15 October 2010

 First thing this morning, we headed to Mancora to purchase our bus tickets for Lima.  We will leave on Monday and arrive in Lima on Tuesday to visit our good friend Paola (Maximo´s daughter) who just gave birth to a baby boy.  Santiago arrived six days ago.  We will be in Lima until Thursday afternoon, then we will catch a bus north to Mancora. 

Paola lived with us for a couple of months in 2008 while we were in Oregon.  It was quite interesting to have her as she had always been cared for; she didn´t know how to do laundry, or cook.  We taught her how to do these things, and then expected her to do her own laundry and share in the cooking. 

Doug also invited her to help him do the chores with the horses early in the morning.  This meant that she would get up at 4 am, go down to the barn to feed and water the horses.  This became a routine she cherished; and was upset with us when we didn´t wake her up to do the chores.  She and Doug developed a very special bond.

Once she returned to her home in Lima, her parents were pleasantly surprised that they no longer had to drag her out of bed in the morning.  She willingly and pleasantly got up each morning to go to university and never complained about getting up.   She has a special place in our hearts; as apparantly, we have in hers.

We also stopped by to visit with Perico, our local fisherman friend.  His son has some documents for us which are intended to provide us with titles to our land.   It has been a relatively new phenomenom to be able to have titles to property in the north of Peru.  Most of the property is held by possession; and land ¨owners¨ have to prove possession of the land.  Titles would  increase the value of each property and minimize disputes.  We are hoping to get title to our property in the next couple of months.  It will cost us dearly; in the neighborhood of $10K.  Ultimately, we think it will be worth it.  But, as always….we shall see.

As we were visiting with Perico, Doug asked him about his wound resulting from the sting-ray.  In the last couple of days, the wound has become rather tender.  It is a bit swollen and red which led Doug to think it was getting infected.  Knowing that Perico has dealt with this over his many years as a fisherman, Doug asked his advise.  Perico proceeded to get a candle and melt hot wax over the wound.  As I understood it, he said the wound was cold (meaning the stinger in his foot), and the heat would draw it out.  Perico melted the was over the wound, let it cool and harden, then removed the wax.  He did this three times.  He suggested we do this several times over the next couple of days as this would draw the stinger out.   According to Doug, this procedure was more painful than the sting itself.  However, he continues to put hot compresses on his foot in hopes the stinger will come out.  The alternative is to have the stinger surgetically removed.  Another alternative is to apply the burning end of a cigarette (no kidding) to the wound.

I swam a half mile today!  It really felt good, and I think I could have gone further.  But, I told myself I would swim no less than the time before each time I got in the pool.  ‘That means that next time in the pool, I have to do at least a half a mile.  Today was the first day I felt like I was getting my groove back; I have been terribly out of shape and have lacked the means and the motivation to work out.  Now the pool is functional and I am back into my element.  It really felt soooooo good to swim the distance today.

I also finished the web portion of the hammock today.  Tomorrow I will work on the  spreader bars and hopefully get it all put together.  It doesn’t seem like there will be much width to the body of the hammock, but we will see once it is all put together.  I think the width is dependent upon the tension of the weave…without experience, I don’t know what the “right” tension is.  Time will tell. 

We think our solar panels have arrived in Lima.  We are hoping to get the batteries and the panels together so they can all ship north on one truck.  Thankfully, we have an agent in Lima who will receive the panels and take them through customs for us.  We will pay the import fees, the transport fees, and then they should arrive.  The plumber we worked with throughout the construction will come back to install the panels.  I know, this seems odd….a plumber coming to install electrical solar panels… BUT, the plumber here is much more than a plumber by American standards.  This guy put together much of our electrical system, did all of the pool mechanics, and did most of the conduit work connecting this to that. 

We are awaiting the Whirpool technicians to come from Piura to see the damage done to the washing machine.  We took it into Los Organos and had a local repair guy go through it to see what kind of damage it had incurred and to see whether he could fix it or not.  The good news was the motor was not damaged, but the bad news was that several of the plastic parts necessary to its function were broken.  Our plumber found a replacement part for the intake of water, but couldn’t find a replacement for the part that slides out and detergent or bleach is added.  We’re really hoping Whirlpool will come through, but we aren’t holding our breath.  Meanwhile, we continue to pay S/.7 (about $2.35) per kilo at the laundry in Los Organos.  It’s not much, but it adds up and they can take up to four days to get the laundry done.

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