Ben takes the opportunity of a visit at the bamboo factory to grab a dozen bamboo poles that will be the structure for Peta’s open air studio down the street. The bamboo is delivered by horse and cart, on which we hitch a ride for the two blocks toward the lake. We’d love to build a great upstairs loft space with view of Volcano Mombacho, with downstairs working studio/gallery. Alas we don’t have the $$ to do this, so we will need to take the alternative approach of building it up step by step. The bamboo poles will allow us to remove the dangling zinc roof and falling apart concrete walls.
I (Peta) am off to the Mercado Central to have two more uniforms made — this time for two of the neighbors, Karin and Hugo, who are very keen to acquire the status symbol that a school uniform provides. When we get back from our outing, we are greeted by a mob of kids who are excitedly calling me to the empty lot at the end of the block. It appears that they have found a kitten and they know that I will try to save its life. The tiny black kitten is maybe a week old. His eyes haven’t even opened yet.
I scoop the kitten up and with kids in tow, walk down the road to Lucy, fellow animal lover and hotel owner who in two seconds accepts this “gift” with the understanding that there are possibly two more that we are going back to search for. It’s obvious that these kittens have been dumped and with the menacing skies and the rain starting, I tell the kids “we have to find the kittens, or they will die by tomorrow”. No luck, until finally an older kid braves the overgrown bushes (that are rumored to have snakes) and manages to find two more tiny black kittens. He is my hero of the day. Back to Lucy who graciously accepts two more. I tell her we can alternate the night feeds (they need to be hand fed with droppers every few hours). But no need, she has already found someone in the “animal network” who has a nursing cat and will add three more to the litter. Mission success!
But the day is young. The group of kids has enlarged and they ask me if they can come in and read the books (I keep a small library of Spanish language children’s books). Keep in mind that most of these kids don’t have any books in their homes, so it’s a real treat to sit quietly and look at or read a book. I can’t quite follow all the details, but it seems there is a party coming up on the street for which they are practicing a dance sequence. Karin seizes the initiative and goes to look for a boom box. Within minutes she is back with what they tell me is disco music. It’s loud and blaring, and to my surprise it’s good. Sounds more African than Spanish, has a good beat and they sure know how to move. There is an instinctive hip action that even the 4 year old demonstrates with much gusto. Clearly, Latino dancing is in their blood. Naturally, they want to see if this Gringa’s got “game”. There is no way for me to measure up to their standard, but I do shake my booty along with them, providing yet more amusement to the crowd.
For the past week, the power has been going out every day, not just on our street, but in the whole city. We used to have a back up generator, which is quite a useful piece of equipment in these parts as it allowed us to ride the roller coaster of power on, power off… but no more. It seems the generator is not doing its job. Hence it is dinner by candle and flash light (on gas stove). The nice thing about power outages is that when they happen often enough, one barely reacts. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – when the power comes back on, there is a great appreciation for the convenience of having ceiling fans, air conditioner, lights and water (without the electricity, the pump doesn’t work, and water turns to a trickle)…