Bienvenidos a mi casita!
In Spanish, when something is small an ita or ito is added to the end of it. So casita (from the word casa) means ¨little house.¨
Perrito (perro) = little dog
Abuelita (abuela) = little grandma
Carrito (carro) = little car
Papelito (papel) = little paper
Almuercito (almuerzo) = little lunch…just a lil lunch ya know, a lite meal, some small fare
Anyway, you get it. But it’s cute right? People love to throw the ito/ita on everything here. It’s also kind of like sugar-coating a request or adding affection to a word.
Puedo tener un frescito por favor? Can I get a little juice please?
Gah. I just love it.
Anyway, back to mi casita.
I probably should have done this months ago. Like, maybe when I first moved to Fila Naranjo in May but I was just thrown into such a whirlwind of aggressive (in a good way, I promise) Costa Rican women I didn’t know where to start.
Today, we’re going to put the tamales and empanadas on the back burner and I’m going to give you a tour of where I live. My house, mi hogar, the place where I eat, shower, sleep, chillax and ignore the fact that the majority of my belongings are growing mold on them in the corners of my bedroom.
It’s kinda dark here. And wet. That’s the price you pay for living under an avocado tree.
So where do I live? What’s the crib like? Let’s check out the digs. ¡Vamos!
…How do you feel about pink?
Shall we go inside?
The Living Room
I should have moved the broom…
A Small Note about The Walls
Within the house, there is about a meter of open space between the top of the walls and the ceiling (on the left). It makes for an interesting living situation and allows for conversation at all times. A sneeze is this house never goes unblessed.
The walls in my bedroom (on the right) have about a foot of open space to the outdoor world. At night, I welcome critters and rodents alike! So far I’ve encountered 2 scorpions, 2 rats, 2 massive hand-sized spiders, 1 bat and an amount too big to count of powdery, crumbly moths and insects that literally come to die on my bed at night.
There is running water in the bathroom and in the kitchen but since it’s winter and pretty chilly right now, we heat water in an electric tea kettle and shower in a bucket.
…The Back / Laundry Room / Bello’s Spot
The messy and unkempt outside area is very common throughout the communities here and has a lot to do with the lack of garbage disposal in campo/rural communities.
Because there are no garbage disposal/recycling services here, all the residents burn their trash and let old appliances and unused items build up behind their houses over time. As you can imagine, burning trash is very bad for the environment, land, and our health.
As Peace Corps Volunteers, educating communities about the health risks of burning trash and trying to find alternative methods for garbage disposal are some of the secondary projects that we are able to work on.
And lastly…My Bedroom!
While small, a little messy, and painted with authority and confidence, I’ve actually come to appreciate the comfort and proximity of this house. It’s right in the center of our pueblo and there’s always noise, kids running around, people passing through and good company to spend time with.
In Peace Corps Costa Rica, Volunteers are required to live with host families for the first 6 months of service to help with language development and integration. Since housing options are very limited in my community, I will be staying in this house for at least an additional 6 months and most likely the full 2 years! But definitely painting my room…