“…the pandemic made it impossible to live in…Everyone is barely surviving these days…”
I AM already in my BOL.
After all these years plagued with poor decisions, I’ve concluded that leaving is not exactly wise for the time being. The post-pandemic world is no longer a friendly place for migrants. Maybe in a year or year and a half, but who knows?
For now, this is where we belong.
For the time being, the needed budget to live here with much more comfort than I had as a migrant in a rented bedroom is the same or even less. I contribute to the home economy, and I can make some improvements at home for our little family group’s common good at the end of the day.
My Mother loves ornamental plants, and she has a few spices here and there. I’ve convinced her we need to grow some greenies ASAP. I have been craving a good homemade pesto with basil and oregano. My Mom can’t kneel. That’s why she has everything in pots and planters. Also, we don’t have a yard with soil. Cement covers nearly everything. This was not exactly a good choice, as we recently discovered.
Composting the vegetable and fruits waste is one task. One of my immediate goals is to build a green wall to mitigate the heavy sun radiation on the terrace. My final goal is to have potato bags and a small tank with bass or tilapia. But, I will write about that when the time comes. The only inconvenience of having an open terrace and green walls is mosquitoes. But that is almost under control. Citrus oil on my ankles and hands is helpful.
Mentally, my kiddo and I are doing just fine.
I have to acknowledge my state of mind and kiddo’s, are much better now. I had to struggle with kiddo some nights crying because he missed his native home, being there. Now he whistles and sings the entire day. He listened to a cover of “I’m still standing” in an animated movie, and now it’s stuck in his head. He plays with the dog, reads books, or watches the rain falling while peacefully listening to the radio in his hammock.
As I am writing, I feel the fresh breeze. Perhaps, the country is not the best place to be right now for many people. However, I believe it’s one of the best places to be for a while for both of us. The other one would be our mountain cabin, of course. I believe a BOL is a place you prepare with everything you need to be safe upon arrival.
Those with no skills like computer literacy or another language, or home to invest in, believe they will be better off somewhere else. Fine by me. Unless something worrisome happens, I’m better right here, at least for the time being. Besides, if something happens, it will have little effect around here.
I will try to explain this sort-of-a-bugout the kiddo and I have done.
Expenses cut to a minimum.
Power Grid: Because the grid doesn’t fail as often as some other places, we can cook with an electric stove and don’t need to buy firewood or coal. Bottled gas remains available (at international prices!), and supply is available in this city. However, things are much worse in the other one where my own home is (mind you, this is my parent’s).
Clothes: We only need a couple of pairs of trousers and jeans, a few pairs of shorts and 8 or 9 T-shirts for the entire year. Also, sandals, and a few socks and underwear. Washing our clothes only costs roughly 36$ per year. Calculations for this were easy: one and a half or two cups would wash a couple of jeans, socks, shorts, boxers, and like 4-5 T-shirts, more or less what we need to wash per week. Other clothes, like long-sleeve shirts and fancy trousers, we hardly wear. We can wash those by hand. Back in Lima, I could not afford to wash everything in the laundry. Prices of everything have gone up since we left. Meaning our timing was more than appropriate.
Water and food.
Water: I know this is hard to believe, but you will have to trust me on this one. The water in Lima may be more clear. However, you shouldn’t drink it from the tap. There are contaminant agents that you can’t see as a byproduct of the mining industry. We know the water we have here comes from a dam. And, although the treatment plant is not working 100%, we filter it, purify it, and that’s it.
Food: Although one can always eat a good meal in Peru for 2$ in a small mom-and-pop restaurant, we had to share. Usually, my son would have the fried pork chop, fish, or the chicken piece, leaving me with soup, rice, potatoes, and beans.
It’s not the same quality as the meals we can prepare here for the same price. With 4-6$, we prepare a good pot of beans with ground meat. Similar to Mexican Chili, but not spicy and enough for ten decent-sized rations. In addition, a bonus of my Mom’s seasoning I’ve been tasting since childhood. We could save a lot buying in bulk, too, which is easier now. However, I’m afraid it won’t be in the future.
Space, time, and tools to develop valuable projects for the future.
Allow me to clarify one more time: the pandemic made it impossible to live in the country where I migrated. Everyone is barely surviving these days. From my arrival, I could not find a good-paying job as too many underpaid engineers were already working. To aspire for a well-paid job, let’s say 1500$ (my initial goal), I had to pay a licensing fee to the Engineers National College of 1200$. Of course, I didn’t have that kind of money.
My aspirations were, and still are, high. I need to make sure I can afford private full coverage insurance for my kiddo and me. Furthermore, I need to ensure I can get good life insurance, just in case. There were good opportunities to secure some means by following my original plan: heading for the hills, instead of the “migration,” torn apart by the start of the Global Reset, via COVID.
For those new readers who haven’t read about me, I have a small inheritance of property here that was deteriorating. A house to take care of and a couple of vehicles to attend to. Now I can negotiate and make that patrimony work to get some very needed fixed income without the external pressure of supporting an entire household.
My father was quite concerned with the consequences of my past choices. He lost much weight these last two years. This severe effect on his health was something I never thought of. He’s not someone who will speak openly about feelings and stuff. Anyway, he’s much better now, and I can say he’s happy. He’s concerned we won’t be able to go to the mountains to check our cabin because of the transit restrictions and our car busted. However, we will arrive there eventually, and he will be able to do what he loves: recline in his hammock, open a cold beer and watch the fruit trees.
I want this article to clarify this: I realize I’m in the same place I would have been if I had sent the ex abroad to Ecuador, Peru, or wherever she wanted. However, there are crucial differences now. For example, I could have kept my meager savings. My initial plan was to move all my belongings to my parents’ home, sold our other house, fortify and stock the mountain cabin, and start a small business. However, this was not my ex’s idea of a good plan and we did what we thought best for our child.
Nothing is So Well Learned as That Which is Discovered ~ Socrates
Sure, we could have surfed the wave without much of a hassle had I followed the initial bugout plan. Now, I realize, after this initial bit of a SHTF, our bugout is barely beginning.
I’m not a fear-monger, black-cloud kind of person. I am positively pessimistic when the situation needs it. The collapse is not local. It’s global, but it hasn’t reached deep enough yet. Just look at Afghanistan. I can smell and feel something dark coming up. It’s not going to hit fast. On the contrary, it is a slow-burning SHTF.
The good thing is, right NOW, we’re back on track. The real bug out has begun.
And I feel lucky to have you by my side to learn from my words, written with my boots on the ground.
Have you had to learn from your survival decisions before?
Have you made prepping and survival mistakes before? What did you learn from them? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.