It's incredible, really, to think about the small things that we take for granted every day. We've been at CATIE for about 2 whole days now. We are all moved in to our apartments and have come across some things that we don't really have here or don't have the funds to purchase. Now let me tell you, we are living on a budget. And a serious one at that. Instead of spending our money on luxury items such as coffee machines, we are saving it up for more traveling.
Since here a coffee machine would cost us around $40 we took a more simple route and went for a percolator of sorts.. it's basically a wooden stand with metal to hold up a filter/sock-type thing (see the picture below). We boil water on the stove and pour it over the coffee grounds in the sock and into a coffee mug. Now I don't know about you, but I never would have thought to try something like that.
We are so used to our convenience items and technology that takes care of everything, but we don't really think of other ways to do things. We think that we need a coffee machine when it is really as simple as boiling water and pouring it through a filter and into a mug. A lot of it has to do with the fact that, as Americans, we have this "consumeristic" character and always want the newest and most technologically advanced items. But we don't really NEED them, do we?
Need vs. want. That's all it comes down to.
Even in the states we would be able to live on a budget like we are here, but we won't simply because we don't have to. We will sacrifice our bank accounts for that special item that we HAVE to have. And when something goes wrong and it doesn't work anymore, we tend to freak out and complain. I think that a large part of our American community needs to learn how to adapt better. When life changes around you, all you have to do is accept those changes and allow yourself to adapt. If you refuse to adapt to the world around you, the struggle will just continue.
Another part of adapting and settling in is learning the language. I am struggling a little bit with this. I have this internal fear of seeming inept (I think that's the word I'm looking for) or unable to speak it correctly, and this stops me from trying at all. This is a problem. If I don't even try to speak Spanish, I'm never going to learn it. We can't let our internal fear of not fitting in or struggling outwardly stop us from doing the things we need to do.
Sorry for the rant, it's just something I have noticed a lot of lately. Traveling really does teach you how to see the world in new ways.