Friday, June 30, 2006

Mucho Calor in Chacala

Swimming in the north end of Playa Chacala

Yesterday seemed to have been a turning point into a long, hot summer. It's been in the low 90F's for more than a week, but suddenly, today it just seemed to be TOO hot. About 6pm I took advantage of the (cooler?) shade on the west side of the dirt street, and when looking for Viki, Aurora, Trini, Beatriz, and Maria. I had little errands with each of them. Nobody was home, not even Chata, so I headed down to the store, and found Aurora.

Aurora's clothes were wet, so I knew she had been swimming. She said she was going back to swim, and pulled me along with her. It turned out we were going swimming around at the dingy beach, near the little port. The dingy beach is called that by the yachties who park their dingies here. Local people call it the muelle (dock) beach, I think. It's a calm, safe beach with no waves, where Chacala families tend to swim.

The place was jammed packed with kids and grown-ups. I had my wallet on me, with all my cash, my glasses and keys and a couple of other things. I normally never carry anything except a little change with me when I am wandering around Chacala, but now I needed a place to leave my stuff, since I was swimming in my clothes, like almost everyone else. Then I saw Benjamin, a neighbor, whose wife is a gardener I share plants with. He was sitting alone, next to the old colummns, watching the swimmers and waiting for a boat to come back. So he watched my stuff for me.

The water was great, not too hot yet. In another month it will be too warm to be refreshing, but for now it was perfect. Caught up with everyone I had been looking for, and took care of my errands standing neck-deep in the water. Played with 2 year old Tony (Antonio), who was playing alone in the shallowest water. Some other kids came over and we played splashing-each-other games for awhile. Very cool and refreshing.

You can't see it in this photo,
but the dingy beach is right in front of that big white house in the center left.

Last summer I went swimming alot in the early evening, but most of the time I swam over on the north end of the big beach, where most of the local teens swim. It's more fun for me because there are actual waves to jump around in. But visiting at the dingy beach is nice too. I think I'll alternate or something.

I checked my weather notebook from last year, and my memory served me right. The first rain last year was also right at the solstice. The difference is last year it poured, and then rained seriously almost every night for a week. This year we have had little-bitty rain showers some of the nights. You can hardly tell it rained at all in the morning.

I hope we start getting more rain again. It's kind of scary to be so dependent on rainfall. I keep reading about how many people in the world have no local access to potable water, and in some cases, any water. Maybe I misunderstood the bible (or maybe it's from a spiritual) quote about "no more water, but fire next time". Up until now, I thought that it meant, no flood next time, just fire. But maybe it actually met "NO WATER" and we will burn up. How depressing.

Maybe Melinda and Bill Gates could focus a few pennies on getting water to everyone, especially drinkable water. It's kind of scary to see Coke (and other giants) taking over the drinking water business all over the world. Of course, the process of making parts for computers is a very high polluter of water, so maybe he is ignoring that issue. Or maybe not. I hope not.

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