I arrived this morning in El Paso. The flight was pretty un-eventful, a little rain in Milwaukee, a slight delay in Denver. All in all, not too bad compared to horror stories you hear about air travel these days. I liked flying on Frontier (their tag line is "A Whole Different Animal," and they have all these animals on their airplanes.); their service was good--my bag had already gone round the carousel a time or two by the time I got there.
So far, I wouldn't call El Paso a beautiful city. If it is, I'm not in the beautiful part of town. It's quite warm here today (99 degrees), but a lot of things are blooming, so that's encouraging. It's definitely a desert here, and the mountains in the distance look like giant piles of dirt, with very little green on them.
A $20 (fifteen minute) cab ride got me to Casa de Nacimiento. You can take a virtual tour of my digs here. Think college rental, not the expensive ones, either. There's a little sign near each of the toilets that says "do not put toilet paper in the toilet." I must say that I was rather mystified. Where to put it, exactly? And, even though I had visited the facilities in each of the airports I was in this morning, I was needing to do something that would require toilet paper. Just a wee bit awkward. Hmmm, should I wake the sleeping intern and ask? No, I don't think so. I'll just see if I can figure this one out on my own. I'll be sure to keep you posted.
Feeling a little hungry, so I walked just a couple of blocks away and got a pretty good, pretty inexpensive Chinese meal. Then to the convenience store to face all my food snobbishness head-on. The cold beer section of this little grocery store is about twice the size of the dairy cooler. Not a lot here in the way of produce, and there was nary a slice of bread that I wanted to buy. I decided to stick with the basics--lettuce, eggs, pasta, a little cheese, bananas and tuna. I'll figure something out here, too.
I had a pretty curt introduction to Casa from one of the current interns. Don't let your food storage exceed the designated space, or someone will eat it. Clean up after yourself. Don't leave your stuff lying around. You're expected to do chores, and keep the kitchen clean. (See, kiddos--I'm telling you, this is the stuff of life. No matter where you go, folks appreciate you if you can take care of yourself, and pitch in to help others, too.)
So, I'm already missing the life I left. I was thinking this morning, though, that I really needed to just be removed from that wonderful, busy life to be able to make this dream come true. I think I would always be able to find another load of laundry to wash, another email to send, another dinner to cook, and I would always end up putting this idea on the back burner. I'm very grateful for all the folks who are helping me to make this possible, especially my dear husband and sweet children. I'll do my very best to make sure that it was all worthwhile in the end.