Living with guinea pigs. How should we feel?

Living with guinea pigs. How should we feel?

It was dark and damp. Across the mud floor scuttled dozens of guinea pigs. In the corner a basic wooden platform was pointed to. This is where the couple sleep.

Hilary and Roger spent some time last year in The Scottish Outer Hebrides and visited a Black House (see picture below) museum. Sanitised for the tourist it was almost romantic to imagine families living in such ‘rural charm’ a hundred years ago.

Now here in Ecuador two indigenous people – a weather-beaten couple in their 60s – were showing us their home. It’s the other side of the world but it still came as a shock. After all, 50km up the road the elite are relaxing in their Quito mansions.

How should we feel?

You can’t escape the fact that it’s a travelling highlight to see such a scene. You can’t ignore the fact you want to see these indigenous houses still lived in rather than replaced by soulless concrete.

But how do we expect to sleep tonight? Not surrounded by mud, damp and guinea pigs for starters.

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A Scottish Black House. Today they are typically museums, art galleries or derelict
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