Oscar sent his helper Percy over to help me search for the broken pipe today. Percy’s wife Lucrecia came along to help dig.
We had not been digging long when Santos came out and began talking in Quechua to them. Percy explained to me that Santos had shut the valve off a couple of days after I’d fixed the broken valve. This is why the water had quit coming.
But he had been turning the valve on for a few minutes each morning and evening to water his cows. And this is why I have been so confused.
You see, I have gone up twice in the past week to check on the valve to be sure it was open. In fact, that was one thing Lamar told me just this morning to check. I despairingly told him that I’d checked, and it was open.
Also, Santos had water at his stock tank when I’d gone up and checked, so I knew there was water up there. Once in awhile over the past week and a half, we’d get just a little bit of water in the toilets, but I assumed it was because the pipe wasn’t completely broken.
But now it makes sense! Each time I’d gone up to check, it was chore time, and Santos opened the valve. But by the time I’d walked home, he had shut it. How bizarre is that!
His reason is that the Water Commission (which I think is the new water committee) had come out to check the water situation a couple weeks back. Remember I had written that some men from the water committee had stopped in to ask us if we had water here a few days after Lamar left?
Well, they told him that he had water in his field, which meant his pipe was leaking, which meant they were going to cut his water supply unless he fixed the leak. He told them that his pipes didn’t leak, but the gringos’ pipes leaked. They told him he had to keep his valve shut or do something about the pipe–or else!
So he cut off our water. He didn’t want to lose his access, so he took it from us instead. It’s rather confusing.
Percy asked him to turn the valve on, and he did. I ran down to Lamar’s and checked the spigot. Water! I took a video and showed Percy and Santos. They said the pressure was strong and normal.
Santos promises to keep the valve open until Saturday morning. Percy and I are supposed to meet with him to see if the ditches we dug today are dry or wet. If they are wet, he says we have to dig up two or three sections of pipe, around one hundred feet, and replace it because it must have a pinhole leak.
Percy explained to him that the unions we’d found were good, but that if Santos is flooding his field, the ditch will stay wet. Santos said we’ll talk on Saturday.
I let the water run into the upper tank for about an hour. We had two hundred liters of water in the tank when I came back down to the house. What a blessing!
I don’t know, but I strongly suspect that Santos may very well be the one who broke our valve in front of the house. It’s odd that he hasn’t said anything about the Water Commission people this whole time. How many times have I talked with him and been digging in his field looking for the broken pipes?
They are the ones we gave the yogurt to. I think it’s time for another batch. Hopefully, we can show them love.
Rafael and Elisabet did come visit us! They brought a variety of groceries as a surprise. They stayed only a little while, as they wanted to get back into town before curfew. I think Elisabet wasn’t technically supposed to be out, but she came anyway. It was such an encouragement to have friends again.
While he was here, Rafael taught Dane how to use a trompa or a top. You have to wrap a string around them and throw them just so.
I have a Patreon page.