Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mother's Day in Chacala

Yesterday was Mother's Day, May 10th, in Chacala, and it was really a special day. I got and gave gifts to other mothers, and had mother's day cake at three homes, (smaller pieces each time), and got lots of hugs and "Felicidades La Dia de al Madre".

I know there are all kinds of difficulties in having large, close families, but it's one of the things I like best about living here. Yesterday at Chico's there was a large pile of nice gifts for Narcissa, Aurora's mom, and a special lunch and down the road near Jorge's Deposito there was a band playing in the early evening. Esparanza, my now former landlady when to Compostella to visit her mother's grave.

She's now my ex-landlady because yesterday I moved back to the house I have housesat each of my three (so far) summers in Chacala. That's for about six months or a little longer. This is the house of someone who is only in Chacala in the winter. In return for free rent I take care of various problems, clean house, and take care of the plants. The housecleaning aspect is takes much more time and energy than I would have guessed. This is a various nice house, with kitchen, dining area, bath, bedroom, living room, front porch, large terrace (partially covered) and then a downstairs "friends and family" apartment. I spend about an hour a day doing straight cleaning, not particularly related to my being here. Mostly cleaning floors, walls, ceilings, window screens, and trimming the wildly invasive greenery once the rains start. Things get very dusty here very quickly, and the dead bugs pile up very fast.

But it's such a nice house is is very satisfying to keep it nice. Each year so far there are been some problems with the building itself which required workman to be here. That's been very interesting. Watching the work techniques and working styles of the local guys. Different construction techniques and different workstyles.

Sometimes watching these guys makes me want to build my own house, just so I could design it and choose the colors and stuff. But I couldn't swing it financially. And besides, I think pretty soon Chacala will be pretty different, and probably not a place I where will feel contented and at-home. But, we'll see. I suppose the economy of the US could collapse or something. Not that I am wishing for that.

I am still struggling to get comfortable being around people who are coming to Chacala to make a buck, and who generally seem not to give a hoot about this town or the people who live here. The kind of people who seem to think it's too much trouble to learn some Spanish so they can talk to their future neighbors. Whatever. I am trying to lower my level of judgmentalness, but I am not doing very well with that. If one more visitor tells me on their second day in Chacala that "if they would just....." about some problem, I will probably throw up. Not really. I guess I think people could be focused on BOTH making the big bucks and learning from this culture and giving something back for getting a chance to live in this lovely place.

A couple of my favorite visitors left yesterday, heading for home. This was their third visit here. They have been coming about once every six months, and staying for two or three weeks. He fishes with the local friends he has made here, or from the beach, and she visits with her new friends. He didn't speak Spanish when he first came but he has learned alot. They have done a great job of just fitting into town, and finding ways to help out. And they are very generous. Regular people, not alot of money, but alot of heart and kindess. And they are very fun to be around. I will be glad when they come back.

I miss the beach so much. Last night was horrible, no sounds of the ocean waves crashing, just cars tooting at the Chacalilla (Marina) gate. Some idiot honked maybe ten times in 15 seconds last night about 10pm. I guess he/she must have had some really important business in the gated "community" to disturb the whole neighborhood. And of course his honking got the dogs barking. Oh well.

This house is really comfortable with a great hammock. The best hammock I have even used.
Plus it has an oven. I have hardly been cooking during the last six months of camping on the beach. Used a little gas camp stove every other day or so. But today I bought flour and yeast for making pizza (NOT like Pizza Hut pizza) and chicken breasts to bake, and carne for making fajitas and tacos.

It's late afternoon and I am about to go let Beatriz know her deposit for a June visitor is here, and offer her a two month reservation with some very interesting sounding jpeole who want to come down for the first time in January and February.

It is getting kind of scary to realize that sometimes people are making the decision to come here after reading this blog, or taking my advice about where to stay from reading the rental blog. I know that most people coming here don't even know either of the blogs exist, but still, it feels funny. A nice guy who is in Chacala now, thinking about staying, keeps telling peopole he came because of my blog. Scares me.

That's it.

No comments: