La Ronda is just around the corner

Monday, May 21, 2012

Differences in making donations in USA versus in Ecuador. Part one. May 2012.

My whole adult life I live in small(ish) places.  There are two reasons for that: I despise debt (mortgage, more furniture and stuff, bigger bills, more maintenance, etc) and I don't like to clean.
When I came to the USA in1993, I worked for two years for a cleaning company (as a cleaning person) while going to college.  Since then, when people proudly show me their spacious places, I shiver.
When you live in a small place, the key to keep it clean (or appear to be clean) is not to have too much stuff,  Small places become cluttered very quickly and when the space is cluttered, it looks depressing and dirty.
But girls are girls and we want new shoes or new clothing at least once in a while for mental health.  I remember my mother having very few dresses and shoes for years and she was very content.  So I purge my stuff a few times per year.  I did it in the US and I do it in Ecuador.  What is the difference?
In the US, life after 2000, reminds me of walking in minefield.  Offering people your stuff is one of these mines - you can offend them easily.  There are lots of organizations in the US, though, where you can make a donation.
In Ecuador, on the contrary, there are no organizations which can pick up your donations from your front door or where you can conveniently (for you) drop them off.
Here, when it becomes personal, I donate our un-wanted stuff to our maid, our concierge in La Ronda apartment complex, our taxi driver, hair stylist (she usually comes to our place to do haircuts), and to our North Quito next door neighbor who is a single mother in her 30s with a 7 or 8 year old daughter.
I have to say it gives us pleasure and satisfaction to give to Ecuadorians.  They accept gifts gratefully and with dignity. They say "Dios le Paque". These are my favorite words!

Where did we get so many things to donate?
to be continued..