Saturday, October 27, 2012

Adventures in the Campo

My cat, Perejil.

I was going to do a "The Long Goodbye" part 2 post.  But I'll save that for next week.  For now, here are a few short tidbits about my adventures in the campo.

There was a series of storms that knocked the electricity and water for three days. Shortly after the first storm hit, and in the brief calm before the second, my neighbors came over and asked if I was ok.  I assumed they were concerned because in a storm two days previous, my roof had nearly blown off (we had nailed it back down securely earlier in the day), and they knew that I was afraid of thunder.  Unfortunately there is no where to hide during a storm, other than under the covers, which end up getting soaked by water blowing in through the three inch gap between where my walls start, and where my roof starts.
The part of the roof that nearly blew off.  Also, note the lack of tapa-junots in between the boards, allowing the sun to shine and the wind to blow- inside the house.  This is the room that actually has SOME tapa junots.  Some day I'll post a photo of the other room that lacks them all together.
Look at that lovely gap between the wall and roof! This is what I call air conditioning! 
However my neighbors then said I should come outside and “mira un poco!” (take a little look).  And there, illuminated by flashes from distant lightning, was a tall, formally upright tree with half its base uprooted, leaning precariously over my little cabin… in fact right over the spot where my bed was.  I considered my options, and decided I would sleep in the kitchen, so if the tree fell on my shack, the coming storm at least I wouldn’t be in the direct line of its fall.  However, my neighbor got a long strong rope and tied it to a pieces of thick bamboo.  With another 20 foot bamboo pole, he wedged the line into a fork in the branches.  As the next storm started to arrive, he tied the other end of the rope to my peach tree, and pulled the line taunt. As far as we could tell, as the rain started to fall harder and the lightning illuminated his work, it looked probably that IF the tree fell tonight it would pulled from its path enough to land beside the house, or possibly just knick the corner of the kitchen. The storms also resulted in three days without electricity or water.  Asi es la vida.
The tree, formally upright, leaning precariously over my bedroom.
The oh-so-strong peach tree thats stoping the other tree from falling on me.

Also, here is a photo of a different tree, from an earlier storm, that managed to miss both my house and my latrine, but just barely.  Doesn’t look like we are going to have another drought this summer!
Thats my latrine in the back ground...

In other news, here is my day from my life about 2 weeks ago: 

Part One- My chicken had apparently been stuck down a dry, unwalled well for several days. After attempting to lower several children into the well (ignoring my pleas not to), my neighbors lowered a homemade ladder and an adult sort of repelled to the ladder and climbed down. The chicken was retrieved, and my neighbor made it back up too. He requests a 5mil bottle of caña (sugar cane s
You'll never run away again...
piret as payment.  I ate the chicken a few days later with two visiting Peace Corps trainees.

Part Two- Our Women's Committee meeting is interrupted when a kid comes to inform us that the town drunk is hassling the town hothead/owner of the allmacen (a "store" that sells alcohol, onions and toilet paper). Several señoras literally run off to manage their husbands. Later in the day, three of the drunk's six kids come by my house... and hang out for HOURS. I don't have the heart to turn them away...

Part Three- My neighbors fixed my garden fence that blew down in the storm last week. I'm very grateful, but they also "cleaned" the garden, thus hoeing down the red onions, thyme, and broccoli.  The next storm blew it down again, and seeing as how I'm leaving in December, I'm not going to bother fixing it.

Part Four- The water from my spigot (can you BELIEVE that is the right spelling) has returned to its normal semi-cloudy color. It was running "Paraguayan dirt" red this morning as I attempted to do my laundry.

This is the color of the "Paraguayan dirt red."

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