It's tough setting up a household from scratch. It hasn't been that long since we've had to do this. 8 years ago we had to start over after the tornado and a couple of years ago we helped our son set up his first apartment but never in another country.
We arrived here in Guatemala with basically our dog and our clothes and not much else. The house we are renting came with some furniture. All well used and in varying states of repair but all more than serviceable in their own way. I especially like the dining room table and chairs. It also came with a small washing machine but no dryer.
There are the immediately obvious things that we needed to buy pretty much right away: a clean water source, toilet paper, food. After that comes dishes, utensils, cookware pillows, sheets, blankets, towels.... you get the picture.
Then the bigger decisions. Do we buy a dryer or hang clothes on the line. I like the smell of sun dried clothes so I figured that wouldn't be a problem. However, I'm told that it is very difficult to hang dry anything during the rainy season. So, yes, we need a dryer. ...But if we buy a new dryer should we buy a washer, too? Especially since we have the money now. No. We can save that money for something else and use the one that is here.
Except now the washer has sprung a leak that is either coming from the hoses or somewhere inside the washer. Will new hoses fix the problem? I don't know. We don't yet have a car so I can't just run right out and buy new ones to check. Not that there aren't plenty of people more than willing to run us around to wherever we need to go...it's just I have to make a decision before calling in any favors. It's fine to be wishy-washy and undecided when it's just your own time you are wasting but not so much when it is someone else sacrificing their time.
Speaking of a car.... at first I wasn't even sure we wanted one. We could live far more frugally without one. Then again, we could be a help rather than a burden if we had our own car and could contribute to the transportation needs of the ministry. Ok. We need a car. Eddy convinced me we need a 4wd SUV rather than a tiny Yaris or Kia Picanto. If I have to have a SUV then I want a Honda Element. They come in bright cheerful colors and they aren't very long from front to back so narrow turnarounds will be easier. It also has a great deal of cargo space. Unfortunately there aren't that many of them here and it might be difficult to find replacement parts when it needs repairs. So it looks like we have to go with a RAV 4 or CRV. Do we buy really old and cheap and face constant repair costs or newer and spend more money that we might have greater need of later?
I won't even get started on all of the optional things like painting the walls, planting flowers, furnishing the guestroom, etc, etc.
What do we NEED and what do we WANT? These are the things occupying my mind this week. We just escaped the "land of stuff" and I am consumed by thinking about getting more stuff!
Luckily we have a good Father who knows what we need before we even think to ask it and I trust Him completely to guide us in the ways we should go.