It seems as if the "thing" to do in Paraguay is to hire a housekeeper or maid. Jesse and I, trying to keep up with the Joneses and our neighbors, have one. Well, we share our housekeeper, Rosa, with our neighbors, meaning that Rosa gets a full time job and we get a part time maid. Rosa has worked in the complex for the past few years and comes highly recommended by both our neighbor and our landlord.
And I love her. I walk into my house every day after school and my clothes are washed, bed is made, dishes are done, and the house is clean. She gets our big 5 gallon jug of drinking water, and will pick up things for us at the grocery store. I can't say how thrilled and ecstatic I was when one morning, I thought there couldn't be any coffee because there was no milk, only to find that Rosa noticed we were out, went to the store, and bought some for us. She will also cook for us; she makes a mean potato empanada. We have not washed our own clothes nor washed any dishes almost the whole time we've lived here.
I'm writing this post today, because I was reminded how quickly one can start taking things for granted. Rosa's sister passed away last week, and she's been dealing with a lot of family issues. I came home from school today, saw a dirty floor (there had been a storm the night before and leaves and dirt blew in from under our door) and found myself a little annoyed. I walked into the kitchen and saw dirty dishes and realized that Rosa didn't come today. Her sister's body arrived today from Spain and she shouldn't have been at work.
I think its important to stop and evaluate how lucky I am that I am in a position to be able to afford to employ someone. We are indeed lucky. I also need to remember that we have this lifestyle because of some social injustices in the country that we currently life in. Many housekeepers, afraid of losing their job, will come to work ill, injured, or when serious family issues are taking place. Also, many housekeepers, or empleadas, will try to fix things that break or get stained. They fear of losing their $240 a month job. These social injustices, fair or not, are a part of life in Latin America.