Oooo —- yesterday was fun.
Lila and I walked to the house (it is beginning to feel this way) and I dropped off the money Jorge needed to buy the ceiling bricks. It was just him and Anselmo and he told me the rest of the crew would show up later. As well as, hopefully, the big bad beautiful maquina.
We then back walked home and I started painting and getting organized on some backed-up projects.
Around 2:00, I texted Jorge to see how things were going and if they needed anything to eat or drink.
They did not but he casually mentioned that “the senor from the electric commission came by.” What??? He came and I wasn’t there? He came and what did he say? And finally: he really, really came? On a Monday? Within the time period they said he would? Wow. Of course I wanted to know everything so I said I would be on my way over there soon. Within minutes he texted back to let me know that the maquina had arrived.
Without even removing my painting apron, I drove over.
The maquina was already at work, scooping huge mounds of the dirt that had been taken from the fosa, the water cistern, and the foundation and was carrying them up in the air, then dumping them inside the house, above the walls, and from the outside.
That was one of the funnest things I have seen. The MESS of it! The BIGNESS of it! The irreverence, too. Like nothing mattered, no rules, no boulders too big to drive over, nothing seemed impossible. I was in awe every time another load made it over the wall. Then some of the huge stones got moved out of the way and close to their final place before the impressively skilled gentleman slowly drove away. I saw him later on moving stones around in the river bed. I think we will call him once more at the end to move a few more huge stones. And because heck, I could call him once a month just to see this crazy stuff happen.
That was one big, strong YUM.
The YUK came as I was talking with Anselmo (whose crew never showed up. Something about a lot of weekend activity leaving them not feeling well) and Juliano who lives on the same street, sometimes works on the house, and very much wants to sell me some of his water access. Julio was explaining to me that for 2,500 pesos – which is 500 less than what he quoted me last week – and with me buying a long strong hose, I could use his water “forever.” I am still not 100% clear as to where he gets his water. Must check on that. The jungle, I think.
When I mentioned really wanting to recuperate the 2000 pesos we paid the neighbor who never delivered and clearly said he would not, both Juliano and Anselmo told me to olvidarlo. Forget about it. It was then explained to me that the last time the guy came by and one of them mentioned the money, he got aggressive. Aggressive?? For being asked to provide what he was paid for? Or reimburse us? Yup. That’s right. Both men shrugged and laughed and the subtext, as is often the case here was “it’s Mexico.” Hmmmf. Not happy about that and I hope I will be able to walk past this guy every day and not mention it. We’ll see.
Anyhoo, I agreed to get the water from Julio with his promise that we would not run out. I figure 2,500 pesos is just a little bit over the cost of two “pipas” (truckful of water which can be delivered with an hour’s notice) so if I can get two months’ worth of water from that agreement, it may be worth good neighbors relations. Again, we’ll see.
Water – Check. For now. I guess that’s a bonus YUM.
Now for the other big YUM!
While I did not get to talk with the senor from the Electric Commission, which I really was hoping to do, I am going to trust that it worked out better that way, without my woman/gringa self over there. All locals talking with locals.
I was told that while he was there, he spoke with several of the people around the land, including Julio and the young guy who is building his little casita on the edge of the field, a beautiful spot near the river. He happens to also be my neighbor here, in my rented cabin and he and I are the only ones currently building on the field. Darn it, I can never remember his name though. I need to get better about that.
As walked my butt over to his place, still wearing my painting apron, the energy was high and happy. “The guy came!” they told me. They explained that he told that that they had to go to the office where I went last week and do the same thing I had done: submit a request. I suggested they go very soon (as in today) because I am supposed to go back on the 22nd and receive the decision – and cost. The more of us ask for electricity, the better our chances of getting it, I am thinking. Two of them said they would and then Julio said he would also. We might make this happen!!! They now know we exist 🙂
Once we have electricity I will set my goal on receiving the internet.
Julio also gave me a mini-course on solar power, which is what he has at his house right now, and I am going to go investigate this possibility also. It would be nice to have both options priced and if possible, to eventually get them both because I remember last summer, the electric power went out a few times and that sounds a little intimidating over here. Plus, how magical to power my fridge from the sun!?
Then I went back to the “house” which was now full of dirt and decided to grab a pick or something and join Anselmo in this task of turning the huge mounds of dirt into a flat floor. I think every time I pick up a tool or lift something, it rattles him a little bit. Earlier, we had to move the big heavy metal bars from the ceiling so that the maquina could drive through. When I picked up the end of one of them he looked up at me, not seeming so sure. “I don’t want you to get hurt,” he said. “I’ll be fine, let’s do it.” We did it and he taught me how to stack them nicely within each other.
Anselmo knows a whole lot and works hard. I understand more and more why they call him “maestro” and I have a lot of respect for his work. So when I picked up the big tool (I’m still not sure what it was) and headed to the big dirt pile telling him “I’m going to clean my bedroom, now,” he sighed, smiled, and said: “Me, I’m going to clean the bathroom.” When he picked up his phone a few minutes later, I was afraid he was calling Jorge to have him pick me up. But no, he was taking a photo of me.