Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The story about the shrimp, kitties, a new shower, a lot of plants, Casa Damasco and amazing sunsets

December 08, 2009 (sorry, I have not yet located the spell checker button....I might have to hire na editer)
I haven't writen anything in a while and that is not because nothing is happening, lots is happening and I am very busy. It takes a long time to do anything here, sometimes it takes me almost until 2 in the afternoon to do nothing. Let me tell you about my water story and then you will understand why it takes careful planning to do laundry or water plants and flush toilets. I have 3 little buildings with bathrooms in them because this used to be a restarant. One building has 2 bathrooms in it, each with a toilet and sink, on top of the roof is a tanaca (water tank) both those bathrooms draw water from that tank. In the second building is a toilet and finally today a shower (toilet doesn't work) on it's roof is also a tanaca. Beside my house is a laundry area that also has a water bin (not a tanaca) There is also a little pump house that houses my electric pump that pumps water from a well somwhere. Now when I have the pump on water runs to both tanacas and to my laundry station at once. So, if I fill my tanacas to the top and then if I want to use water to do laundry a few days later and I turn the pump on and if I have not left some room in the tanacas they over flow. So when I do laundry or water flowers or do dishes I have to make sure my tanacas are not full. This takes some planning. What I need is some shut off valves so that I can isolate an area and still have water in another area (this comes from my work with irrigation) So, the next time I head into the mainland I plan on stopping at a hardware store and buying some valves for this place. Also when I am filling my tanaca there is water running into my laundry area whether I need water there or not (overflowing my bin and making a mess) and when I mentioned this to my land lady she cut a stick to size and jammed it into the hose....fixed. Why didn't I think of that? So you can see how this all takes time, and going to the mainland to pick up these valve will take time too adn if that hardware store is open the first time I go there that would be a miracle, they will have some hours that will go somewhat like this, closed on Mondays, open from 10am to 11 am closed from 11 am to 3 pm and open from 3pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesday, on thursday open from 1 pm to 5 pm and open on friday from 10 am to 11 am and from 1 pm to 5 pm, closed on Saturdays and Sundays and then I will get there at 10:30 on a Friday and they will be closed because it was someones birthday...that is kind of how it will go. I am still trying to make a pedicure appointment, been trying since I got here, on the upside, when I do finally get in she will give me a first class pedicure and it will cost me 100 pesos which is just under $10.00. And really what else do I have to do other then take a boat across everyday, I have nothing else to.....oh hang on!!! I hear water running, something is overflowing again.

Another thing that keeps me busy is my kitties, it all started with one....well, it started by me seeing a rat the first day I was here, hadn't even moved in yet was just helping to clean up. I decided I would borrow a cat then my friend Kathy went to have lunch at one of the beach restraunts and a cat had a unforunate accident in the kitchen and she came to my house with a half dead cat begging me to take care of it, I had wanted a cat but not really a half dead one, but of course I caved in. The first day the cat did not move at all but was breathing, the next morning it did sit up and look at me and lick some tuna water. Unfortunatly that was the day that Kathy and I decided to go to up into the mountains to Copala looking for pottery and plants and we didn't come until late and the cat was gone, she must have felt better and took off. So we headed over to the restarunt where she had come from to see if she was there, she was not, but the cook was very frustated because there was a litter of kitten hanging around and he didn't want them there....did we want them? He said we could have as many as we could catch, I only wanted one, a little cute grey striped one. We managed to catch it after a bit of a chase, we ahd it cornered under some wood and right beside it was a little orange one, wedged in real tight. Kathys says "look, we can get that one too" I say no, I only want one, then the cook says that the ones we don't want he'll kill anyway....so we take the little orange one too. And now I have 2 kitties in cage. We made a nice big confined area for them, it's about 7 feet long by 2 feet wide, the plan is to keep them caged until they love me enough to not run away. That was just yesterday and today already I was able to take each one out of the cage and hold them (individualy) while they did not relax in my arms they also didn't fight or try to get away. They are very cute, they sleep piled on top of one another and give each other baths, they tumble around and do summersaults, I am not sure if they are boys or girls but if one is a girl and the other a boy I will name them Jack and Jill. I am sure they will be very intertaining.

As I said before kathy and I drove to Copala and stopped along the way at nurserys and pottery stands. I am always amazed at how cheap stuff is here and that includes plants, seriously we get ripped of on everything at home. I noticed this is California already that food was so much cheaper but then they grow a lot of our food and it has to be shipped. I think us Canadian need to learn to be more industrous and start try to feed ourselves, like for example lettuce, I saw fields and fields of lettuce, could we not grow something as simple as lettuce, if it grows in my garden we should be able to grow it commercially....am I wrong? And so it should be with plants, I bought 2 huge drapping hanging plants, they already drape about 5 feet down for 50 pesos a piece, pointsettas for 65...thats just under $5.00 (although I think something happened with our dollars in the last few days...I should check on that) Anyway, between the 2 of us we had the back of a Chevy S10 full of plants, they had to give us our own boat to cross, we nearly filled a boat. My half of the boat full only cost me about $55.00 or so. I've been gathering horse manure from the road behind me to mix in my pots with the sand. As soon as I set out the the vine with the bright red flowers I had a Hummingbird, so.....off to the mainland again and bought a Hummingbird feeder, bird is still flying around but hasn't found my feeder yet.
I love growing stuff and can't seem to even think of living somewhere for even a short period of time without growing something. The nurserys that we visited didn't have any vegetable plants so I saved some seeds from a cucumber and from some grapes and planted them in a pot. Another friend stopped by and gave me some dill seeds and then I found some Camomile seeds as well. So that is my garden for now, but I will keep my eyes open for some more vegetable plants or seeds. Trying to do my part to feed myself.

Had some friends over for lunch a few days ago (Saturday) and so I had to hunt around for shrimp and scallops and bacon (time consuming man) I decide to fry them outside and so I haul my hotplate out and amzingly right above it is the plug from the end of a string of Chritmas lights that I had hung around my palapa. So I plug it in there and BISSSSSST! and my lights are out, as I am standing there rubbing head (this is what I do when I am thinking) I notice that all my lights are out, even in the house....oh dear, did I blow everything up. Nope it wasn't me, the whole Island is out. Ok...so I fire the big BBQ up and we still had a fine shrimp fry and a great visit. A tray of fresh homemade buns were also left behind for me and since my friend travels around with Dillweed seeds in her pocket I also got some Dill seeds for my garden...should have Dill by New Years. (maybe) Another great evening, power was out until 9 pm and it was very very dark here....need to get more candles next time I am in.

Yesterday I went to Casa Damasco for the first time to visit, I cannot volunteer but I can visit and visit I did. There were soem different faces and a few missing faces which is always sad. My visit was awesome, the place was very clean, I was impressed. Or maybe I can now look beyond the dirt and just see the people (I struggled with that last time) I did have some gagging reflexes and had to back off a bit a few times, something I really need to pray about (again). Amazing how God sends angels to the right place at the right time, there is a young local lady (about 24) volunteering there and she can handle it all and with a smile and a sense of humor, I sure do admire her, do not know what her story is or how she got there but she was sent....you can tell. We call her Angel. I got a ride to the docks with some friends and on the way we talked about the financial injustice that happens all over the world. How some people retire in 3000-5000 square feet homes and others have the space of a roll up foam pad on the floor with his neighbour being 1 foot away on his foam pad. It's a doom and gloomy subject and people don't like to talk about it because " what can you do about it anyway" seems to be the reaction, but when you see it day in and day out you can't help but think about it. This place relies on donations for food, we fed 24 people on Monday. Donations do not come in as a set amount on a set day, they come in as people donate, so they never know how much money they will have or if they will have any. Us north Americans are here for a time and we do what we can while we are here but we do leave, we come and go...because we can. Most of the people at that house can not come and go, this is their last home before they pass on. There is a part of me that always says "don't go back there, it's too hopeless" when I leave but there is an other part that always says "you can't not go back".

Here is an update on my shower, I have a shower...yeah! I have hot water...yeah! I have no lights:(
oh well...poco o poco (little by little)

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