Monday, August 28, 2006

Walking Thru Chacala

Chacala trinket shop, with little visitors shopping for souvenirs
A kind of cloudy, overcast, and slightly cooler (88F) day in Chacala. I have changed my daily routine, and have been going out first thing in the morning, while it's still "cool" outside, to do my errands.

This morning I had a new reservation for Concha, and I took the information down to her. Concha had replanted the Desert Rose she got from me the other day. It's got two blossoms on it and looks great. She brought back the empty pot I loaned her the next day. I like that. Just like in the US, some people returns things immediately, and some people you have to keep asking. Oh well.

While I was at Concha's we looked at her calender for the winter and she realized she needed to talk with Aurora. So I joked around with Concha's son Juan, who speaks English and is a car mechanic. Then Concha passed the phone to me and we talked about two reservations Aurora has coming. One person is coming on Wednesday and the other at Christmas time. I am so surprised that I can converse adequately on the phone in Spanish with some people. It's very handy, being able to use the phone, I mean.
A woman came over to Concha's selling local lottery chances while I was there. I had never met or (I think) seen her before, but I knew immediately who her adult children were (Marcella and Lalo). Exactly the same face. I guess I have been here for awhile if I can recognize familial facial characteristics. The chances were for a refrigerator. I didn't get what it was a fund-raiser for, but maybe for the church roof, which is leaking.

Got some vegetables from the veggie truck, in preparation for my son's arrival. I don't like onions or peppers or garlic and he does, so I got some, and some cantalupes. And then I went over to the tienda for beer and small water bottles for him, and bananas for me. Saw Esparanza's son, Alphonso, riding around in the back of a truck with some guys, including one of his brothers. They were doing something at Lalo's fish store. A. came into the tienda looking for me. He knows I will probably give him 10 pesos for a treat. He doesn't ask. He just grins at me, and tilts his head, and raises an eyebrow. And of course, I fall for it. He bought a chocolate milk and a bolillo (like a french roll).

Alphonso is one of the three adults in Chacala I know of who have some kind of problem. Developmentally delayed, or whatever. He lives at home with his Mom, Dad, and two of his brothers, and right near his five other siblings, when they are in town. Three of his siblings are currently at University, with the support of Laura de Valle, at Mar de Jade and Dale. He fishes every morning with his Dad or brother and works with them doing different projects. When his brother Marcos was doing the town garbage route, Alphonso was the guy on the back or the truck, dumping the garbage. He is always cheerful, and funny, and loves to clown around. I often wonder how he sees his life, and what he thinks about the differences between his life and those of his siblings. I guess I will never know. But I am always glad to see him.

I wish people like Alphonso were accepted in the US the way they are here. I am sure he has been teased by his peers, and not just because he is different, but because there is lots of teasing going on here, all the time. A. has a role here, and he knows his physical strength and ability to work are needed and valued by his family.

A few days ago when I was waiting for the collectivo at Prieto and Ventura's house, Ventura showed me some great snapshots of Luki, the sweet little dog who died last week. We both sat there with tears on our faces for a few minutes. Then she showed me one of Luki's babies. Their female dog had them about four weeks ago. One of them looks exactly like Luki and another one ACTS exactly like Luki. Prieto showed me that the little guy rolls over and begs for a stomach rub just like Luki. Plus he stands on his hind legs and kind of dances around when he wants something, just like Luki. I am not getting a dog, but I am tempted by that little cutie pie.

Yesterday I put up the tent on the veranda. I am plannning to sleep there when my son is here. And I found another broken pole. I am going back down to the hardware to find a piece of tubing or something to fix it. Then add a bed and foam mattress, and an extention cord for a lamp. And maybe a fan. Last night there was a middle-of-the-night wind and rainstorm, and I am wondering how the tent will hold up to another night like that. It never rained in the six months I used it at the beach, so I don't know how rain-proof it is..I can always move inside if it gets too wet.

When I went walking down the road this evening, heading to Frankie's tiendas, and visiting along the way, I got waylaid but another lottery sales lady. This fund-raiser is for a quilt and the proceeds go to stuff for the town's celebration of St. Rafael Day in late October. He is the patron state of Chacala. It's a big deal, processions, Mass, huge potluck with grilled fish, and a dance in the evening on the basketball court at the school. Last year Maria made the paper decorations that are strung from tree-to-tree in the church yard.

Anyway, 15 pesos (1.50Us) for a chance. The saleslady has a folder with a several pages of numbers with a blank space after it. You write your name in the space and they draw a number for the winner. I couldn't use my usual (never lucky) number, 13, so I used my ex's birthday number, 36 (the year of his birth) which has been lucky for me before. Not that I believe in luck. Anyway. The quilt looked very nice, and I plan on winning it. I am going to give it to Chicha or Lupe or Esparanza. Or me.

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