December 10, 2014
I have again been delayed in replying to those of you who have emailed me in the last couple of weeks. The power went down when I was in the internet cafe in Rio Sereno and I was not able to answer some folks. I noticed that the grocery shops lights were out and the ice cream in the freezers was getting soft. None of the shop owners seemed to be using a generator, so I hope the power didn’t stay out all day. Folks here just get used to such nconveniences. They take it all in stride since inconvenient things happen on a regular basis here. It is good training in patience.
Monday was one of my most frustrating days so far. I walked the rocky, hilly kilometer to the bus stop. There were many indigenous women and children there also awaiting the bus to Rio Sereno. Two hours later we are still waiting. No bus showed up. This happens frequently. I still can’t understand most anything a Latin says except several words here and there, so I didn’t ask any questions. Finally, a guy walked up and called a taxi that we all could share. The good news was that it was only $1.50 per person. The taxi was a pickup truck with a tarp on the back of the bed to hold passengers. I jumped in the back and noticed there was very little seating room. I let the women and children have the benches. The rest of us had to stand in the back of the bed. Most of the indigenous women are short enough to stand up under the tarp but I was too tall. If you sit on the bed of the truck your back could suffer realignment from the huge potholes and ruts in the road. I ended up having to crouch down and hang from the tarp supports most of the 8 miles to town. It was a bit of an athletic feat just getting to town. My teeth almost ended up embedded in the back of some kid’s head during a few major bumps. I counted 12 adults and 7 children in the back of that small truck! Obviously, the threats of lawsuits are not as great in this country as in the litigious USA! (Actually, that is a positive in my book.)
Anyway, I finally made it to town and I rushed over to the internet café to grab a place before all the cubbies filled up. The café not open! I found out later that it was some sort of holiday. Heavy sigh!
I usually buy a 5 gallon bucket and top from a local shop to put my purchases in. This makes it easier to lug my stuff the 1 kilometer walk uphill from the bus stop back to the campsite. Then we have buckets to keep things organized and dry. If a handle on one of them breaks, we use the bucket to plant seeds in.
I did have one very bright spot in my day after I got home. I went to water my plants. I noticed that one sunflower seed that I had planted several days ago had poked its head out of the dirt!!! This was extremely wonderful news since these were sunflower seeds that had survived the 6 times the truck was x-rayed on the trip down. (Note to Beth: these were seeds packed by the school kids in Cottage Grove….I took them when I volunteered for you that day….thanks!) Gary and I were afraid all our heirloom seeds that we had tucked into the load would be too damaged to grow. Now we have some hope that some of the seeds we brought down will still be viable. I don’t think I have seen one sunflower here so far, so they might be a highly prized flower to have.
Today my day started out much better. I accepted the counteroffer on almost 2 acres of land and it is looking like we will have a place to park the truck soon! Gary will tell you about that……