Sunday, September 6, 2009

06 September

This morning we called Victor who has a car service for transport to and from airports in the area. We used him on our last trip here to get us around. Fortunately, he was in the area and came to pick us up to take us into Los Organos so we could shop for groceries and towels. We talked with him about hiring a car to provide transportation for us until we bought our own vehicle. He said he would talk with a friend of his that lives in El Nuro to see if he would be available. Victor lives in Mancora, so his services would be more expensive because he had further to travel.
In Los Organos, we went first the home of the topographer. We hired him to do the elevations of the property for the architect. He'll be out there on Tuesday morning.
Also on Tuesday morning the person who does the soil testing will be out. His job is to determine where the bedrock is so the architect can design the footings for the house.
Then we were off to the grocery store. This place was about the size of the typical mini-mart at a gas station! Even so, we were able to get the staples, fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit as well as soaps and laundry detergent. We also needed towels for the shower, so we walked down the block to the local market. The market is a large space where various venders have set up stands. I suspect you can find almost anything there; clothes, shoes, jewelry, electronics, backpacks, lotions, toys. We found towels and also bought batteries for the flashlight and a "coffee pot." The coffee pot is a small glass vessel with a screen cylinder sitting on the top and extending into the pot itself. You put the coffee into the cylinder and then add hot water.
We then went back to the house to cook some breakfast. Sanchez had brought us a small canister of natural gas so we could cook. Still no refrigeration available.
After breakfast I unpacked and tried to organize our stuff. Thankfully, Georg and Nathalie had cleared out closet space for us.
About noon, Luis Torres arrived. Luis is the manager of the hotel Georg owns in Vichayito called El Refugio. He brought us a large canister of gas so hopefully we can get the refrigerator hooked up. He also explained that the electricity was powered by solar panels but that the batteries that should store energy during the day were not working well. He will bring us a couple of batteries tomorrow so hopefully it will extend our time with electricity in the evening a bit. He also talked about getting a small generator for us, but I'm not sure how this will happen as he also said he didn't have one to loan us. My Spanish is still lacking!
I returned to El Refugio with Luis so I could access the internet and charge both computer and phone. Along the way, we discussed how necessary a vehicle would be for us. I gave him an idea of what we wanted and he'll look around for us. How would we ever do all this without friends here?!?
So here I sit in the dining room of El Refugio listening to the music on the stereo writing my blog. I've been contemplating the change we are making. I've always thought that Peru is a country of contrasts. There is the dessert along the coast that in parts are desolate and in parts are lush with crops of sugar cane and rice. In the mountains you have some spectacular scenery and amidst it all there is such abject poverty. There are magical sites like Macchu Picchu and inner cities that look like war zones. And here we come; adding to the contrast I'm sure. We'll build a large home with many conveniences that most don't have, hire a maid and maintenance person and live like royalty. Both of us are looking for opportunities to give back to the community and want to contribute as we are able.

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