5 October 2010

Doug has been riding the horses at El Refugio every other day.  Dr. Mariana and her guest from Germany enjoyed riding under Doug’s tutelage.  Doug first met Dr. Mariana when he was stung by a sting ray.  She is the medic in El Ñuro for part of the week and then also works in Los Organos for the rest of the week.  The german girl, Vivi, is very good friends with the male doctor in Los Organos and is currently staying with Mariana.  Vivi has just finished secondary school and will be starting medical school in the fall in Germany.  Her entire family are doctors; mother, father, aunt, uncle, brothers, sisters are all doctors.  She will be here ¨shadowing¨  and learning Spanish from Dr. Mariana for the next three months.  Doug has thoroughly enjoyed working with them on the horses.

Estrella is the mare and she is very pregnant.  She should be delivering her baby in the next couple of weeks.  We´re hoping this will happen while Georg´s daughter is here.  But as is true with all pregnancies, the babies come when they are ready; never to anyone elses schedule. 

Yesterday was a rather frustrating day for me.  When I awoke in the morning, Juana came to tell me they were transporting Sanchez to the hospital in Piura (two and a half hours away) for emergency surgery.  The doctors had determined that he had appendicitis and so they rushed him to Piura.  Dr. Mariana said she thought they had been dealing with two different things; first the food poisoning that had caused the vomiting and discomfort.  Then he developed a fever, and the stomach cramps and discomfort didn´t let up, so appendicitis was diagnosed.

This wasn´t what was so frustrating.  At about the same time Juana left in a car to join Sanchez in the ambulance to Piura, another van arrived at our house.  There was quite a bit of confusion as to why this van was here; Juana and Sanchez had already left. 

It turned out that the men with the van were here to work on the motor to Georg´s inflatable Zodiak boat.  The problem was that I didn´t know where the motor was, and neither did the mechanic.  Once we finally found the motor in the storage shed behind Georg´s house, then they needed some other materials to test it out.  I was told those items were in Sanchez´s quarters.  I unlocked Sanchez´s quarters and watched while they searched through Sanchez´s stuff.  I didn´t understand what they were looking for, but felt uncomfortable with them searching through Sanchez´s stuff.  I stood and watched while they search for whatever they needed; but they didn´t find it and I just locked up after them. 

They then asked for a large can to fill with water to put the motor in for testing.  We had a large garbage can that had been used for clean drinking water that I brought up to them.  They then tested the motor in this can filled with water.  The mechanic brought me up there to show me that the motor would start on the first pull, that it would rev up and settle into an idle without any glitches, and then shut off.  Then he demonstrated that the engine would start up immediately with the next pull of the cord.  I wondered why he was showing me these things; but he didn´t understand that I was just a neighbor.  It took a while before he realized I had nothing to do with requiring his services.  Georg and Javier were so late in arriving, the mechanic was not interested in ever coming again.

Yesterday, we watched a couple of whales out in the water maybe 500 meters off shore.  The whales would dive and then splash their tails on the surface.  We counted up to 15 slaps with their tails before they would submerge and reappear.  We understand this happens when they are feeding on the bottom.  They pull in all sorts of things along the bottom, their baleen filtering out the detritus.  It was really fun to watch all the splashing.  It seems like they are playing in the water.

We took our friend Jay to dinner last night in Mancora at a Mexican restaurant called El Aji.  Jay was our landlord for several months as our construction was under way.  Jay is a very intelligent man who constantly seeks to broaden his horizons.  When we traveled to the states, he asked that we bring back scientific magazines for him to read.   He is so curious about so many things, we enjoy picking his brain for new ideas.  Since we are no longer living in his ¨hotel¨ we don´t get to see him as much as we would like to.

Yesterday morning, Juana woke me up saying that Sanchez was being transported to Piura for surgery.  The doctors thought he had appendicitis; so rushed him off to the hospital in Piura ( a two and a half hour drive).  We have not heard any news as to his condition.  We can only hope for the best results.  Dr. Mariana said she thought Sanchez was dealing with two different afflictions.  The first being the food poisoning, and the second being the appendicitis.  Hopefully we will hear some news soon.  Meanwhile, we have keys to Georg´s vacation home and keys to Sanchez´s home.  We have been feeding the dog and the cat; both seem to be starving!   I find it interesting that Georg has not expressed any interest in the welfare of the animals on his property.

We understand that Georg has been in contact with a security firm to provide guardian services for the property while Sanchez is incapacitated.  We haven´t seen any result of this and we are currently being vigilant about the security of the properties behind Georg´s gate.

I spent a portion of today cleaning.  All of the bathroom floors are tiled with a textured tile to prevent any slippage.  The tile is embedded with a sand texture and pattern.  It definitely does provide traction and there are no concerns about slippage.  However, cleaning the tile has been very problematic.  I spent the better part of an hour in the toilet stall trying to clean the tile.  I was able to do so by using a scrub brush to loosen any dirt, and then sopping up the dirty residue with a sponge cloth.  It was very labor intensive, and even so there were stains left from the painting and staining of the adjacent surfaces.  This has been really frustrating; not being able to clean the floor surfaces of the bathrooms throughout the house.

I finished one panel of the mural today.  As things progress, I am liking the mural more and more.  There are still some rather major figures to complete, but I am hoping to finish it this week.  The tuna which has appeared, then disappeared, will appear again.  The whale will be the final glory.  Then there is the sting ray to honor Doug´s injury.  And finally, another creature that transcends all.  Once the mural is finished, you will see her in her crowning glory!!

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