After solving all the problems (this took some time) we seem to be living comfortably in this house now.
The problem-solving started with solving the water issue.
When we started living here we found out that the whole watersystem of the house ran through a big tank (which was on the hill behind the house) and needed a pump to get good waterpressure. This was the first thing that appeared broken on THE DAY of the move. Apparently it had been broken for some time; the general water supply of Cuenca arrived at the hose to the tank, but the rest of the hose was somehow blocked, because no water ran into the tank. And therefore, over time, the tank got empty. This happened unseen to the previous tenant- who was therefore unaware of this. But on the day of the move it became clear that the tank was empty and there was no water anymore.
That same day, Eric bypassed the tank and made an emergency direct-entry into the house.
This made the following problem clear:
For some undefined reason the water cut off every other day for a whole evening and night and sometimes even more often.
With no full tank, we were completely out of water in these hours.
Since we have 3 toilets, we appointed one of them as the-toilet-to-use-when-there-is-no-water. In the other 2 everyone was allowed to piss, but no more then that. In Ecuador the plumbing system is very, very sad. For this reason it is forbidden, throughout Ecuador, to throw your used toiletpaper in the toilet. The system simply can't handle it. In cases where there is no water, this is a good system (that we were already using anyway).
We also collected water in everything that could hold a lot of water (trashcan, large pots, buckets) so we could cook and do the dishes.
But of course, as soon as possible, Eric fixed the tank-hose and we now have a huge supply again. And, also of course, there are no watercuts anymore since...?!
We gave the showers better showerheads (the other ones were clogged and old and gave a very small trickle). We bought some curtains, because some windows were missing this option. We let the old, doghair-and-smell covered couch be cleaned. We washed the old curtains (because they also stank).
Everyday when something else was washed, I asked everyone who had been outside a while and came back in, if the dogsmell was gone. And yes, after the very last original item- that was capable of holding an odour- was washed, the smell was gone.
The bedrooms got divided; Mar wanted to sleep upstairs. She has an enormous room there with a small balcony. Lem has the room where the previous tenant stored his fitness equipment and Beer got the room we all slept in together, that first night. This because this was the cleanest room of the house (the dogs had never been allowed in there) and we found- after a lot of sneezing and watering, red eyes- out he was allergic to doghairs and dust.
We, of course, occupy the 'master' bedroom. This bedroom has its own bathroom. Lem did not agree with us taking this privilege for granted, but there was not much he could do about it (except
complain, which he does. A lot.).
Eric fixed the leaking of the shower-area: in the 2 major bathrooms there are baths. Over the baths hang the showerheads. There is a slight slope into the wrong direction, which causes the water
to collect on the edge of the bath and then run onto the floor. One time, when Lem showered, everything was wet. Lem usually takes an hour to shower (no one knows what takes so
long, but we accept it. He claims that washing his hair-twice-takes this long), so the leaking had become very obvious.
The internet was also an issue. It was very slow during the day, but at certain times it would suddenly become normal to fast. We thought; it should be possible to have a higher speed. So when we changed it, at the provider's office, to a higher plan (which was twice as expensive), the speed became so slow, it took 10 minutes to open a website. And this time, it was ALL the time. So; no times when it was suddenly better.
We are now back to the original speed, which is do-able. But the time and frustration it took to explain this to the people at the office..! They were convinced that promising a minimum of 1 megabit per second (and then never having more then 1 megabit) was better then not making promises and having to share with 6 households. But we prefer sharing internetspeed with 6 households and having sometimes low and sometimes high speed. It also took us some time to understand they were talking about megabits instead of megabytes (it is all called 'mega' here).
When we were living in Yangana, we bought an -Ecuadorian quality- washing machine. It only took 2 weeks for it to start showing malfunction-issues. It started 'banging' when turning (not
stabilized apparently). Sometimes it would run perfectly and sometimes we had to stop the program and rearrange the washing several times for it to 'spin' normally.
For this reason we bought a second hand washing machine on arrival in Cuenca and Eric blew it up the first time he put the plug in the socket (a 220 V socket for a 110V washing machine; see last blog). It has been away to get fixed since that day. It has been back in between as well, but it was not completely fixed yet. So we've used the old, broken one in the mean time.
Driving through Cuenca to get everything sorted never worked out as we had anticipated. But now, that we know all the places they are doing roadworks and the places that are busy, or one-way streets (which the navigation never seems to know) or have too many traffic lights, it has gotten easier. In the beginning we had to count 2 extra hours to find our way from one place to the next. And don't forget; when it gets busy on the road, people start passing you left AND right, so you have to have eyes everywhere to survive. Eric goes mental when it gets like this, so we know to take the larger roads with no obstructions and drive at low trafic hours.
In the mean time, we have started homeschooling and picking up Spanish, again.
Three days a week we sit together for 2 hours at the kitchen table and do maths and science (which is biology, chemistry and physics, all in 1 book) together. It is the base of these subjects. In the Netherlands it would be year 1 and 2 in Highschool, VWO-level.
Beer and Lem know more about some of these things then Mar, so they usually come up with a youtube video that gives the subject more 'depht'. Like when we were doing the base structure of cells, Beer wanted to find out what the difference was between a bacteria and a virus. So he found out that the main difference was that a virus is not alive and a bacteria is. Out of this came the need to figger out when someting is called 'living', etc. For Mar it probably shoots from one thing to the next a bit fast, but she seems to enjoy it.
Spanish we do every day and we instantly noticed our brains kicking in again. People are easier to understand and we can even reply correctly at times!
The weather in Cuenca is at its minimum possible temperature. It is -all year long- supposedly between 20 and 30 degrees during daytime and between 10 and 20 during nightime. We have not seen temperatures above 21 degrees, since we've been here and sometimes 5-6 degrees at night. Brrr.
This house is hard to warm up, so we use 2 heaters to get through the cold mornings.
Beer excersises every day, but Lem and Mar would only lie on bed all day and not move a muscle (except the ones necessary for breathing, eating and walking to and from the toilet and the kitchen table). Lem agreed that this was not healthy, so he found a youtube program with a half hours worth of excersises and does this at least 3 times a week. Mar just decided to do the daily walk together with us (when we explore the area).
All in all, we have landed into some form of stability and 'meaningfulness' at the moment,
in the mean time continuing to work on the business.
I am happy.