Friday, November 22, 2013

El Dinero

I took a picture recently of the new $100 peso, next to one of the old ones.
The new bill features Eva PerĂ³n, whom you probably equate with Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita", if you think of her at all.

I have no desire to get into what kind of a woman she was, or what role she played in Argentine history. I'd rather take a more pedestrian view of the new bill: What can I buy with it?

If you're my friend on facebook, you'll have already seen this link. We've known that inflation has been an ongoing problem here, and we knew we were spending more at the store, but we've never taken the time to figure out just how much more. This article breaks it down, showing what $100 pesos would buy three years ago compared to what you can get now.

2010
liter of milk 
1/2 kilo coffee
kilo of yerba (tea)
1/2 kilo of sugar
bread
package of pasta 
bottle of pop
cooking oil
1/2 kilo milanesa (meat)
a yogurt
bleach
4 roll package of toilet paper

2013
liter of milk
package of pasta
cooking oil
1/2 kilo milanesa (meat)
a yogurt
4 roll package of toilet paper

Half the items are missing from the second list: coffee, tea, sugar, bread, pop and bleach. 

Makes me wonder what $100 pesos will buy three years from now. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crazy Weather

Here it is mid-November and, as is typical, it's getting warmer and warmer. We've been holding off on the a.c. but there have been days we've been tempted to turn it on. Only the hope of cool nights has kept us from giving in to that temptation. Because it does usually cool off at night. It's been dropping into the low 60s and even into the high 50s some nights, and that makes for good sleeping. We open our windows wide at night, letting in the cool air, and then close them in the morning to keep the cool in/hot out. It works most of the time.

But two nights ago it didn't cool off very much. Yesterday it was in the low 70s by 9 a.m. and it got progressively hotter. And windier. I managed to get one load of laundry done. Twice. Because the first time I took the basket outside, set it down on the slab while I went in to put the cotton shirts in the dryer for a few minutes, and when I came back out, the wind had blown the basket over and the clothes were tumbling along the slab, picking up dirt as they went. So that load had to be rewashed, and then I was careful to hang onto the basket while I quickly hung things on the line. And let me tell you, that was no easy matter! The wind was whipping so hard it practically tore things right out of my hand as I pinned them on.
The wind was blowing pretty much sideways, as you can see.

We've been opening up about 9 p.m. It was 82 degrees inside at that point last night but when I opened the door to check, it didn't seem any cooler outside. I tuned into the local weather and discovered it was still 100 degrees! So it was after 10 p.m. before I opened the windows, and that was more for some of the breeze than hope of cooler air. With the ceiling fan in the bedroom it was barely bearable.

And then overnight a storm blew in from the south, bringing rain and hail -- lots of hail pounding on our metal roof at 5 a.m. -- and cooling things off. It was a pleasant 59 degrees at 6:30 a.m. We're supposed to have a few days of low 80s, but we'll see if that actually happens. Seems like the forecast is always on the low side (yesterday's forecast was for the low 90s and we passed that at a dead run) so I don't put much stock in it. But anything in the 80s is a welcome relief.

I'm so glad we put in air conditioning last summer. Pretty sure we'll make good use of it in the coming months. Painting the exterior should also help deflect the sun's rays rather than absorbing them, which is what the raw concrete does now.

I'm anxious to get started on that, but like everything else here, things just move slower and we haven't even had a chance to buy the sealer or paint yet. November seems to be a month for conferences and things. So far Ivan has been to a men's retreat, a missions conference, and now he's attending a Bible conference. He'll miss the last session of this conference on Sunday night because there's a 75th anniversary celebration at the church in Almafuerte where he spent some years as an MK.

Add in the regular responsibilities and commitments and there hasn't been a lot of extra time. But hopefully within the next few weeks I'll be able to tackle the painting and then we should see a marked difference in the interior temperature of the casita. Vamos a ver.