Countdown: T-59 — Peru Visit: Day 1

We had a lovely breakfast with Lamar y su familia. We had pancakes and a cake Beulah had decorated for us. Yum.

After breakfast we men went out to stare at the empty water tank and ponder why the 250 gallons of water were no longer in it. The main usage had been Joel’s shower, but a little math proved he’d have to have been in the shower for most of the day, and witnesses provided him with an alibi.

Water was pumped from the (completely sanitary) ditch into the tank using a (completely safe) setup of bare wires here and there to get power to the pump. It worked, and no one died.

Water was filtered and/or boiled for us to drink. I feel much more thirsty here than in the States, so I am drinking many times more water than normal for me.

Of things I’ve had to give up so far, there is not much to say. But I am drinking instant coffee. Instant. The ingredients list says: Café fabricado en Brasil. Highly suspect.

While the tank filled up with water, I went to inspect the toilet. Ahem. I discovered that when one (I) flushed the toilet, one (I) could see that water never stopped flowing into the bowl. I then tripped upstairs to the other toilet and discovered that the other toilet leaked even worser. Joel has been exonerated–the toilets have been charged and found guilty.

So we made a trip to town to get things to repair stuff.

Thankfully the hardware store is only about five kilometers from here. However, as you well know (No, you don’t because you don’t use the metric system.), kilometers are far longer than miles. It took us nearly three hours to get to the hardware store. Let me explain.

We walked out to the road, a short walk from the house and caught a Combi, which is a native wild animal people ride for s/1.00 to Izcuchaca. There were not quite a dozen other persons in the vehicle, so I sat with my knees tucked comfortably between the knees of the two men opposite me.

We did not go the whole way to the hardware store because we wanted to stop at Fernando’s place to borrow his SUV. The plan was to run to the hardware store, then zip back home and pick up the women folk so we could go to market for lunch. Fernando had said he’d arrive at a certain time; we arrived half an hour after and sat on his front step for over an hour before he arrived. The highlight of waiting was Esmeralda’s giving us fresh cheese!

After helping Fernando haul his few bags of groceries into the cocina, we finally ran to the hardware store and zipped home and dashed to the market. If you slow all those verbs down, you’ll have an accurate picture.

We ate lunch at 3:00. We could choose between trout or chicken. The trout was looking at me, so I chose chicken.

We then passed out Antorchas. People did not want to take them from me, even though I sweetly asked them in Spanish to take them (I think). But once I realized I had the papers turned backwards so they could not see what it was and flipped them the right way, they eagerly took them. That was fun.

After that we did a little shopping. None of us had money except Lamar, so we all split into smalls groups of two or three and went to buy things. Once we found something, we told the person we had no money and would be back later, as you do.

I think I confused the vendors several times because I kept telling them –Yo quieres– or as needed –Yo no quieres-. I would then say, “Uh! That’s not right Shawn!” and would try again. Loco gringo!

Back at home, the toilet was repaired. Did you know you must take off the protective plastic cover from the rubber seal before installing it in order for it to seal? It’s true.

The highlight of the day was walking down to the house where we’ll live (our house?). We met the lady and her children who live there. She has found a place, but cannot leave until Monday morning. She offered to move into the barn and sleep there until Monday. Poor lady! We told her she could sleep in the house until she moved; she was overjoyed!

Report on the house: There is work to do. More on that later.

We had popcorn for supper. Juanita said not to worry about the children eating on the couch because they, the adults, make plenty of mess anyway. The children took that as a challenge.

Lamar had a stiff neck (not from stubborness!), which I worked on awhile. Something I discovered about Lamar is that he is very ticklish on his neck and that he cries very easily. Something I discovered about the rest of the familiy is that nothing brings them greater joy than to see dad in excruciating pain.

We were sent to bed at 8:00 after wonderfully hot showers with superb water pressure.

¡Buenas noches!