My house...the freeway. A look into the lack of privacy I have gotten used to.
My house has constant traffic, both inside and out. Starting at 5 AM there are chickens waking up and turkeys clucking and roosters crowing, all having a competition to see who can make me wake up the most number of times before I just get up. Then when I open the door they just walk right through my house, with my cat doing nothing but watching them, apparently waging another competition to see who can get furthest inside my house without me chasing them into the woods, chucking rocks like a crazy man. There have been weeks when pigs and piglets have gotten loose from the pig pen near my house and have made their rounds on the highway that is my house. I have had horses, donkeys, and mules just walk up and by my house as if it were perfectly normal. Then I tell someone that the animals are loose and they usually get taken care of. Usually. I have dogs walking around my house all day, probably because of the smell of my cat. There are a million lizards and spiders and little biting, stinging ants. Some nights I get visited by tarantulas, and although they are poisonous, I prefer them because they are so much slower and easier to kill with a sandal. The normal spiders are big and really quick. Just annoying. At night my solar powered lights make the inside of my house the highway for moths, bugs, and anything that eats moths and bugs. So yea, animals live with me pretty much all the time. And I don’t think I even really need to say the word cockroach. I could be a millionaire selling those things. If only a market existed. The latrine next to my house puts them out like a well-oiled assembly plant. Its amazing. But luckily my cat kills most of those that are out in the open. (and eats them, mmm)
So that is the animal traffic. Then there is the human traffic. Starting at around 6 AM there are people going around my house to the left to bath, feed the pigs, or pick coffee, and going around my house to the right to find firewood ,pick avocados, or dump their night pans into the latrine(which they never seem to really have mastered, leaving friendly splatters here and there). All day long is fair game for people to go around to the bathroom, and then the afternoon comes and everyone needs to bathe, so they take turns going around my house to the left to the shower area where they bucket bathe themselves less than ten feet from my door. When night eventually comes I flip on my lights and, just like the flies and moths, muchachos and muchachitos show up to just look at my house and be bathed in artificial light. Sometimes they want something or want to do something with me, but the majority of the time they are just passing time in the only lighted house around, with the only white guy around. They will watch me fold clothes, will look at my pictures on the walls, will check out the DR map I have on the wall and argue over where they are. They just don’t see houses filled with such ‘weird’ stuff. Only us gringos have can openers and paper towels, not to mention all the new cool stuff given to me by a recently ET’d friend: real Heinz ketchup, hand sanitizer, French coffee press, etc. The kids come to just hang out and then in a bit pass on further down the highway, back out of my house. There’s a good chance they are headed to the colmado, the only other place that has light bulbs shining with artificial light.
It doesn’t bother me anymore (well, I hate chickens more than any other living thing on this planet), but I am comfortable knowing that everyone knows pretty much everything in my house. As I write this I have a muchacho sitting next to me on my bed staring at my computer, wondering what it is I am writing. I guess that’s just how it is when you are living on the ‘pista’ in the middle of the mountains. But like everything else, I’ll try to make this a little educational. Let’s see if he can tell me what this word says: YODALI…...(pointing to my screen and asking the kid if he knows whatthe word is) Yup, he got it! It’s his name. Well, good night from the ‘pista’. Time to eat some dinner and go bucket-bathe myself into a state of semi-cleanliness. Asi es la vida viviendo en la ‘pista’.