Saturday, January 21, 2006


Gift baskets

Emily and her friends and coworkers all hire domestic help to clean, cook, do laundry, babysit, etc. Not only is this service very inexpensive, it represents an important layer of the local economy. Cecilia, the woman who visits their apartment one day a week, depends solely on just a few clients to make a living. And she barely makes enough to support herself and her two children, one of whom has Downs Syndrome. She works very hard most of the day cleaning and doing laundry. And she is a sweetheart.

On Friday night before Christmas, Phil (a fellow teacher at Colegio Americano) invited us and several others to his apartment for dinner and to prepare gift baskets for the hired help. It is customary for people to give their domestic help baskets filled with food, toys, etc for Christmas. They sell them at MegaMaxi for around $70, but it seemed cheaper and more fun to buy the stuff individually and assemble them ourselves. Also, Phil is a very good cook and he prepared a large meal of pork roast, soup, salad, potatoes, and vegetables. Emily contributed a Quiche. We were a little short on forks and spoons, but we managed by sharing and eating some courses in shifts.

Phil's picture is at the right above. Below are Terry engrossed in applying a bow to a basket and Christa, Mike, their baby, and Andy with a couple of completed baskets. Mike & Christa are Canadians. He also taught at the school with Emily, however they returned to Canada following Christmas.

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