Tag Archive for 'El Paso'

Life in Juarez take 2

I’d been told many times before I got to post that eventually almost everyone in the Foreign Service gets a housekeeper. I was sure I wasn’t going to be one of those people. I’m used to living in 450 feet of space, which takes about an hour to clean and I like

This is my dining room, and living room, with a view of the outside patio. Part of the 1400 square feet of doom that has defeated me and my plans of cleaning my own home.

cleaning. Well, after two and a half months of trying to keep 1400 square feet clean, I’m calling uncle. My entire house is tile, which is lovely except that I get cat fur tumbleweeds rolling across the floor. So this morning I met with a lady who works for several people at the consulate. Not only did she put up with my pathetic Spanish and pretend to understand me, she seems really nice and judging by her work at other people’s homes, does a great job. There are a lot of things about foreign service life that take some serious adjustment, but despite my earlier thoughts I think having someone to help out around the house isn’t one of them. I’m so relieved that I don’t have to spend every weekend cleaning anymore. Instead I can refocus my efforts on gardening. The bushes that were in the yard before I got here seem to be thriving… the grass not so much. All the plants I bought at Home Depot died pretty quick, but oddly enough the morning glory seeds I planted are thriving and starting to climb up the columns in my back yard.

Typical Saturday afternoon crossing the border. Behold the glory of the Sentri lane!

One of the other things I hadn’t anticipated was how expensive moving overseas and having a home would be. For the first time I’ve to buy things like extension cords for a lawn mower, a weed whacker, trash cans for 3 bath rooms, a rake, shovels, sheets for all the beds, ect.  There are a lot of things that you need for a home that you don’t need for a tiny little basement apartment. I have been taking advantage of the proximity to El Paso to get a lot of those things, since it is probably cheaper to buy them here then it will be in the future. That means that I’ve wound up crossing the border almost every weekend. One of the things that makes life on the border a lot easier is a SENTRI pass. The trusted traveler program lets me cruise right on through. The funny thing is that I have no problem getting out of Mexico in the U.S. It’s when I try to get back into Mexico that I have a problem. I get stopped every time going back in because of my Maryland plates. I guess that is pretty weird out here, so I get the third degree. Not that I mind, the CBP guys and gals are pretty nice, especially once they realize I work at the consulate and I’m just trying to get home. It also gives me a chance to practice my English one last time before heading back into Mexico.