Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Quiet Morning in Chacala

Some days in Chacala I don't see anyone all day, until I go out doing errands and visiting around town in the late afternoon, when there is shade to walk under. From the house I can hear alot of things going on down on the road, but usually I have time to myself and my projects. I like hearing the sounds of the kids, dogs, and construction. I don't much care for the sound of machines and giant trucks, and of vehicles honking their horns to get into the gated community. But what can you do? At least all the greenery cuts down on the dust and noise.

But this morning was a busy day. Tina came by early, selling freshly squeezed orange juice in a little baggie with a straw sticking out. I try not to buy her juice. It's just too much money for my budget. But I admire her persistence, and spirit, and like talking with her. Lately the conversation has been on the topic of her having four wonderful little grandsons, and me having none. I am okay with my grandchild-less state, but she she takes much pride in her lovely grandsons, so I play along with it.
Tina's grandson Osvaldo, primo to Alexis, Caeser and Ulyesses.
And son of the fisherman Oswaldo,
who ran into the side of a whale in the dark last year
with his launcha.
And sustained and recovered from a huge scalp wound.

I am still trying to figure out how to have enough plants to share with the remaining four women I am planning to share with. So each will get a respectable set of plants. I had no idea this plant thing would get so complicated, interpersonally speaking.

Dona Lupe, my second landlady in Chacala, and mom of Blanca, showed up this morning for the plants we picked out for her a few days ago. I was at her restaurant, Fonda Lupita, yesterday afternoon, and told her I would get someone to truck her plants down to the restaurant. But she showed up with the world's oldest wheelbarrow (with a pneumatic tire, thank God), ready for her plants. We loaded up her plants, and added the plants I had set aside for Socorro on top, along with my umbrella, and a water bottle for each of us, and headed to the restaurant. Lupe's restaurant is on the south end of the beach, and it's a long walk. We took turns between driving the wheelbarrow and holding umbrella up for shade.
The area behind the cuestos on the beach road
looking toward the paved road.
It floods into a shallow lake every year during the rainy season,
and most years a crocodile lives here.

Luckily we had lots of rest stops, visiting with everyone along the way. The first stop was Aurora's, where we found out the second walk to the church, leading up to San Rafael Day with be at 5pm today, instead of 3:30 like yesterday. It was much too hot at 3:30, and everyone died of the heat during the walk. Today the walk starts in front of Beatriz's. In the shade.

And then on to Socorro's, where we passed on her plants, and then visited for awhile. Socorro's husband had a very bad stroke about four years ago. He lives at house, and has gradually improved. Last summer he was finally able to walk all the way up to this end of town. The first few walks were about 50 feet long, but this year he can walk right up the hill and visit at Maria's and Butcho's. Not by himself, but not needing an arm to hang onto any more. Plus, he is starting to talk. After not talking for maybe three years. Today he was making jokes that even I could understand.Oswaldo, Mariana, and Ulyesses, all related one way or the other,
after they disappeared down the road with my umbrella.
Then Lupita, owner of Casa Chacala, stopped us and we trundled by, offering Dona Lupe some plant cuttings. We ended up enjoying her shady patio next to the pool, while the two Lupe's discussed this and that.

Then we took the new road down from the paved road to the beach road, in front of Augustine's and down to Koko Bongo's. More visiting all the way. I finally left Lupe on the beach road with one of the boys helping her with the wheelbarrow. And came home.

I walked home, stopping at the tienda to buy water. Mimi, Juan's wife was there with Jesus, whose 16 months now, and their new baby, Juan Pablo, about two months old. Then a quick visit with Clemen, who is working at the new Hotel, almost next door to her house. She doesn't really need childcare, since her novio and the kids are all within shouting distance of her work. And her mom and sister and brother and nephew are all very close-by. Made it home in time for the Coke Truck guys, the garbage pickup truck, and the Propane gas truck.

Yesterday I took alot of photos at the Walk. Juan Purros, came by to see the pictures of himself. He is the guy who rings the churchbell three different times every fifteen minutes or so, to let everyone know the walk is starting. Then leads the way on the walk, setting off fireworks as we go, and then returns to the chirch to set off more fireworks to celebrate the start of the mass. And at the big event next Tuesday, he and some other local guys create a long bar-be-que firepit to cook the fish for potluck lunch after the Missa. I think he also does the 5:30am fireworks and belling ringing this week. I am not sure for what purpose.
Now I am writing this post, waiting for photos to upload, watering plants, bringing in the laundry, hanging it up, and making lunch. Quesadillas, tomatoes, celery, raw cabbage, and olives on the side. And my Daily Coke.

And, it turns out, some more visits. One from Jenia, with Markito and baby Wendy. We visited and had Cokes and popcorn. And Markito and I drew and played with a little wooden top.And the Hugo came over, asking for the money for Gordon and Laura's joint electric bill. One day early, and without the copies of the last bill and this bill that Laura had promised.

And another visit, later in the evening, from Pilar and his wife Gloria, He had brought a map of some affordable, (in Chacala terms) lots. One at $17,000US and the other a little under $23,000US. One is a small hillside lot in a developed area (electricty, water, and phone lines) next to Maria's Techo house, close to the Muelle road. The other is up off the paved road, in an undeveloped areas. Let me know if you want to get a hold of him. Or call him at 011 52 327 219 4003 if you speak Spanish.

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