One of the two phones I have is a flota phone which has service with Claro. Peace Corps has a network phone that gives me a certain number of minutes to call other people on the network. If I go over I have to pay out of my paycheck per minute. Because I don't have service in my site with the flota phone Peace Corps bought me a second phone with the company Orange. They only pay for service on one, so I chose to keep the flota, but I put minutes on the Orange phone.
Veteran volunteers here have warned about flota overages. Abusing the flota appears to be a pass time of PCDR volunteers. I didn't think that'd be me, but I am quickly learning otherwise. When I didn't have service it was easy to not call anybody.
I have a list of people I used to call and now that they can shoot me a text on the Orange phone that tells me to climb the hill where I get Claro service they can call me too. I was chatting it up with a friend tonight and when I realized we had used 106 of my flota minutes complaining and laughing and telling stories I had him call me back and we used his minutes. When I called a different friend on my Orange phone and had to use minutes that were prepaid it was obvious how much we talk because she and I were cut off by the phone company. Stupid phone. Then hers wouldn't let her call me back and the banca to recarga mine was far away.
Basically, people who don't talk forever on the phone back home will drink up flota minutes here. The opportunity to talk to someone who knows what it means to talk about bargaining with motoconcho drivers to go buscar un cosco is precious here.
Talk to me about:
Motoconcho helmet issues
Not speaking Spanish
Lack of dinero
How great America is
The next time I do peace corps
... And I know you are probably a fellow volunteer.