Monday, August 22, 2005

Quiet and humid in Chacala

Not much new construction going on around town.

Some road repair people are in the process of re-cobbling the section of the road that goes from the paved road past Concha's down to the stores and the beach road. The top 40 feet or so got semi-washed out during one of the big rainstorms. But they got about half-way through and went away, leaving the road blocked off with those sawhorse things and big rocks. Which was pretty inconvenient for getting around town. So today I noticed that someone had removed the sawhorses and rocks on one side of the road and everyone but the big buses are zipping up and down again, bumping on the loose cobblestones. Oh well. (added August 26th: the repair hasn't returned yet - I think road crews operate the same all over the world - dig it up and then let it age for a month or so before repairing and filling in). Later, never did come back.

The Canadian couple building the new house uphill from the paved road and one block back are in town for a couple of weeks, staying at Chata and Isreal's lovely kitchen/terrace unit with super-view over the Malecon. Chama's crew is working on the house (and on the remodel of Casa Tortuga at the same time).

I am out of the loop about the garbage project. Don't know what's going on with that. But the pickup has been erratic. Saturday last week and then nothing until Monday this week. Whatever.

The lake behind the little stores and restaurants is filled with water now, but I haven't seen any crocodiles yet. Mosquitoes and no-see-ums are still pretty active in the evening. The ocean water is comfortable and not too hot yet.

Marina Chacala has tons of traffic in and out, construction trucks, pickups and and people cars.

The power is going to be off for three hours tomorrow morning. A planned outage for the whole town I think. Apparently everyone in town got a hand delivered note. A pickup with five people in it delivered mine. And one of the passengers spoke English and told me what the note said. Nice to have a translator along. (updated August 26th - turned out the power was off most of the day, but still... could have been worst).

A bunch of new signs, all professionally done, are going up along the roads into town (one fence posts or whatever). They appear to say "private property" in Spanish. I don't know what that's all about, but it doesn't seem to be on eijido land, for whatever that's worth.

A man who said he owns the lot between Gordon's (where I am living for the summer six months) and the paved road came by today and told me he is going to start building a house on his lot soon and wanting to clean off the lot (with chemicals) (which he did, with two helpers). I think I convinced him not to spray the bouganvillas and the palms that I have been babying along. (Later, the bouganvillas and palms he didn't spray have survivied)

Luckily he spoke English and was friendly. It's very strange, but he is actually the third person that has told me they own that lot. He said he was building a two-story house. I asked him what he thought about eijido land grab/sale/whatever and he said "screw them" but he used a different, more succinct, word. He said no one was taking the eijido leadership seriously on the land sale thing until after the next election. Who knows. (Later. A new group of eijido leader was elected in September, so who knows what will happen next).

That's it. It's still hot and humid.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mid August and Raining

So far this year there has been something of a drought in Chacala. This rainy season (according to various sources) is generally July, August September and October with about 13 or 14 episodes of rain a month, usually in the later afternoon or evening). But this year there has has been maybe one rain episode a week and not much rain each time.

However, yesterday was a really rainy day. Started in the afternoon and rained pretty heavily all afternoon, off and on. Then after dark the thunder and lightning really got going with lots of rain. When I finally when to sleep about midnight it was still pouring. Very loud. I unplug everything, including the surge protector (which also protects phone lines), and anything else that plugs in. The lightning and thunder are very beautiful and right on top of Chacala. It's scary and wonderful. And not good for electrical applicances. Obviously.

Last year, and I guess usually, there was a lake behind the little stores and restaurants on the beach road but not on the beach side of the road. The lake normally runs from near KoKo Bongos to the far south end of the litte shacks. Anyway, this year there is hardly any water in the lake. I don't know where the crocodiles go when there is no water or not much water. Last year when I asked Miguel Angel, one of the collectivo drivers, where the crocodiles go when the lake dries up in November, he said they cross the beach road and go across the beach into the ocean. I don't know if he was kidding or not.

The power has been going out a couple times a week this summer. For maybe two or three hours. I don't know what the cause is, although one time it was a large branch falling from a large dying tree next to the paved road near the big new hotel. It is dying because some local fire bug set a fire at the base of the tree. Who knows why. Sometimes the power is off during the day, which is different than last year, when it was almost always during rainstorms and usually about 7 or 8pm for a couple of hours.

It'a about 11am right now, and everything looks fresh and green and the sun is out, along with the congrudos. The sky is blue blue blue and it feels great to be here. It's only in the mid- eighties right now. For the last few weeks it has been in the mid nineties and very humid. So today feels great.

Construction-wise, I guess the new house being built one lot back from the paved road and uphill from Aurora's Dona Lupe's and the new hotel, belongs to a Canadian couple. Chama, the construction guy who is remodeling Casa Tortuga, is building the house. He said he thought it would be about the same size as Gordon's. The new restaurant along the beach road about opposite of Chico's driveway are coming along quickly.

The American who is planning to set up a surf shop and work out place has started foundation work on his living quarters (two rental units and a third for his own living space). It kind of across from the Dona Lupe's (the Dona Lupe who works at Casa Tortuga and who is Cundo's mom). And next to the yellow rentals owned by Terry.

According to the local rumor mill, Ventura, wife of Miguel Angel, sold her lot between Berta's and Casa Azul. Kind of a big lot with one little hovel on it. I think it's really about three lots with a nice view of the ocean. I was told an American bought it for development, and also wanted to buy Berta's, which didn't happen. The people who were renting the little house on that lot have moved to another house (Marta'a old house). I don't know if that means something is going to happen on the lot right away or not.

School is starting next week sometime. It seems like more and more kids are going to primary and junior high in Las Varas. Apparently because of dissatisfaction with the quality of education at the Chacala school. But there are still quite a few kids at the Chacala schools (kinder, primary and the equivalent of junior high). And lots of things are going on at the bibliotecha. The kinder has two sets of kids this year. First is the three or four kids who attended Kinder last year and are too young to go to Primary in Chacala and who can't afford 1st grade at one of the private schools in Las Varas. The other group are the regular kinder kids for this year.

Julietta is still teaching this year, and could use some money or donations for kinder tyupe stuff. Paper, pens, toys, etc, white board pens, if anyone is interested. If you are coming down for a visit this year, you could bring school supplies for little kids and/or a little money. Take it directly to the kinder building. Classes are in the morning, nine to noon. It's the little colorfully painted building across from Gracia's techo and the church. It's about a block from the school going toward the ocean. It has a new playground thingie, courtesy of some very generous Rortarians.

That's it for today.