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January

2015

Hiring a Cook

Costa Rica

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Hola friends. How are you doing today? Anyone tired of reading about the adventures? One of our goals for 2015 is to take more adventures and explore Costa Rica further. Are you ready? Where should we go? What should we see?

Have you ever done something completely out of character? Something that your younger self or maybe even your self of last week would gasp at? We did! We hired a cook this week. Never, ever, say NEVER!

Over the past three weeks, while we discussed this decision my mind was giving me so much grief. Let’s step inside my head for a moment to see what it was like, here goes… {Really? A cook? Is it necessary? Is life that unmanageable that you need someone to come in and do a basic household task that most of the world is capable of doing on their own? Shame on you! You need to step up to the plate and be a real woman. Everyone else is able to manage cooking each evening and work, why not you?}. After agonizing over this decision for weeks I finally realized that I deserved it and I was not going to feel guilty about it anymore. I was going to commit to it and not be ashamed.

I am sure most of you are now starting to ask yourself, but why? My why is quite simple, there is not enough of me (and Will for that matter since we do meals together) to do it all. We have been surviving on six hours of sleep per night for close to a year now (minus a vacation or two) and we need to outsource something. I once read that a smart person outsources what they like least and what someone else can easily do in order to free up time to do the things they enjoy. Now, I actually love to cook, but it is the only part of our life that we could realistically outsource. I cannot outsource my design work, my blog or my photography. I am hired for each of these because of my style. Plus, I truly enjoy my work. I cannot outsource world/home schooling. Well, actually I can, but I don’t want to, I enjoy teaching the kids. I do outsource about 40% of it now and I would not want to hand off anymore. Besides showering, cleaning, #@% and a couple of errands there is not much left. If I could outsource three of those four I would. Any guesses which one I would keep all to myself? (wink, wink)

We briefly entertained using a virtual assistant again, but there is still so much we have to keep our hands in that it did not seem feasible. We could have easily hire a cleaning lady, but our place is a small, two bedroom apartment, it does not get that dirty. Plus, the happy, messy, chaos gives me peace, most of the time. The amount of errands we do here is much less than when we were in the states and ridiculous to outsource. We finally decided on hiring a cook for two reasons. First, we spend up to four hours a day in the kitchen. Second, the fee for a cook in Costa Rica is very reasonable. If you buy a fancy Starbucks coffee once a day and a new outfit once a month then you could afford a cook here. Hiring a cook seemed like the biggest bang for our buck.

Why were we in the kitchen four hours a day?

  • We do not have a dishwasher and our sink is pretty small, therefore we spent a lot of time washing, drying and putting away. Although the kids do the drying and putting away it was still time-consuming.
  • We cook everything from scratch. There are two reasons we cook from scratch. First, it is very expensive to buy imported items or prepackaged. Second, I don’t find the packed items to be as healthy as their counterparts in the US. I cannot read all the labels yet, but I have seen MSG in many products. That stuff makes my kids batty.
  • Now that Will and I work from home and Avalon is world/home schooled we have more people eating meals at home which means more time in the kitchen.

Benefits of hiring a cook:

  • We will now have more free time to enjoy our family and the activities we love.
  • We will get to experience the local food of Costa Rica and maybe even learn how to cook it ourselves.
  • We will be able to work on our Spanish with the cook and learn about the local culture from her.

Details:

  • We will pay her $4 per hour, plus $2 for transportation.
  • She will come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three hours. Which still gives us four days a week to cook as a family, which we all love.
  • She will cook and then clean up after herself (less dishwashing for us, yeah!)

Today I am not ashamed to admit that we have outsourced cooking. I love to cook, but I love being able to spend time with my family after a long day of work and home/world schooling. Monday we will turn over a new leaf and venture into unchartered territory. I have never had a cook before, but I am interested in seeing how this all works into our life here in Costa Rica.

What do you outsource? What would you like to outsource and why? What would you give up in order to have someone cook, clean, etc for you? Will and I have made a lot of sacrifices to make this travel lifestyle work. I am happy with this choice and the voices in my head have subsided.

Happy early Friday. Have a fantastic weekend.

Besos,
Jessica

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