We moved to Chile for work purposes and also to be near my wife’s family. As such, we are with them a great deal of the time and help out with small projects. Time being precious, we try to be efficient with what we do to make their life more comfortable. For example, my father in law complains that he is cold virtually all the time. Maybe it is that crystal clear air that reaches right into your bones. Rather than listen to the gripes, I decided to take action. It was easy enough to purchase a small but efficient space heater for the living room. It has an automatic shutoff feature for safety and he avows that he is more comfortable. It seems that a minor adjustment in in his life style makes a huge difference for all concerned.
With electrical appliances you have to be somewhat vigilant. One day he left the heater running day and night causing an electric burnout. The heater shut off but we couldn’t get it to start up again. What frustration. The gripes about being cold started up again and reminded me to rapidly get the device fixed. You become dependent on these little niceties in life and it is far easier than starting a fire. The problem was finding someone who knew how to fix the heater. It isn’t a marvel of engineering and should not have been a problem but I searched far and wide for a repairman. You can’t just get anything you want in Chile at the drop of a hat. Modern conveniences are there, but with limitations. If they break down, you just buy a new one. I wasn’t willing to resort to that and give up. After some digging, I did find a repair shop that seemed to know what they were doing although it looked like they specialized in small kitchen appliances. I dutifully turned over the heater, begging for help. I want a happy in law. Meanwhile I found a nice, cozy blanket in my storage trunk that I thought he might like. He liked it so much he stopped asked about the heater. In about two weeks, it did return stronger than ever but I did not get the blanket back. Now I was the one cold all the time. You have to be tough to live in a foreign country and learn to make do.
Now everyone I know wants a heater having seen the one I bought my father in law. Plug it in an instant warmth. As soon as the sun sets, it goes into action. You have to have one large enough for your space or you need more than one for the living room and bedroom. The kitchen stove takes care of that room. You can keep it perpetually warm. It seems like we are always in a fight against the elements. You learn to become practical and enterprising.