided it was time to do some show and tell. Blog posts are always more fun with photos. So I am going to give you a tour of Ramiro’s house complete with photos.
Let’s start with a broad view. This is our little community, we actually live up the road about 15 minutes. We’ll probably rent a house somewhere down there in the near future. Here’s Ramiro’s house, where we are staying. The bedrooms are up top on the left, the living areas below, and the kitchen is on the far right.
We will start in the general living area. The porch has two hammocks. The one on the left is way more comfortable, being made of cloth rather than rope. The enclosed area below the house has the shower and storage. Note the glass windows, this is the only house I have seen here with glass windows. Normally they just have a wooden shutter than can be pulled shut at night or when it rains.Next up is the dining room, basically the opposite side of the porch, and in fact many people when visiting sprawl along the benches at the table. The chair out front is Ramiro’s Chair. It was made from a cross section of a trunk of a tree. He carved it out using a machette.
The table is also one of the places I like to have a flower arrangement. It’s something I enjoy doing and it’s fun to play with the exotic flowers around here. The white flower they call heilotrope (Although I suspect they are not realated to the English flower of the same name) . However, just like the English flower it smells wonderful! Just off the dining room is the kitchen. The kitchen is a stand alone room. I assume that this is because it could burn down and also they used to (and some still do) cook on fagons (raised cook fires) and the smoke would stay out side this way. Ramiro has a gas stove and oven. There is a fagon as well out the back door with a little shelter to keep the wind and rain out of the fire. I have not tried cooking on a fagon.
The sink is accessible from inside through a window, but it is actually sitting outside, and the water drains into a open gutter. There really isn’t a basin either, it is just a sloping painted piece of zinc, with a faucet over it. There is usually a big metal bowl under the faucet that functions as the basin. Also, close to the kitchen is the fregador, which is an outdoor sink. In this case the laundry area. Jeff and I do laundry about twice a week. Here it is beneficial to do laundry often because mold will grow on anything left wadded up very quickly. It takes about two hours to do the washing and four to six hours for the clothes to line-dry in the sun. Needless to say, it is an all day affair, unless of course it rains, and then it is a two day affair.
Another handy feature of any campo (country) house, is the latrina. Ramiro has actually built a little roofed walk way that keeps you dry if you need to visit in the rain. Outside of the house, I have started a little seed bed called a semillero, mostly flowers, with a few vegetables sprinkled in. The seeds are almost all locally collected. I recently expanded to the right as you can see.
Jeff is also testing out our solar panel, on an old battery of Ramiro’s. The panel does work and will charge. However, the battery doesn’t hold a charge long. This pile of bricks will hopefully be a nice building for a flush toilet and “real” shower some day.
The last stop on the tour is the horse. He doesn’t have a name, Ramirro just refers to him as his Caballo Blanco (pronounced Kab-aye-yo Blan-ko meaning White Horse). He’s pretty nice, he lives in the pasture across the road from the house. I take him guallava fruits off the tree in the back yard, and now he comes running when I go to the gate and call, “Caballo”. It’s just like in Zelda Ocarina of Time, except I don’t have an ocarina and I haven‘t learned to ride a horse, yet. *Jeff noticed today that Ramiro went out to the pasture to get the horse with four guallava fruits in his hand. He must think getting the horse to come when you call, instead of traipsing out to him through a muddy field is a good idea.