Abel called me at 9:00 yesterday and said he was on his way. Wow! We could hardly believe it. We emptied the kitchen and dining room and waited. And waited. And waited.
It takes about ten minutes to get to Izcuchaca, but after three hours, Abel finally showed up. We had just sat down for lunch when he arrived. He had some of the large pieces, but needed to go back for more. That took another hour.
I’d say it was around three when he actually got started installing. We soon realized we had a big problem. He had made the sink section wrong. It was split right down the middle between the drain and the supply lines.
I didn’t have the necessary pieces to deal with the issue, so I needed to run to Izcuchaca for supplies. Abel said that he wasn’t planning on having to wait on me for plumbing, and this was the only day he’d planned to work here, so I should hurry with the plumbing.
I did not point out that I’ve been waiting well over a year for him. Off to town I went. Rafael hadn’t yet left for Cusco. When he found out that I was in a hurry because I was trying to get back to keep Abel from waiting, he nearly became apoplectic.
He tried very hard to get me to stay and have coffee with him. “He needs to know how it feels, David. You should pay him back.”
I assured Rafael that I would pay all I owe, which didn’t seem to appease him. Back home I went. Abel had said he’d have the other section done, but he was far from it. He still had doors to hang, handles to place, the counter to install. And that was only the small piece.
Around 7:00 that evening, he said he really needed to go to the shop to get the rest of the wood pieces necessary to finish the project. So, off we went.
He also needed to cut some tiny triangles of wood because when he’d cut the sink hole that afternoon, he’d forgotten the sink had rounded corners–never mind that he used it to trace and determine measurements–so he cut a rectangle instead. I had to decide between laughing and crying when I saw the holes, but I went with laughing.
Abel and I worked until just before midnight, which is when the curfew kicks in. I needed to take him home, but he said he’d return the next day to finish up. (It’s mid-afternoon, and there’s been no sign of him.)
On the way into Izcuchaca, we were stopped by police. But because my paperwork was in order, and it was 11:57, they let us through.
On the way back, it was after midnight. I was stopped again. They were unhappy this time, but I did my best to explain that I had just been here at this checkpoint because I was dropping a friend off. I was headed straight home now. They gave me a warning and let me go.
I was terribly hungry, so I got myself something to eat. Then I read awhile to wind down. It wasn’t quite 2:00 when I headed to bed. And with all that effort, the kitchen was still not done.