I've decided that when choosing to live in the DR for two years you have to use your first six months in country to figure out what your limit is, and when it comes time to choosing a place to live for the rest of the time you have to choose a place that doesn't make you hit that limit.
My limit?: cold showers.
I hate them. Actual hate. I know that because every time I dump a cold bit of water on my head I say to myself, "I hate this."
Now, this is Peace Corps. I signed up to live like the people and darn it if I didn't plan on living like the people. I took cold bucket baths for four months.
Then I walked into the bathroom and saw a STEAMING bucket of water. The cleaning lady ran in and removed the bucked and said it was for one of the old dudes baths. Well. Well. Well. If hot showers are an option I am signing up.
I asked my Doña one night if it would be hard to get some hot water and she said no. You see, Amanda does know how hot water happens. Put a pan over something hot and voila. I was just thinking that would seem a little posh when everybody else is using cold water so I didn't do it. I was still, "living like the people" as they say.
Not anymore. That's my limit. I don't like cold water. I'd take almost anything over cold showers. I'd lose the running water we have. I'd walk a mile to a river twice a day to obtain half a bucket of cold water to heat up it that's what it took. I'd climb into a dark cave and chip a hunk of ice off of a glacier and wait two hours for it to heat instead of taking a cold shower. I'd shower with three other people instead of taking a cold shower. I'd give up a toilet that flushes. I'd shower while a creepy guy watched me. I'd shower without soap. Really, almost anything would be better than a cold shower. I hate them.
I think the only thing about my site I wouldn't give up for a hot shower is the fact that I am a ten minute walk from wifi when we have electricity and cable.
Now, when I want to shower I ask no questions. I simply walk into the cocina, grab a pot, and heat some water. Cold showers can suck it. I'm not doing it unless all of the DR decides to give them up too.