We are super grateful for our home here, at least now that we are post-roach infestation. Here are just a few of the little ways that our home is different than life in the grand old US of A.
Laundry and Water: Above in the background you can see laundry on the line. We don't have a dryer, so we air dry everything, which is plenty easy here because it is brutally hot most days! In the foreground is our well. We are a 10 minute walk from the beach so we have plenty of water, even in the worst of the hot and dry season. We have a water pump that pumps this water into our house, but it runs on electricity. So, when the power goes out, no running water! We don't have a dishwasher either, so all dishes are done by hand.
Water Filter: Each night Isaac fills up the top with well water from the tap, and it filters through three filtering stones in to the bottom, which is now drinkable. We keep two kettles on the stove, one to heat up filtered water for things like making coffee or cooking. The other is for boiling water for dishes or kids bucket baths, since we have no running hot water or water heater. We sometimes really miss hot showers, but we've also started switching to shower midday, when it's sweltering and the cold water is a welcome relief!
Two trash cans. One is for dry trash like cardboard and paper, the other is for "wet" trash, mostly food scraps and decomposables that go back into a compost pile. You might call these recyclables but there is no such thing as recycling here, nor is there any trash pickup. Dry trash is taken to our trash burning pile, wet trash is taken to the compost pile. We have a box in our shed for unburnable things, which when full has to be driven across town to the open market, where we pay some guys to take it and hope that it doesn't end up dumped off the side of a beautiful Papuan mountain. When you directly see where all your trash goes, you start to be much more intentional about how much trash you produce!
Above is our backyard in the late afternoon sun with the trash fire burning. I think it looks like the LOST smoke monster. We're experimenting with a garden, but only time will tell how that goes. Below is in front of our house. I'm told during the rainy season we'll be able to freely gather wild kangkung (Indonesian spinach) from the stream/ditch, but for now it's just good for catching tadpoles. These are some of Judah's friends from the neighborhood.