Coming Home to Oaxaca By the Numbers

by Teresa Ponikvar Jul 17, 2009
Notebook editor Teresa Ponikvar breaks down her commitment to expat life by the numbers

Minutes it took to decide to move to Oaxaca after husband lost his job in Hidalgo: 3

All Photos: Ibis Alonso

Properties viewed: 12

Properties with complete houses viewed: 1

Properties with houses with the roof caved in viewed: 1

Properties with unfinished houses viewed: 1

Properties with unfinished houses purchased: 1

Windows installed: 5

Doors installed: 3

Floors tiles installed: lots

Solar panels installed: 5

Times I reminded myself to never, ever, think about “The Ring” while looking down the well: 27

Trips to buy materials stalled by teacher protests in Oaxaca: 3

Trips to buy materials stalled by burro-pulled carts making alfalfa deliveries in Tlacochahuaya: 8

Building code inspections: 0

Locally-owned businesses supported: 10

Friends and family members who donated their expertise and labor: 8

Round trips from Hidalgo to Oaxaca: 5

Households slept in while waiting for house to be finished: 3

Lots for sale nearby: 15

Family members and friends who have expressed interest in buying one of these lots: 6

Number of times I insisted to the neighbor that I didn’t want a puppy: 3

Number of puppies given to me anyway: 1

Sad, mangy dogs evicted from property after the arrival of said puppy: 3

Money left in our bank account in US dollars: $53.74

Nights we’ve slept in new house: 2

Nights we’ve slept insanely well and woken up to the sunrise over the mountains in new house: 2

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