I was fortunate to spend an evening with a family on an island in Lake Titicaca, living and eating as they did. We arrived in time for dinner, chicken noodle soup, potatoes and tea. Summer time was still very cool at night so we slept with lots of blankets. It was the first time I slept on a rope bed and a mattress made of straw. It may not have been a Certa Perfect Sleeper, but I was tired and slept well. For entertainment we went to a local gathering place to dance. That was interesting for someone who doesn’t dance. The next morning we had something between a pancake and a tortilla with jam and hot tea; very delicious.
Being on an island in a remote part of the world, central heat, air conditioning, phones and electricity are a rarity. Our host had two solar panels that provided light in the evening and some sources for electricity. The cost was expensive and my understanding was that it would take him about 14 years to pay off the cost of both panels. Through our interpreter I asked why our host invested in the solar panels. His response was the same as you would expect from a middle class family in most countries. He wanted his son to have a better life. This was one of the common denominators between my host and me despite our differences in culture, belief systems, life style and geographical location.