Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lessons and Sights Around Chacala

Well, my favorite Chacala sight for the week was a large, white cow (with horns) strolling about the little mango orchard outside my window, delicately nibbling here and there. Looking for the ripe mango without bees buzzing it, I guess.

She must have wondered down the road from the cattle pen up near the big trees: the two trees that often have those giant birds that eat dead meat. Can't remember their names right now. Maybe vultures. Hundred of them at a time. Waiting for a aged-beef snack, maybe. Anyway, I can hear the other cows (and bull?) mooing away up the road.

Went into Las Varas this morning (after finding out that the water guy isn't coming until tomorrow morning). While I was waiting for the collectivo, I looked inside the new "real estate" office that Gary, the developer of the gated place south of Chacala, up on the hill, is building. It must of been 115 degrees in there (at least!). No cross venilation at all. Maybe they are going to knock some holes in the concrete walls.

Then I played hide and seek with Guadalupe, a little 1 1/2 year old sweetie, and then held Juan's baby, Jesus, while he waited on customers. There were three tourists down at the tienda waiting for the collectivo. One was a woman from England, staying with Concha for a week. A taxi came by while we were waiting for the collectivo to collect its' five passenger minimum. The taxi only had room for one more person, so she hopped in, once I convinced her taxis charge the same price as the collectivo when you are heading back to Las Varas. Nice woman.

The other people were a couple from Idaho. It turned out we have a mutual friend who lives in their hometown. Small world, of course. They were on their way to the Thursday street market in La Penita, and I pointed the way to the correct collectivo. It's fun to be able to help out a little sometimes. When I first came to Chacala I had a real mix of experiences with other gringos here. Some people were really friendly, fun, and helpful, and some others were rude and kind of arrogant or something. Weird experience, and I hope I don't treat new visitors like that. Maybe I do, but it's not on purpose if I do.

I had to mail a letter today to someone who made a reservation for next winter. So I mailed it today. Cost 10 pesos plus some centavos. They never have change at the Post Office (Correo) in Las Varas, and this time I made sure I had change. But, unfortunately, I never have centavos because no one ever uses them. At least not until today. Finally we agreed I would bring the centavos the next time I came in. He wouldn't /couldn't just keep the change from one peso.

When I got back to the collectivo stop in Las Varas, there were a bunch of people waiting for the collectivos for some of the other local towns, like Alta Vista, Abajo de Lima, and El Capomo, but no one for Chacala. I was thinking, "oh ###" I must have just missed the collectivo. It was about 90 degrees F and I didn't feel like sitting on the bench, even in the shade. I started to walk away, considering taking a taxi, when the El Capomo driver, put his arm out, and said to wait a minute. And I did. He went somewhere and came back in about two minutes with a van load of people who were waiting in the little taco stand around the corner. Plus three school kids showed up. So, no waiting. Hoorah.

We're still waiting for the rain to start. The water is perfect for swimming, in my opinion.


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