Dave and I have been in our new home for about five days and have already discovered what we absolutely cannot live without during the next two years:
Lysol Sanitizing Wipes: I think we are all aware of my "issues" with unknown germs and the possible sicknesses that can result. But you know Lysol wipes are important when Dave is asking for them to wipe off all possible surfaces and my boss says he can't live without them. The first thing we did when we got to our apartment, at 2:30 am Thursday morning, was clean the bathrooms. I packed a container, expecting it to last until we go home for Christmas. No such luck. We only have a few beautiful wipes left, there are just too many hard surfaces in our apartment! You can't find carpet anywhere in the city because of all the dust that finds its way in every crook and cranny. Every home has tile, good for sliding from room to room in your socks and for creating excellent echoes.
Off Bug Spray: There are many, many bugs in Ecuador. I think I saw the biggest flying beadle in the entire world today, a definite species left behind from the time of the dinosaurs. That baby was big. There are also many mosquitoes, the bug that I get along with the very least. Every mosquito bite I have ever received has swelled into a huge welt and knot. It gets dark about 6:20 in the evening right now and the bugs come out in full force at dusk. I put the bug spray on every morning and every evening, it has become part of my morning/evening ritual--right up there with brushing my teeth. Surprisingly, Dave does not seem to ever get a bug bite. He sails through the day without a problem. I hate that.
Other necessities include Purell hand sanitizer, I carry it everywhere and use it often; Vitalin, a magical concoction that disinfects fruits, vegetables, and kitchen utensils; and flower vases! Ecuador is one of the world's leading producers of roses, and of course has many more beautiful flowers growing year-round. You can get beautiful bouquets at the grocery store for under $2.00.