Friday, November 4, 2011

All That and Flush Toilets, Too!

Just another reminder for anyone wondering whether they can afford a family sabbatical (even a non-working one). Here are some pictures of our new apartment and Mama's Little Helper. No pictures of the flush toilets here in the Third World, however, so you'll just have to take my word for the three in the apartment.

We're on the top of a 4-story building in a 4-bedroom apartment. I'd call it fully furnished, but that would be underselling it. We have the first T.V. we've had in over ten years, though we keep forgetting to watch it (it really would be great for our Spanish to watch Latin soap operas). It's loaded with kids' toys and a pre-princessed room for Piper. It's got a computer, Internet, stereo, and a balcony on every bedroom.

And the best thing it has? Chicha!

Included in our rent is this walking miracle who cleans, cooks, does laundry, babysits, teaches us Spanish, keeps the plants alive, and generally provides for nice company. She makes a full lunch every day that we all sit down to, helps prep for parties, and teaches us how to cook Ecuadorian. Part of her time is covered in our rent, but we pay a bit extra to get her full time.

Clearly we are living higher on the hog than we need to, but we are because...we can. I mean, this place is nicer than our home. This is a bit like the first new car I ever bought (leased, really). After my three year lease was up, I was done owning new cars. I got the fix, realized it wasn't a good investment, and now I get all the car I need or want for half the price. Next time we sabbatical, I don't know that we'd go so big, but some of this is circumstantial (furnished places are rare here), so we'll wait and see what the future holds.

But in case you're curious, all in (rent, all utilities, Internet, Chicha) is $790 a month, a princely sum here, and less than half our mortgage for our little 1,700 sq. ft. house  at home.

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