My mother is currently the Vice-Mayor of the city of Machala. My dad was a Congressman in Ecuador, and now he owns a radio station (he´s on from 8-10 weekday mornings, and my brother Fernando also speaks on it), a banana plantation, and a owns a fair share of the buildings in Machala. Most everybody in the city of Machala knows the family. Our house is fenced in with the house of my brothers (each brother has a floor for his family). The house has a swimming pool, a small soccer/basketball court, an exercise room, and an entertainment room (pool tables, stereo, ping-pong table). Each adult has a car (my father has two). So you might be able to tell that this family is well off. There is a downside to this: my parents work long days. My mother wakes up with me and sets me off to school. I sometimes see her after school when she comes home to eat lunch, but then she takes off again. I don´t see her then usually until 9 (unless I´m downtown for some meeting then walk to the Municipio, the city hall, so she can take me home - still usually between 8:30-9). I don´t usually see my father until 10 at night (unless I go to his office during the day). They do try to compensate for this during the weekends by staying home. Most of the family then comes over and we eat together and spend time together. I actually haven´t been home for a Saturday night yet: I was in Guayaquil my first Saturday night when I arrived, I went to Santa Rosa, I went to Pasaje with the Morochos, and then I had the Rotary camp. I do plan on sleeping in my bed this Saturday night and partaking in all the family activities.
Around the house there are so many helpers:
Wacho (real name is Washington, but this is how they say it as a nickname) - the driver for my mother who also works at the Municipio. He somtimes drives me around, too, if I need to go somewhere. He also picks up food that we´d like or any supplies (he bought and brought me a blue tie to school my first Monday). He also has a little farm where he grows "mandarinas" - large clementines the size of my two fists together. He brings them to my house because I love them.
Araceli - The nanny for me (previously for Francisco). She first came when Francisco broke his leg, then she stayed to help. She does the laundry and cleans up around my room and the house. She stays to make me some dinner (usually just a small meal because lunch is the big meal) and to give me some company. She is around usually from 3-8 or until I leave (sometimes she accompanies me via taxi).
Gladys - The cook who makes us lunch during the week. She prepares a soup and meal for Mamá, brothers Fernando and Andrés, sister Paola, and me. She´s home when I get home from school at 2 and stays until 3 or 4.
Miguel - The gardener for the house. He takes care of all the plants and maintenance of the house.
Juan - A nice, old security guard who comes at night to guard the house. He also feeds the dogs the leftovers from lunch. Once I was exercising and glanced out the window and saw don Juan peeking in the window. I spit out some comment about how I haven´t exercised in a while, and I continued with my exercise. Next time I looked he was gone. That was a little awkward, but he´s really nice anyways.
María - A babysitter for my nephew Paolo (son of Andrés and Paola). She is usually around a lot and watches, plays, cares for Paolo.
Yolanda - A lady who comes, reads the piles of newspapers, and cuts out certain articles for my mamá.
Señor de la Piscina - I just found out about him today. He cares for the pool. Araceli doesn´t know his name either, just Señor de la Piscina.
I think that does it, but I´m not sure because I keep learning about new helpers.