Living in another country forces you to be resourceful. Certain things that you take for granted back home don't always come standard.
For example, you may take a kitchen for granted. You come to expect things like a microwave, fridge, stove, or a sink with hot water. Maybe you take it for granted that you can cook a hot meal.
Now, I must point out that of course homes and apartments have kitchens here in Piura;however, in my boarding house, I don't have access to a kitchen. So I have to be creative in what I eat. I don't like to eat out for all my meals since that adds up!
After my colleague moved into the room next to me, we got a fridge, so I could store deli meat, cheese, yogurt and fruit. The possibilities expanded, it was like adding a new set of colors to my crayon collection. After cold meals at home for months, I was so excited! I normally enjoy cold leftovers, but to be able to heat them up would be nice.
Finally, last Saturday, thanks to a financial contribution from mother, I purchased a toaster and an electric skillet! Now I feel I'm almost cooking with an entire color spectrum! My first dish? Spanish rice. Thanks mom! Yeah, rice...but hey, by the time I got to the store, it was so crowded and I did not want to stand in a huge line, plus I am nervous about trying to buy carne o pollo.
I took the skillet out of the box and set it up. I have to use my desk as not only a computer desk, but it also serves as a food prep area, and now kitchen stove and food prep area. I tried plugging in the cord and for some reason, it didn't fit the plug! It also was a short cord, so I had to move the desk closer to the outlet. Thank goodness for my trusty international converter. Now I was cooking. The skillet heated up quite fast.
The rice cooked quite nicely and I added a bit of the Mexi-Salsa from the gas station to the mix (wishing for some good queso, olives, and green chilis to add), and then made some wheat wraps for dinner.
I can't tell you had great it was to make a hot meal at home! Now I can make all kinds of things: soup, pasta, meat, chili, etc... any other suggestions? Oh, yeah, mac and cheese! It's the little things that make life worth living. Next time, you complain about "slaving away over a hot stove," maybe remember me and be glad you have one.