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  1. I would like to drop a word of recommendation if anyone is looking for a maid. Ana & her family live in Jocotepec. They travel 3 or 4 times a week to Chapala to sell blackberries, etc. near the square & carry up & down the streets nearby. Back in December, they approached me for a $500 peso loan because her father-in-law was in the hospital & they lacked $500 to get him out after pawning everything they had to pawn. So, I made the loan, thinking I'd never see it again. But Ana insisted on working it off for me, so I let her clean my house. (I have never had a maid before.) She asked what & how I would like things done, & I told her, "Just do it like you would for your own house - to your own satisfaction. I know it will be perfect." Man, was that an understatement! Now, I'm no slouch on keeping things tidy & clean, but this woman is MRS. Clean! And 100% with soap & vinegar, which she didn't find strange at all. Ana's family, like all of us, has its struggles. Her mother was hospitalized in January with kidney failure & the family had to raise $20,000 pesos to get her on the dialysis & transplant list. So I made another loan & Ana worked it off. When I asked her if she ever thot about doing professional house-cleaning, she replied she had never thought about it. So I said, "Think about it! Jose can sell fruit & you can clean maybe 2 houses a day & the difference would be huge." But - she's a bit intimidated by expat ladies, as she has had some unpleasant experiences. She does not speak English, but she does understand it. She has a loving heart & will go to the market for you if you're not feeling up to it. She really gets every detail when she cleans. My street is dusty right now & she does my many shelves & all the little doo-dads from the landlady individually. She's not a speed demon, rushing to the next job, but she's no laggard, either. Basically, she does it like I would do it, but in a more organized, speedy way. (I mosey even when working, it seems.) Perhaps I should mention that I generally have bits & bobs of cash here & there all over the house... NOTHING, not one thing - has ever gone missing. Regardless of her financial challenges, Ana is fricking honest. She still has a personal code that won't be broken. She's always respectful of my space & does not, for instance, clean the computer or my desk, because I have things in a certain order. Last Thursday, she said that she had thought about it and thinks she WOULD be interested in working for other expats & would like for me to put a message here. (She has no computer & atm her only cell phone is my old cheapie with a damaged speaker.) But feel free to go through me to make contact until we get her a better phone. I'm don't keep a set schedule when the cleaning gets done. We always seem to hit on a good time. For me, it's amazing I have found someone nearly telepathic when it comes to how I want things done. So, if you speak some Spanish (or are willing to patiently explain in slow English & hand signals what you want done), you will find yourself very pleased with Ana's services. She is willing to work in Joco, Chapala & everywhere in between.
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