8 October 2010

We have settled into a nice routine.  One of Doug’s “chores” is vacuuming the pool.  The plumber was here yesterday, and he helped us get the chemicals right for the pool.  We should be able to swim in it again tomorrow.  Intellectually I think I always knew a pool would be fairly labor intensive; but it is also a rather sensitive environment.   Keeping the Ph right has proved tricky…

I was approached a couple of days ago by a couple of brothers who serve as guardians for a couple of properties between us and El Ñuro.  They told me their sister’s health was delicate and she was in need of medicine.  They asked if we could help them buy the medicine.  My immediate reaction was, “here we go; now that we’ve displayed our wealth by building this gorgeous home, everyone will want hand-outs.”  (In all fairness, we were warned about this very thing.)  I didn’t give an immediate answer  but came back and discussed it with Doug.  His first inclination was “no way.”  I agreed, I didn’t want to just give a hand out; thinking this would only be the first of many.  We finally decided that if they needed the money, we would help them out.  But only if they worked it off doing some kind of chore around our house.  This way at least we got something for our money and they had the opportunity to earn more if they needed it.  One of the brothers was here this afternoon and worked to clear the walkway between our property and the fence line of construction detritus.  He said he and his brother would return tomorrow morning to resume work.

The mural is almost done!  I just have a few little details to work on and it will be done!  It may be a bit hard to see, but Stormy has been added as a snorkeling dog!  I am hoping to complete the mural tomorrow.  The other roof that is yet to come is the same as the baffle style roofs over the terraces in front of the living room and the studio.  It will be a roof over the entrance and the mural will reside underneath it.  I have to say the mural has been great fun to do.  I won’t attest to its artistic quality; but it has been fun.  I’ve learned a lot in the process.  I didn’t plan out the entire mural before I began.  Therefore, the theme changed.  I started out with some whimsical and stylized fish; then transitioned to fish of the region here.  I’ve included a marlin, sea horses, a sea turtles, a tuna, an octopus, a sting-ray, dolphins and a whale.  All of the shells were drawn from shells found here on the beach.  So there are some fanciful features along with more realistic ones.  The one “joke” in it all is Stormy snorkeling! 


This last photo shows the fishing boats of  El Ñuro returning to port.  This mass return usually happens at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  The boats usually go out at about 5 or 6 am and will often disappear over the horizon for much of the day.  It´s one of the things we watch for and it keeps us in tune with the time.  We understand that at about 4 o´clock in the afternoon you can go down to the dock and buy fresh fish directly from the fisherman.  The one time we have done this, the fish that were available were very small, and not what we could find in the market. 

Our guess is that it is not the season for calamari or shrimp; as we haven’t seen them available in the market for quite some time.  Tuna is widely available as is shark and various other smaller fish.  The fresh produce, fish, and meat “mercado” (market) generally closes in the afternoons on Sundays and for “free days,” which are some kind of holiday.  If we go into town too late in the day, the fresh stuff just isn’t available. 

The one market stall we frequent has become our default market.  The owners always treat us like royalty.  If I ask for some item they don’t have, they will travel the surrounding market stalls to locate it and bring it back.  Today was quite funny.  As I was paying the father, and owner of the business, the daughter came flying in, bumping her thigh on the edge of the table where her father sat.  My reaction was ” Ouch!”  The father’s reaction was “what are you doing, daughter.  You’re disruption is unwanted and unexceptable.”  However, everyone else was laughing about the incident and the father kept on with his stern admonition.  This only made the incident funnier!

Sanchez continues to recover in Piura.  Juana and Sanchez will return on the 17th of October.  Meanwhile, Georg has hired another guardian for his property (which tangentaly includes ours) who will start tomorrow.  It will probably be quite a while befor Sanchez is up to speed, so we will just have to see how things go.  Georg let us know that Sanchez must live on his property as it has the best view of the property as a whole.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks.

I plan on baking brownies tomorrow.  This isn’t the king of brownies that come out of a package…it will be a creation with unfamiliar ingredients.  Wish me luck!




  1. Let us know how the brownies come out! I remember making lemon pie for one of my host families. I made it and it came out ok, but they served it with a spoon, like pudding. I don’t think they were impressed. Have you found peanut butter? Some nuns gave me some peanut butter they had made. It tasted sooo good as I hadn’t seen or eaten any since I’d been there. There was another thing I really liked there. As I remember, it was cauliflower, breaded and fried. They also did potatoes with a cheese sauce. Have you seen anything like either of these? The cheese was probably a “new cheese” (not aged). I think anticucho (not sure of the name) was heart strips on a skewer, that we bought in Lima. It was delicious. The other thing I liked was some kind of puffy pastry with honey on it. Of course, mangoes were fabulous as well as their bread (pan). Hmmm, I must be hungry!

    Your mural is great. Can you post it on facebook so we can make it bigger and see it closer? I can’t seem to make it bigger here. Where is the Chairman in the mural? I’ve heard of catfish….=)

    We are trying to clean our little pool that we had for the kids. Even that pool is labor intensive, so I can imagine how yours is. Nice to have “Doug, the pool boy”. Knowing him, he will have it all figured out, down to a science. Keep the blogs and pictures coming!!!

    1. The brownies were a big hit. Peanut butter is not hard to find, although you may not have a choice between chunky or smooth. The cheese you are thinking of I guess is the queso fresco. It’s a goat cheese that is just a day old when I buy it at the market. It has a flavor somewhat like Mazithra cheese; it’s delicious in soups and quesadillas. You can often find anticucho skewers at various street stalls. It is indeed heart, and is really quite good. Unfortunately, Mangos are not in season right now…but they are fabulous…as is the avocado! Always good food!

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