I know that there are a few of you out there that have been asking for years for pictures and descriptions of our house down here in Tinum. I have been busy painting the bathroom and ceilings and applying varnish to the shelves and doors in the living room, and Rob of course decorates the house with a master's touch. And since we had a longer time here this year, we got into a few cement projects as well. So now I have finally taken some good pictures of our newly upgraded abode, and I will give you a tour of our refuge amidst the madness that is Tinum. The front of the house can only be entered by the gate, which we just replaced with a new, strong wooden one, or by the front door, which opens to the kitchen. In the kitchen we have a small refrigerator and a gas stove, and several mesh-sided cabinets to keep bugs out of our food. Outside the kitchen is a small thatched palapa, were we can sit and eat in the shade.
The main room is where we hang out, entertain guests, and sleep. At night I hang my hammock out and sleep in it, otherwise it is out of the way. Almost half of the main room is a walk-in closet, which is our only closet, used to keep everything we have off the floor and out of the reach of animals. The inside of the house stays cool by using a unique system of air holes in both the roof and walls, and rain is diverted from entering because of offset openings. The windows to the front of the house are old glass mayonaise jars, which offer light but no direct view of the inside. In fact, there is no way to see out to the front without opening the front door, which handily defends us from many curious kids outside.
Off to the the side of the main room is the garage, so named because somebody once upon a time kept a car in there. Now the huge doors are rusted and we never open them, and it has become a storage area for the tools and misc stuff that has accumulated over the years. To the rear of the house is our biggest room, which we call the sala, and it was the original house that Bettina lived in while the rest of the house was being built. We keep our bikes on one end, and sometimes guests sleep on the other end, otherwise it is a good place to take a nap in the heat of the day. There are two huge openings on each side of the sala, each with three wide doors that swing up to let the breeze in. The carpenter in town just recently built new mesh doors to replace the original vine-covered ones, which after 30 years were slowly falling apart.
About 50 feet from the house is the bathroom. The bathroom is where we do the laundry, wash the dishes, and of course take showers or sometimes bucket baths. The only running water we have is a faucet in the middle of the yard, and the city water comes on in the morning and again in the evening. When the water is on, we fill buckets and carry them up to the roof of the bathroom to fill the tank, which we use to take showers. We also keep many buckets of water inside the bathroom to flush the toilet. The wood outside the bathroom is used to heat a small tank of water, which pipes hot water to the shower. Out in the back yard we have many flower beds and cactus gardens, which we are always slowly filling with various plants. Each year in the dry season many plants die if we aren't around to water them, and of course in the wet season the undergrowth takes over and makes it a jungle again. It takes days of chopping each time we return, to clear out the weeds so we can see the plants and flowers again. But overall it is a lot of fun for us to create a little beautiful space that we can call our own. So there you are...our house. Come see it for yourself someday!