Lamar and I left to meet Ernesto at the market at 10:00. Just as we got to the market, Ernesto called and said we should meet him back by the farm, so back we trekked.
We met him at the end of his lane, which in sight of ours. While walking down to view the pipe, Lamar explained what had brought us to this point. Once there, Ernesto explained that this had all been done wrong from start to finish.
My summary is that he was offended that he was not the first person we talked to. Lamar explained we would have been glad to talk to him first, but we’re new here, and no one told us that we should talk to him.
Ernesto further explained that we were trying to hook up two houses, but Levi had only one house registered; the other was clandestino. In order to even consider the second house (Lamar’s), a new process would have to be started.
Ernesto said he is a Christian and his job is to keep corruption down. This sort of skirting the officials happens all the time, but he’s cracking down on it.
Lamar apologized and emphasized that we were new and only doing what we were told. Also, Lamar said if we were corrupt, we would have hooked up secretly months ago, but we have been without water for this entire time, and now another family has arrived.
I had contacted the ladies when we headed back to look at the pipe. They needed to go to market anyway, so we thought it prudent for them to walk by and join us. About this point in the conversation, they all showed up: Daniel, Alicia, Beulah, Juanita, Steph (great with child), and our five children.
Ernesto immediately changed his attitude. He was so delighted with the children. He re-explained everything to the ladies. Beulah apologized again for us, but asked if there was no way we could get water for our children.
Ernesto started making calls. He called the treasurer and told her his heart was touched with our six children, and that he would like to find a way to get them water. He then called the secretary and told him we need to get water here for our eight little children.
Apparently, Steph is carrying triplets.
He told us they would meet in the afternoon and would have an answer for us in the evening. He said the second house would be the bigger problem. Lamar called in the evening, but Ernesto said they were still discussing and had tabled it for their regularly scheduled Sunday morning meeting.
It sounds pretty promising that water is coming, but Ernesto said there will be significant fees.
We walked to market. Again. Everyone was thrilled to see the gringitos. Poor Seth was kissed and pinched within an inch of his life.
The women got necessary food stuff for the week. Lamar and I looked at prices of chickens and feed. Three-month pullets were $3-$5. Feed is around $25/ 100 lb.
We took two taxis for our group home. Steph asked the one taxi to stop out at the highway rather than taking us all the way down the lane. She wanted more exercise… Lamar intervened and kicked some people out of the second taxi so Steph and the children could ride while the rest walked.
I helped Daniel on some plumbing awhile, then we moved to putting tile on the wall in the bathroom. After a painfully long time, we had one row done. I am now considering hiring a mason. Lamar thinks I can get someone to do it for around $100 for both bathrooms.
I took Estrella and Orión to the creek for water and showed Anne how to lead them and tie them to a post. Later in the afternoon she asked if she could try alone. I let her. She was so proud when she came back; she had watered them in the creek, moved them to a new section of grass, then tied them up exactly as I showed her. I was impressed.
We had pizza for supper. It was delicious.
Sadly, Daniel and Beulah could not keep it down. They both spent a miserable night and are still not that well today. Alicia is also rather exhausted, as is Steph, so we are canceling our afternoon plans with Rafael and Elisabet.