Vignettes from a full week…

Last of the boxes — Inconspicuous we were not as we moved our wooden beds, boxes and other extraneous stuff to the studio property for storage, two blocks down the street. It got there on a small cart pulled by Roger and his brother who live next door to that property, ie our next door neighbors. They volunteered for the job of cuidador (guard) after the doors to the house were repeatedly stolen. They have cleared the property of all the rubble that was there, and this week we had them replace the falling apart rusted zinc roof and replace it with some bamboo support beams and a new aluminum roof. This way, even if we don’t have a finished product of a studio, we at least do have a temporary structure, which no longer leaks and serves as storage for our excess “stuff”. I was sure it would take two weeks to unpack the boxes, but after two days of intense unpacking and sorting we appear to be done.

One fun box was full of toy cars – which had belonged to our oldest — Josh, when he was in preschool (now 24!). I think he will be quite happy to know that his cars are being put to use, years later!

A few hours of work at the animal clinic — Every few months or so, or as often as possible, Casa Lupita Clinic, which is a few streets down from our house, opens its doors for people to bring in their animals for neutering, spaying and treatment of illness. Lucy, if you recall, the American woman who owns a small hotel on our street, asked me if I would help out. She is one the group of concerned animal lovers who works hard to place them in homes. I was (luckily) assigned the task of patient admissions. Whew… The easy stuff. The first to arrive with her cat was a ten year old girl who dropped it off to be spayed. Next was a woman who appeared to be carrying two large plastic type potato sack bags. In them, were four of her cats. There was a pathetic, tiny, skinny little dog that had been brought in the day before, saved off the street. Scratching continuously but the sweetest personality. He would be living with us now, if we didn’t already have Mango and Dwayne. Hopefully he will find a good home soon. My job was to list the details of incoming animals and make accompanying tags for them and their temporary crates. I was most relieved to be on the “paper’ end of things. Seventeen animals got neutered or spayed in one day.
Finally some rain — Not quite the famed Granada torrential downpours for days, but nonetheless some pretty hard strong rain accompanied by electrifying lightning and thunder. It’s the “low season” in Granada. This means that the majority of tourists are long gone, and the city is unusually quiet. There are still some serious travelers around, as well as the groups of volunteers. The level of activity will surge again end of November but until then we are enjoying the lull.
Prototype for future communal organic meals — This week, when we got our Selva Negra delivery (see earlier entry) of organic produce, we made Vietnamese vegetable and shrimp rolls with some friends. We believe that if we think hard enough and often enough “ we need Vietnamese food”, it will eventually materialize in Granada. However, in the meantime, we made our own and it was damn good. We actually found Vietnamese rice paper in the small section of imported goods at the supermarket. We used shrimp that was delivered fresh to our door by the “fish man” who buys it in the early morning directly from the Pacific beaches. He has a small cardboard box on his head, in which the fish are in plastic bags and are on big pieces of ice. He seems to be coming twice a week now. I know he is outside our door when I hear “Camarones, pescado” (shrimp, fish) in a sing song voice.
Thoughts about upcoming travel — We have a short window of about two weeks to travel somewhere in December without impacting the bamboo business. We need to fit a trip around the upcoming visits of three of our boys (one in November, one in December, one in January). Ben’s 50th birthday is around the corner and we are discussing a new stop in our “green global trek”.. First on the list, Vietnam: Way too expensive right now! Second on the list: India — too much time travelling for two weeks and too expensive. Having ruled out Asia for reasons of practicality, I ask Ben to give me four criteria for this adventure and I’ll select the country. His criteria are: Good food, hot women, a new country for both of us and something that could contribute value to the bamboo business. This leads us to two options: Brazil or Colombia. Brazil has the added value of the music, but requires much more travel time to get there. So Colombia it may be… We have a standing home exchange offer with a professional musician from Villa de leyva, a bit north of Bogota. Simon Velez is Colombian. You might wonder who is Simon Velez… He is today without a doubt the pre-eminent bamboo architect. His designs include stadiums, soaring bamboo cathedrals, bridges and other amazing bamboo structures.

3 thoughts on “Vignettes from a full week…

  1. Focus on Ashkelon

    Re Jaqueline’s comment, look up keywords: colombia tourist safety in google.
    What about Costa Rica? Or islands?
    The puppy was obviously full of fleas etc, poor starved little thing.
    Do you cook those shrimp before you put them in the Vietnamese rolls?

  2. Peta, Ben, Mango, Dwayne and Pablo

    Thanks all for the concern. We have no issues re travelling to Colombia. It’s the same reaction we got before going to Nicaragua. It always seems more “dangerous” if you plug into sensationalistic news reporting which, by definition, only covers the dramatic stuff. Same reason that some people would say “don’t go to Chicago, it’s crime ridden, and don’t go to L.A. is earthquake territory”. We choose not to live our lives through fear We’ve made the mistake twice of NOT going to a preferred destination, i.e. Turkey one week after 9/11 and Israel for Gili’s wedding during the last war due to family “concern”.

    Re shrimp, yes these are cooked and at room temperature before going into rolls.

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