Weekly Photo Challenge: Living Without a Door


The Weekly Photo is: Door

Two years ago I completed a Weekly Photo Challenge: Opening Colorful Doors

Yet, for this photo challenge, I am taking the opposite approach. What would life be like living without a door? You see, my neighbors are adding to their small dirt-floor house. Yesterday, I crawled over the barbed wire fence separating our properties to see the progress on their addition.

There are many ‘firsts’ in this addition, and they proudly showed me around their two new rooms. It is their first cement floor, their first barred windows, and their first cement block walls waiting for a smooth concrete finish.

IMG_8520But, they have run out of money, so they are going to live without doors until they can afford to have doors made. It may be a long wait because one strong handmade door will cost them several months’ pay.

“A door is an everyday thing, yet is often a symbol โ€” of a beginning, a journey forward or inward, a mark of oneโ€™s home, or even a step into the unknown.” Yet, I wonder what life will be like living without a door? I can’t imagine life without a door…it’s a leap for me to step that far into the unknown…a journey of faith and trust extending outward in the world.

They live without so much as it is: no running water in their house, no gas stove, only a wood fire for cooking, no indoor plumbing, and an outhouse. Yet, they are always happy!
Marina even added a touch of color by attaching plastic flowers from Don Jose’s funeral to her new barred windows.

IMG_8523Do doors symbolize a new beginning, an opportunity, new possibilities, or potentials? Not for this family!
IMG_8525For this family, living without doors demonstrates their openness and trust between their inner and their outer world. They are so proud of their accomplishments in building this addition. All of their extended family members helped to build it…kind of like an Amish barn raising. I’m proud of them, too.

What do you think living without doors would be like? Have you ever met someone who lived without doors in their house? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

19 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Living Without a Door

  1. Pingback: A Few Days in Nicaragua | The Panama Adventure

  2. We have a neighbor here in Pedasi that has been building an addition to their house little by little. Each payday brings a bit more cement for the floor, a few more cement blocks for the wall, etc. But, in contrast to our U.S. friends, they have NO mortgage, they own their house free and clear.

    • That is so common in Central America. On my daily walks, I see unfinished houses of all kinds…some with only black plastic for walls, others with the cement blocks stacked up and waiting to build. Poco a poco. Thanks for your comment, Pedasi.

    • The only reason they have bars on the windows is because a relative had extra metal (rebar) laying around the house and one of Marina’s other relatives had a welder and could make the bars for free. They are extremely resourceful people when they have little money.๐Ÿ™‚

  3. In places like Haiti and Tanzania, many people had no wooden doors, but had curtains in the doorways and some tin cans on string announcing intruders. A good watch dog helps. Bathroom doors was the last thing Ron built in our log house. We got use to it , but it freaked my mom out. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks for answering my questions, Lynne. This morning, I see our neighbors putting up a curtain over the front door space. I have so many tin cans leftover from our dog’s food and I never know what to do with them. I think I’ll make my neighbors a string of tin cans that they can put in the doorway for a housewarming gift. lol Thanks for the idea.
      When I was doing my daily googling, I couldn’t find any information on living without doors, but I did find a post called, “I can’t live without a shower curtain.” You never know what people can’t live without. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. At first, as I read your post I was blown away again by the poverty of this family and reminded of what we saw as we traveled through Nicaragua. However, a second reading showed me what this new home with all its firsts means for your neighbors and reinforces the fact that happiness is not equal to “stuff.” Anita

    • Ingrid, I haven’t found a way to keep mosquitoes out of any house in Nicaragua. All of our houses are open to the elements. Unless we build a cave house…we try to do what we can to avoid mosquito bites. Fortunately, we live on the lake with a nice breeze that keeps the mosquitoes at bay.

  5. Ha.. It depends on where I lived; I love sleeping with doors (to the upstairs balcony) and windows open when the night air is fresh and cool, and all is silent except for the sound of nature. I would not be comfortable with zero doors or ways to close windows when the rainy season starts or if there were bats that prefered to be inside the house and not outside… if there were known thieves in the neighborhood, I would never sleep well, and I would also ponder the random snakes — or skunks that might meander in.. scorpions as well.

    But it sounds as if they have few material things of interest to the thieves, and they probably sleep under mosquito netting, and they have great neighbors (you and Ron) so the lack of a door is probably not a bit issue for them. Sigh, if only the majority of people in the world had such a relaxed life!

    • We have a lot to learn from people who can live such a relaxed life, right? I worried about our local thieves, but like you say, they have few material things of interest to them.
      But, here’s a funny story about our local thief. The other day, Marina was cleaning my house and I saw our other neighbor, Rudy, armed with his machete chasing after a man carrying a 50 pound load of firewood on his back.
      Marina was yelling, “He stole our firewood. Get him, Rudy.” Rudy had cut firewood for Marina, and it was sitting on the beach waiting for Julio ( Marina’s son) to take it to their house.
      The firewood thief got to it first. Apparently, he was on his way to town to sell the firewood for drug and alcohol money. Rudy and Julio chased after him threatening him, but the thief could run faster…even with 50 pounds of firewood on his back.
      I put the word out to watch for our local thief selling firewood in Moyogalpa, but no one ever found him.
      The good thing about living in this community is that we all watch out for one another. Plus, Ometepe is so small, that word spreads quickly about a thief and usually the ladron is apprehended before he can get his stolen goods off the island.๐Ÿ™‚

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