Perpetual Campers

Fifth in series from my work in progress.
The realizations and irritations of electricity-free living continued to reveal themselves, enlightening and annoying in turn. Some days it was the music I missed the most, others I was amazed that for thousands of year’s people read only by candlelight at night. It is not romantic. It is inconvenient at best, the eye strain as the candle flickers, the bugs flying into your face, your book and your flame. My books are full of squished bug spots. It took a while to remember all the ways I use electricity. When getting ready go out in public, I would think, ‘Oh, I’ll just iron that blouse,’ oops, guess I’ll wear a T-shirt. ‘It is definitely a day for the fan!’ Guess not. But we can do anything for four months I reminded myself.

December rolled around and harvest came to a slow, disappointing end financially. After the final tally and all of the more important necessities were met, such as making sure we had enough money to support our animals thru the dry season, there was not enough to get our electricity reconnected. We had consulted the company and were told we would have to install five concrete electrical poles at $1000 apiece. It would not have been enough if we’d needed nothing else, also that amount would put us half way to a solar-powered system, so we declined. By this time I had lost my creek to the dry season, and we were looking at an indefinite time sin luz (without electric light). It was solar or bust.

We are both resolute people, we made our adjustments. I bought a lavadero, a long sink basin with a wash board in the bottom and rigged a hose to have running water over it after a month of using a big rock on a table. I read during the day and we played cards at night. We considered buying a guitar and learning to play. We both like to sing. We have always enjoyed sitting under the stars for an evening of entertainment. One night I said to Felipe,

“I feel like we are perpetual campers.” He took my hand his rakish grin glowed in the moonlight.

I won a lot of respect with the Doña’s (a name of respect for a mature woman) during this period of time. They were already impressed that I ground my own masa, made my own cheese, butter and yogurt, and rode a horse. But while we were without electricity they asked me every time the saw me, “No tiene Luz?” (You still don’t have light?)

“No Dona”, I’d reply, “no tenemos.” (We still don’t have any.) They would then go thru a pantomime of all the things a women must do to run a household without electricity, hand washing, grinding salsas, with obvious amazement that a gringa would ever consent to live that way. Then they’d take ahold of my hands and look them over to see the truth in the calluses, give me a sympathetic smile, pat me on the back and walk away.

This entry was posted in Mexico, Uncategorized and tagged , , , by vsvevg. Bookmark the permalink.

About vsvevg

Hello, I'm Abby Smith. I started this blog in 2010 to write about the pursuit of a self-sustainable life in rural Mexico. In 2015, my then-husband and I moved to Nicaragua, where we created a successful farm-to-table and in-house charcuterie program for a high-end beach resort. In 2022, with mad butchery and cheese-making skills under my belt, I started a sustainable food systems consulting business. Happily, I also have more time for my first love-- writing about food and the complexities of the simple life.

4 thoughts on “Perpetual Campers

  1. I was suggested this blog by way of my cousin. I’m no longer certain whether or not this put up is written by him as nobody else realize such detailed about my trouble. You’re fantastic! Thanks! 304518

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s