Thursday, November 5, 2009

Estoy muy triste...

...because my computer isn't getting fixed this week after all :-( When they gave their estimate for repairing the Mac, we thought "Wow, that isn't bad, about what it cost in the U.S." -- which we knew by doing a lot of internet research over the weekend. BUT it turns out they were quoting in dollars, not pesos. Whole 'nother ballgame! Since it takes $3.80 pesos to equal one dollar, their quote was FOUR TIMES what it would cost to repair in the U.S. -- roughly equivalent to 3/5 of a new computer.

So we told them no, no thank you very much.

Ivan will pick it back up, in its unrepaired condition, on Friday when he has to go into Cordoba again.

And we go back to doing what we thought we'd have to do in the first place: have our daughter bring the part when she comes in December and Ivan will fix it with our son guiding him through the process via long distance.

That means the sharing of the PC continues.

Going to have to figure out a good schedule. In the past we both hopped online at the same time on our respective computers. First thing in the morning we'd check e-mail and deal with doing whatever we needed to do online, business-wise. Late evening is when we liked checking blogs and facebook (me) and surfing the internet for informative how-to articles and videos (Ivan). During the day we're pretty busy and although we hop on periodically during a free moment to check e-mail or facebook, it's not like we have blocks of time during daylight hours for computer stuff.

I'm finding that being a two-computer family is a lot like being a two-car family. You can get by with only one but when you're used to having two, it's a challenge to make things work. 

While we're on the subject of making things work...

Lack of rain in a really, really long time means water rationing. Some parts of the city have already been shut off for a day at a time. Not sure when they'll get around shutting it off in our barrio. For the past two days water coming from the faucets has smelled...well, swampy is the best word I can think of to describe it. Not a pleasant smell.

We live a block from Lago San Roque which made front page news the other day with this photo:

The caption read something about the lake being turned into a patio. Yes, that is the bottom of the lake. Farther "down river" there is some water but very, very little.

And no rain in the forecast.

Even when we lived in Africa, although water was not readily accessible -- we had to haul it from a nearby bore hole well -- it was available.That made me more conscious of how we use (and misuse) water as Americans. It flows from our taps in an unending supply and we think nothing of taking 20 minute showers, dumping all waste water down the drain, turning the water on and letting it run while we do other chores... For the longest time after we returned from Uganda I still took very short showers. But eventually the memory of water as a precious commodity faded and I resumed my old habits.

Now we're back to being more thoughtful. Yesterday when Ivan did dishes, he used the waste water in the garden. Shorter showers are in order. We aren't flushing as often (remember the old rhyme: "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down"?). Now don't go all "Ewwwww" on me. This is life for most of the world.

Yesterday one of Lid's Random Dozen questions was about recycling. Americans are big on being green when it's convenient. But how would we do if water really was a scarce commodity and we had to re-use waste water and flush less often?

Something to think about this fine November day.


Jenny wren's nest said...

Getting your computer fix in December will feel like the best
Christmas presant.

One year my husband and I were just joking around about what it would be like to sell our farm lock, stock, and barrel and take up farming in south america, sounds like this would have been a bad year for any crop.

sara said...

sorry about your computer.

good post. i don't think we would do very well at all with rationed water or rationed anything for that matter. When gas went to almost $4 last year, I did not see any change at the gas line.

We had to ration water once in TX where we were only allowed to water our yards on odd had no effect on our daily life inside the house.

you have definitely given me something to think about today.

Lhoyt said...

You are so right about green being the big thing here in USA. However, as you said, it is pick and choose, not do it all because you have to. In Argentina there are very few people who don't just plumb have to "recycle" either because of scarcity, extreme cost or conscience.
I can remember having to use the same bath water as my brother Aldo. I don't even remember minding it, except that sometimes it was too cold by the time one or the other got to use it. But Ivan and Alan came along too far after us so I don't know what it was like for them. I do remember the bucket beside the toilet, though. We used it sparingly, but it still had to be used.

skoots1mom said...

drought bring on all sorts of changes...we're so thankful to be out of ours was a slow go for almost three years.
The states surrounding us are still fighting over their rights to water coming from our state...
hope your computer fixing happens quicker than you expect...God may provide a quicker answer :D

SmallTownRunner said...

Thanks for sharing that, Kim. It's certainly good for me to think about how things are vastly different outside of the US.

Christy said...

I appreciate your tone - you got me to think about recycling/conserving without being preachy.

I'm fairly certain most Americans (myself included) would have a difficult time if we really had to cut back on everything.

rita said...

Your spousal computer routines are like ours. And here we sit in a Day's Inn after 14 hours of travel, both on our computers. Again early in the morning. I am soooooo grateful for my little laptop, so I truly sympathize with your plight :(
Water conservation is a serious matter. Thanks for the reminder.