Monday, March 27, 2006

Chacala in the Summer

During my first year ( in the years since) in Chacala I housesat for seven months at a very nice American-owned (and designed) house near the entrance to Marina Chacala.
I thought I was the only gringo in town that year, from the end of June thru early October. Later on that Fall a US guy told me he had been in Chacala all summer. I never saw him for six months, and I have no idea where he might have been staying.

Anyway, two Chacalean residents, Trini and Laura Sura, both English-speakers, were in town most of the time that first summer. They really helped me a lot. Phoning the builder when the roof of the house starting leaking like a sieve. Calling the bug-spray and gas guys for me. Explaining which days the Coke truck and garbage truck come thru town, etc etc.

It is amazing how much Spanish I didn’t learn that first summer in Chacala. Somehow local people could figure out my horrible Spanish and sign-language, and things went okay. Another local man, Juan Luis fixed the electricity system when the water pump for the house went out. He also speaks English and helped me a lot.

The second summer/second year of my residence in Chacala was a little different. I was still housesitting at the same house. But there were more English speaking guests off-and-on all summer. The owners of Casa Pacifica were around all but about 8 weeks of summer. And various other English speakers were here off-and-on. The Canadians who are having a house built, a couple who have a place in the walled-in gated community, a nice couple staying at Mar de Jade for about five months (who spent a lot of time making friends in Chacala), a Swiss family here for a month, a woman from Washington state here for a month learning Spanish and teaching drumming, etc etc etc. Quite a different summer.

Both summers in Chacala I spent most of the days at home, writing, drawing, gardening, cooking and cleaning, making things, having visitors, and last summer, computing. My son brought my lovely Mac laptop down last July and showed me how to Blog, and I have been at it every since.

Usually, summer and winter, I do my own projects during the day, and the visit around Chacala and do errands starting a couple of hours before dark. I like that schedule, but there are times when I get a lot of company during the day, and that’s hard for me. Even if they are very nice, and I enjoy meeting them, I still need a lot of private time for myself.

I am thinking there will only be three US people living (semi-permenantly) here this summer, but I might be wrong. I will be housesitting again, and I am looking forward to it. I am also thinking there will be more summer tourists again this summer. Now that I can fumble along in Spanish I really like being in Chacala with few, in any, English speaking people around. People are very nice and I like not being being good enough at Spanish to be able to gossip and say bad things about people. Slows down my urge to gossip and malign people quite a bit.

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