Some Things I Miss

  1. Heated houses – Yeah, winter is short here and doesn’t get much below 50 degrees but it’s like camping in the cold. There’s no escape. The wind whips through my house and the cold settles into even my bed.
  2. Clothes washing machines and dryers – Have you ever washed your clothes by hand? I won’t burst your bubble if you haven’t other than to say you’ve saved hours of your life. The drying thing isn’t an issue during the summer, but during the winter things take a while to dry and there’s always a chance they will end up moldy.
  3. Trash pick-up – It is very hard to be environmentally conscious and deal with trash in the absence of trash pick-up. I am starting a collection of things with which I simply don’t know what to do.
  4. Not having to worry about mold – These winter months, the rainy days, and houses made of mud and cement don’t mix well. I’m constantly fighting to keep mold out of my wardrobe and away from everything in my house. Nothing can touch the floor, nothing.
  5. Floors that don’t hold moisture – My floor is made of cement and is laid on top of the dirt of the earth. It’s nice in the respect that if I spill tons of water…like when I hang my clothes to dry…the water doesn’t pool but disappears, but it does add to the mold problem.
  6. The Internet always at my fingertips – I miss being able to just look up quick facts and information. What are the hours of such and such a business? How does one get a Fulbright? Who sings such and such a song? What are all the animals in the Chinese zodiac?
  7. Google Maps – How the hell do I walk from here to there? How big is my community, really?
  8. Walking around barefoot – The threat of ringworm, hookworm, and Giardia lamblia are a pretty convincing deterrent.
  9. Good green tea – Paraguayans drink terere and mate, so green tea isn’t that important here. But, I just love green tea.
  10. Dark chocolate –Chocolate is scarce and expensive here. I don’t know why, but the chocolate that is here isn’t real chocolate…it’s chocolate flavoring without actual cocoa.