This has been a pretty heavy month work-wise. The infrastructure of the house really wasn’t meant for so many people, especially when people forget that they can’t put toilet paper in the toilet and so on. Despite installing the water tank on the roof, the shower in the Green Room is still a bit quirky. Strange, since the other showers connected to the same water heater heat just fine. The plumber has basically lived here for the past month fixing everything and anything that could go wrong. He supposedly fixed the problem 4 times, but we’ll have to see if anything changes. The matrimonial shower still doesn’t drain as it should, but at least the shower works. We still need some time to get it right, of course and at the end of the day, we’re in Bolivia. Lots of things just don’t work the way you want them to. Pipes are made of plastic and don’t ever really fit the valves properly. They will never stand the test of time and will always come undone. Lights go out, internet towers go down suddenly, water lines burst and there’s no water. That’s just Bolivia, people. Maybe we need to better manage ours and other guests’ expectations…
Anyway, we’re still trying to find a reliable person to actually clean the house. The woman who is a little off keeps insisting, but it doesn’t make sense to have a strange woman who will make our guests uncomfortable work here. Then we found someone who used to work at a friend’s house. She came and was supposed to start work and then never showed up again! The most important thing that would help us at this point from overworking ourselves and getting sick only to recover and get sick again is hiring someone to help with the cleaning, shopping, doing the beds, and so on. It’s just way too much for two people, even with two volunteers.
We welcomed Tom to The Beehive this past week. He’s been a big help along with Anat, who has almost been here for a month. She’ll be leaving soon, however, and so we need to look for a replacement soon. We just have to hold on until friends of Amanda’s come in a few more weeks to volunteer. At the end of the day though, something has got to give. Or we’ll have to give up soon from burning out. We can already see the difference in the tired energy for the past two weeks. People aren’t staying as long. They don’t feel as at home as they used to. We’re too tired and overworked. We’re in a slump at the end of the day, but we will reassess and find a way to bring the energy back. We got too comfortable and then too tired. And now we need to start doing more advertising again, work on organizing more workshops, and find a way to recharge ourselves with the work instead of letting it take our spirit away. A rebirth! We can’t give up so soon when we were doing so well at the beginning. We will bring the energy back again.
In other news, we all went on a little field trip to the campo this week for the Andean New Year. It was very sweet having the guests be the little stars at the school in the outskirts of town where a friend of ours works. It was their school’s first field trip, and an effort to work with families and the kids to better facilitate learning and communication between staff and the community. We met the director of the school, were given a tour, and stepped in on some English classes to listen to the kids practice their pronunciation of human body parts! Then we went to Cajamarca and settled into a campesino home. It was freezing cold and everyone was tired, but it was a unique experience dancing by the fire, asking for New Year blessings from the pachamama and sleeping in a room on the dirt floor with some very generous campesinos. Hopefully the new year will bring more field trips and fun!