1. Clean running water
I hope you know that most of the earth's population doesn't have access to clean drinking water. It doesn't really register until you realize that the water in your toilet is cleaner than the water that comes from my faucet.
2. Water (in general)
We have running water, and I'd venture to say that most of the people in metropolitan areas in Honduras have plumbing/running water in their homes. (I can't say the same for rural Honduras...one maid I had told me they still didn't have plumbing/electricity in the village where she's from...) But it's not always reliable. In Tegucigalpa (the capital of Honduras) water is a luxury! Where we used to live the water came on maybe 3 days per week during rainy season, and once every TEN DAYS during dry season. In order to have water 24 hours a day, people that can afford it have cisterns/storage tanks for water. When the city water comes on, it fills the cistern/tanks so you have a back up for whenever the water goes off. (And oh, the glorious sound of the water filling the cistern...I swear every time I heard it I heard angels singing...) If you have one of those, you also have to have an electric water pump to pump the water into the house. No electricity?...no water.
3. Reliable utilities
Speaking of no electricity... In the 2 cities where I've lived in Honduras,
electricity in my houses have gone out a few times a month for a few
hours each time (with the exception of when the last president was ousted from office in 2009 and it was off for DAYS). No biggie compared to other places in Honduras where
it goes out for hours every single day. Also? It's super expensive.
4. Central heating/AC
This isn't for the reason you think it is! It's nice to have a climate controlled environment to live in, but I miss having a CENTRAL system for air filtration! You won't believe how fast the dusts collects in my house without filtering the air!
Are you aware that I live in the "most dangerous" city in the world? (Read about it here.) Highest homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants. Higher than Juarez, Mexico people. Honestly, I feel like I'm not at risk for homicide though...those are almost always targeted killings of people involved in 1. Politics, 2. Narcotrafficking, or 3. Journalism (and publishing true stories that no one wants known!). We're not involved in any of those things. Kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, being mugged, however...those are all real threats and I am scared and constantly aware of my surroundings every time I leave my house.
The police in the US are your friends (most of them, at least). They want to help and protect their citizens. Here? Corrupt doesn't even begin to describe it. The corruption within the police department goes so deep and wide that I don't know if it can ever be fixed without firing every.single.person and starting over again. (For examples and stories read La Gringa's article here. Make sure you read the related articles listed at the end.)
7. Reliable emergency services
I never realized how amazing 911 is. You call, and someone answers! And then? They send police! And they arrive in minutes! What a novelty. Many years ago when Jose was in high school someone tried to break into their house. They called 911 (199 in Honduras) and miraculously someone answered! (Every time I've called....maybe 5 times...no one EVER answered.) But, they said they couldn't send anyone because they didn't have a car and if Jose and his family could send someone to pick them up. Not kidding. I couldn't make up these stories if I wanted to.
This one may seem silly to you. But? It's not easy drilling holes in concrete. All of our interior/exterior walls are made of concrete. Hanging pictures takes me FOREVER (probably because I'm a wimp and our drill kinda sucks). But? At least we have walls (and they are concrete, not adobe) and at least we have a drill.
I could go on and on and on....stable government, hospitals, medical care, plumbers that aren't all total idiots......Just remember....
"The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for..."