We have a house! It is three bedrooms & an actual house instead of an apartment. So much space! Since it was just sitting empty, he was able to give it to us for the price we expected to get a tiny, crummy apartment. We cleaned up a year’s worth of dust. The smallest bedroom is now my studio, the medium one Casper’s space and the big one our bedroom.
Roberto told us we could use anything that we found in the house. This ended up including a full mattress which we are sleeping on now and two smaller mattresses that we made into a couch. Other items that came with the house: silverware, a bowl, a cup, a convection oven, a frying pan, a pot & a table.
On the downside, the house did not have water turned on when we moved in and we just found out two days ago that it would be both expensive and a hassle to make that happen. So we are hauling water from Roberto’s to drink, cook, clean and flush the toilet with. So far we have been showering at his place, too, but might get a camping shower (or make our own? suggestions?). We are looking into buying a big drum of water that we can store in the garage instead of hauling water.
Other downsides include the lack of a fridge (we were going to buy one but are now reconsidering) and a stove (we are using a single hot plate that Roberto loaned us at the moment).
There is a pack of five or seven dogs who live directly behind us and a very sweet dog who lives across the street. We also have seen three lizards, the smallest about two inches long, frequenting the bars that cover the front of the house. Having gone by the name of Newt for eight years of my life, I am very fond of them and talk to them every day.
Today we had internet installed which is really, really important to us. It has been about five days since we last got online; this is unheard of for us! Only one person can get online at a time (no router) but so far that is working out. The internet provides us with at least half of our daily entertainment. It offers me a great deal of comfort, not to mention my main form of communication. It also gives us the mental stimulation that both of us require. We both have quick, active minds that need lots of external fuel – ideas, writing, images, music – to keep contentedly busy.
We have been tired and grumpy the past few days as we grow accustomed to this new life. Not having things like an easy shower and toilet get to us even when everything else is falling into place. Roberto continues to help us get settled. And we continue to put into action the things we intend to accomplish here: I have played my ukulele every single day since arriving in Puerto Rico and have painted or drawn almost every day; Casper has his space assembled and has located both the Masonic lodge and Episcopal churches in town.
Though we haven’t named the house yet, everyday it becomes more our new home.