Doug woke me up this morning to see a pod of dolphins swim by the house. It is always such a wonder to see wildlife I didn’t mind being awakened. These particular dolphins were more animated than usual. These were jumping as they were traveling so we could see much of their bodies.
Later in the morning one of the moto-taxi drivers from El Nuro came out to the house to visit. Rufino is also the man who solicited our help with the addition to the church. His wife used to come out to the construction site and sell ceviche and drinks to the workers. Their son is the president of the water association in El Nuro. We gave them a tour of the house as Rufino’s wife hadn’t seen it completed. I kept wondering what they were thinking as I know they live in a dirt floor two room home without running water or indoor plumbing. Every time I showed her a bathroom, she was so excited and kept telling me how she didn’t have a bathroom….she (and all the other residents) goes out in the fields surrounding the village and squats. We do have seven bathrooms!
After the tour of the house, we sat at the dining room table and visited for a bit. They proceeded to tell us that the fishing was very bad and their son had only made S/. 35 ($7-8) fishing in the last two weeks. Rufino has a moto-taxi, but as money is tight amongst all the fisherman, people can’t afford to hire him. Rufino’s wife told me how a local peddler had shown her grandson a toy that he really wanted. The cost was S/.7 ($2.75) and she had to tell him there was no money to buy the toy. “Oh, and how he cried..” I was a sympathetic ear, thinking I knew what was coming next. As the conversation began to lag, they decided it was time to leave. I stayed in the house while Doug walked them to the gate. A few minutes later, Doug comes to get me because he doesn’t understand what they are saying. I went down to the gate, and they asked me if we could buy Christmas toys for their three grandchildren.
So, here’s the dilemna. We’re living in this beautiful home which must seem like a paradise out of this world to them. The disparity is HUGE. My initial reaction was sure, we can do that. I have already bought 30 board games as a donation to three different organizations here. We are also helping the church inEl Nuro build an addition. We had two brothers ask us for money for medicine for their sick sister. (We offered to pay them for work around the house, but only worked for a few hours.) I can see how buying this family gifts, could mean many more solicitations. And then what? I’ll give to this family, but that one?
Doug and I have discussed a few options. We could offer them work around here and we could pay them for their work. Right now we have Alex doing some heavy work as Sanches is still not 100%. We also talked about limiting the amount we would give for projects. That they would have to choose where the money would go… to the church, the school, or individual families. I also suggested that I make some very simple games and teach the kids how to play them. (That could snowball too, but if they are made out of readily available materials maybe they will end up making their own.) If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
On to the next project:
Our local carpenter built four lounge chairs for around the pool. He also made a six-sided table for the deck. My new project is to make cushions for the lounge chairs. The sewing wasn’t that difficult; but getting the foam pad inside and lined up was not so easy. Doug and I both tugged and pulled for the better part of a half hour but finally got it done. One down, three to go!