Monday, August 17, 2009

How's the water? And other fun stuff...

A friend of mine asked recently a question that some of you may be wondering, too.

"Do you worry about the drinking water?"

I would worry if we were drinking water out of the faucet. But we don't, and neither do our neighbors. We use the running water to wash our hands and faces, to shower, to brush our teeth, and to wash our dishes and clothes. But we drink (and cook with) bottled water. We have a couple of big five gallon jugs of agua purificada (purified water) that we use for drinking and cooking. When the jugs are empty, we exchange them for new jugs. I think one five gallon jug of water costs about $1.80, but don't quote me on that. I'm sure it's something close to that. The jugs are available at the big supermarket (called Mega) which is about twenty minutes from our house as well as at the local corner store (called a Mini Super and a lot like a well-stocked 7-11). There is also a truck that drives up and down the streets delivering water jugs to houses, although we have yet to catch him.

Here's a photo of one of our water jugs. Turning it upside down into the stand without spilling any is a bit difficult, but my buff husband is pretty good at it.

We actually have a lot of delivery trucks that drive up and down our street. One delivers mariscos (shellfish, especially shrimp), one delivers fruits and veggies ("papayas, piñas, cebollas, pepinos, manzanas, naranjas, tomates"...he's driving past right now shouting all that out over his loudspeaker), one delivers sweets (like doughnuts and other pastries), and there are a couple of different companies that deliver the propane tanks we use to run our range and hot water heater.

At first it is difficult to understand what the drivers are shouting over their loudspeakers (or sometimes it is a recording playing over the speakers), but I've gotten used to the different sound of every truck and can usually identify what they're selling pretty quickly. Except the water truck. I know he's around, but we keep missing him.

I just stepped outside to stop the produce guy. His name is Miguel, he's 25, has two kids and one due in December, and he was very interested in what Scott and I are doing here. He wanted to know how long we'll be here and was surprised when I told him eleven months. He asked why we're here so long and was, again, surprised to hear that I want my children to learn Spanish and to understand Mexican culture. When I told him that I don't want them to be pure gringas, he smiled and laughed. He asked me some questions about English pronunciation and I asked him a few things about Spanish. It was a fun conversation -- and so great that he's willing to talk and answer questions and that he feels comfortable asking me questions.

It's fun to meet people like Miguel who are curious about us and are not too shy to ask what we're doing here. I especially like it when they correct my grammar and word choice! That is super helpful to me. I know how to dish out the grammar lessons at home and here I'm learning how to take them!


Susi said...

Thanks, that answered my main question, too!! Sounds like a fun time - you guys are gutsy, to throw yourselves into a new culture and language like that. Sounds like you're doing awesome!

Hillary Dickman said...

We're definitely hanging in there!