Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mini updates!

This week has been somewhat distressing. Geoff and I had some noticeable water problems -- as in, our water got turned off by the water company! --Not fun. We learned the hard way that the ANDA water bills here are not cumulative; if you miss a payment (which we did in the beginning, since we didn't know whether we were supposed to be paying the bills ourselves, or how), the next bill that comes doesn't contain or refer to the overdue amount. Each bill stands alone, which doesn't make much sense to us, but that's just the way it works here. So, we had paid off the most recent bill online, thinking that would suffice, but that was apparently the wrong assumption. And, after a couple months of an unpaid old bill... tada! off goes the water. FOR THREE DAYS!!! Geoff and I couldn't get down to the office in person to take care of the issue during the work week, so we had our super-ish person look into it for us. She spoke to the company and they said it was coming back on, blah blah. Predictably, nothing happened following that promise. Eventually, because of a fluke, a maintenance guy from a different company turned the water back on for us today. So, in short, we don't know whether the water is here to stay, or if the water company is going to come back and turn it back off, or what. We can only hope for the best.

And, you know, it's amazing how difficult this was. The amazing thing is that we sort of did have water; we still had drinking water in tubs, and we took our empty tubs to the pool out in the back and filled them to flush the toilets. But still, we were frustrated as hell. We can only hope that this is a permanent fix, and that the water company just flakes out altogether and doesn't send anyone else down to toggle with our water supply. But, as the running joke goes, it's El Salvador, and anything is possible.


I learned while talking to a friend that once you employ a maid here, you are responsible for paying the maid weekly even if you aren't going to be around that week (ie. the maid gets the week off). This is because the $10 to $15 you pay your maid each week is, in fact, their main source of income, so if you go on vacation and decide not to pay them, then they are unemployed for that duration. Good to know, since Christmas break is coming up. I would NOT want to cause our maid to be unemployed and to be in financial difficulty when we are away.

It's one of those small things that showcase the income disparity in this country.


On a brilliantly good note, Geoff and I went to scope out a salsa dancing class yesterday, and it was fantastic! The dance teacher, Raul, had been dancing for 16 years. It was basically like a private session, because he thinks we're not good enough to be with the rest of the class. So, for the whole hour, Geoff and I practiced on the side, and he showed us several moves. I have taken a number of social dance classes and am usually pretty good with following the rapid-fire instructions, but this instructor was moving fast. I love it! He says that in two months, he thinks we'll be good enough to join the rest of the crew in learning fancier moves. It sounds lovely...

We want to go back there at least once a week. The only problem is that getting a cab ride to and from that place isn't totally easy, so we have to resume looking for a car to buy...


Geoff won't be around this weekend, because he is heading to Jersey for a wedding! I'm totally envious, because I want to be in NY and I wish I could be at this beautiful wedding of two really good people. But, it's good that the local crowd is organizing a weekend getaway, so I wouldn't just be hanging out at home feeling bored. Congrats, M&M!! Enjoy your big day!!

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