Since I started shooting 1 Second Everyday videos recently I found myself taking fewer pictures. When I learned about the Blogging Abroad photo challenge, I jumped on it, knowing it would help me share my world a little more.
Each month they send out 10 prompts, all tying back to a theme. This month’s theme was #home. I’ll admit, sometimes it was a stretch to think of things to photograph, or I thought the picture I was sharing was just boring. However, since many of you aren’t here, I think it’ll still be a fun look for you all!
The view from my window is mostly a brick wall. Houses in the pueblos of coastal Colombia are built very closely together. Note that not all windows here have bars on them, but Peace Corps requires that all volunteers’ room windows have them for security reasons. Also, I am forever grateful to that tree for the shade it provides, even if it does drop little dead leaves inside my window.
This day’s theme fell on my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, so I enjoyed a few things that I love on this day: sitting and sipping coffee (Juan Valdez, french press), and reading through the book that my parents sent with me. My grandma had pasted in some random papers, including this copy of my parents’ wedding announcement.
I love kitchens in houses, because it’s where all the good stuff happens (although here there’s not nearly as much kitchen gossip at parties because it’s customary to be served, not to serve yourself). I basically live in the city, so my kitchen is not too different than an American kitchen – it has running water and a big stainless steel fridge/freezer. The biggest differences are 1) the lack of an oven (good thing I got some cakes baked before I lost that!), 2) food is almost all kept in big plastic bins instead of in cupboards because Colombian ants and other pests are forces to be reckoned with, 3) there is a big plastic tank of water for when the running water goes out, and 4) eggs are left on the fridge.
My house here has a good washing machine, and my family thankfully uses it for almost everything. My previous host family was pretty careful with their clothes, so there I did a lot more hand-washing than I do here. It’s a good thing, too – I’m doing laundry every few days to keep my sweaty clothes from getting too stinky. This was a rare day when I’d already completed all of my regular laundry and was just catching up from a weekend with a couple beach visits.
I literally wrote a to do list for the first time in months because of this photo challenge, but it was a good thing I did! Since then I’ve been keeping one because I have just been having a lot catching up to me. Also, my friend Alyssa saw this and told me to check out Bullet Journaling, and that is definitely my jam. I’ll be starting when I use up the last 20 pages of this notebook.
Just around the corner from me are side-by-side juice stands that also sell fritas (empanadas, papas rellenas, deditos, and arepas – don’t worry, I’ll write a post just about fritas for a future date!). Since I went to the closest guy’s bright stand the first time, I haven’t had the heart to betray him to try his neighbors’ goods. Besides, his juice and arepa de huevo are dang good. I stop by whenever I’m out of eggs at home or am just running too late to cook/eat/clean up at home.
This bike provides me comfort in multiple ways. Emotionally, of course, because sometimes when I’m feeling a bit crazy all I need to do is hop on and ride along the beach and I am calmed. Endorphines and whatnot, and I think just that comfortable feeling that being in a saddle gives me. But also, my options for getting around town are walking or biking. When the sun is hot and high at midday, being on a bike and getting to my destination more quickly and with the wind on my face is way better than trudging along by foot.
Since we got Teo, friends, family and neighbors have joked that he must be my son because his blonde and blue-eyed. I just always shoot back that my eyes are nothing like his. My host mom now jokes about him being the son of “Martín” instead since Marty and Teo have matching eyes.
It’s important here to either have a huge collection of plastic chairs or access to one. As you can see in this post about birthday parties, rather than milling around on foot, partygoers form circles in their plastic chairs. It was my youngest host sister’s birthday on Friday, so we had a small gathering at our house.
This is a pretty typical scene, especially on a Sunday morning. My host dad is in the hammock, singing some vallenato with my host sister next to me, cross-stitching. Not seen are our friend helping my host mom grade homework, and Teo lounging off to my left.
I hope you enjoyed these little peeks into my home! If you have any questions about other aspects of my home, let me know in the comments and I’ll follow up.