Sunday, July 27, 2008

Plumbing in Honduras

Yesterday, the landlord came to my house to supervise some repairs/corrections to the house I am living in. He’s a very nice man and coincidentally, he is the owner of the frame store where I have taken some things to be framed. I just love it when you find out there’s a ‘connection’ and he was very happy that I was already doing business with him.

As we walked around the house discussing the things that needed attention, one of the places was the maid’s quarters. This is a small bedroom and bathroom out beyond the courtyard. There was no dispenser mounted on the wall for the toilet paper. As I was pointing that out to him, I noticed something that made me go “huh?” As you can see by the photograph, it probably made you go “huh?” too. When I asked him what that electrical outlet right next to the shower head was for (“¿Que es eso?”) he gave me this explanation. In Honduras, it is not customary to plumb the maid’s quarters with hot water. So, to compensate for this, they put an electrical outlet so they can plug in a small heater. I was in too much shock to ask if this heater stood outside the tub enclosure or was wall mounted. He must have noticed the look on my face because he quickly said he would be happy to plumb it for hot water if I wanted. I told him I only had Gloria 2 days a week but if I ever found the need to have a live-in maid, I would definitely want her to have hot water.

For anyone out there who has ever had a maid or nanny or any other kind of live-in domestic help, I’m sure you would agree that the service they provide is wonderful. The respect I have for Gloria and how she makes my life so much easier wouldn’t allow me to make her bathe with cold water. Here in Honduras, the pay for maids is so inexpensive that there is no way you can’t have someone in your home. Besides keeping your home clean, they are there for scheduled repairs, as well as accepting the bottled water delivery. So now, everything is done on Tuesdays. Gloria is at my house all day on Tuesdays and on Saturdays she stays until she is finished what she thinks needs to be done. She goes shopping with me and she cooks. My refrigerator is always full of food and it’s wonderful. She has, in a short span of 2 weeks, spoiled me! The least I could do for her is to make sure she has hot water if she needed it. I value her services too much.

In my bathroom, I also have an electrical cord running along the top of the tile in my shower. I looked at it and it appears to be the line for my security system, which runs from outside the window, along the top of the tile and into my walk in closet, where the alarm box is. I doubt this would pass code inspection in Fort Worth where I’m from. But…as the old saying goes, when in Honduras, you just do whatever you need to do to get the job done!! It's like the project around the corner from the embassy. They started to dig a small hole in the road to make a repair. The small hole became larger and larger and any day now we expect the street to be closed. in a Third World Developing country! Ya gotta love it!


Trisha and Kelly said...

Hi Debi,

We don't know each other; I just subscribed to Google alerts for Honduras the other day and rec'd notice of your blog entry. I was very excited to read about your adventures there. My daughter, Hannah recently relocated to Tegucigalpa. She is engaged to a Honduran citizen that she met while attending college at Western Kentucky University. Hannah is living with her fiance's parents and is teaching English at the Academia Europia for one hour a day. She isn't getting rich, but it at least gives her a chance to get out of the house.

Coincidentally, my husband and I will be relocating to Honduras in 2010. We will be living, working, and serving as missionaries with BMDMI at the Good Shepherd Children's Home in Zamorano Valley.

I look forward to reading more...

Hannah's blog is located at:

Debi said...

I'm so glad you stumbled upon my blog! I do enjoy writing about my life here and every day provides new material! I've been here since May 22 and am settling into the routine nicely. I'm with the embassy as a Foreign Service OMS (Office Management Specialist). I'll be here for 2 years and then on to a new country. I like it here and as with any new place, comes with its share of positives and negatives. But I'm the type that focuses on the positive and tries to ignore the negatives!

Welcome and I hope you continue to read my blog! And thanks for taking the time to comment!

lewis said...

When I lived in Costa Rica many of the showers had an electric heater mounted on the shower head itself. It would heat the water as i came out of the head. And yes there were surprizes at times when you touched the wrong things but not like KBR showers in Iraq that kill. The difference between 110v and 220v I guess.


Debi said...

Amazing the things you learn living in a foreign country. I lived in Mexico City about 40 years ago and although it was a long time ago, I still remember some of the huge differences in their culture and that which I was accustomed to. Life is so interesting!