Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Our first day back, we each made lists of things of things that needed to happen and went separate ways to accomplish those things. Doug went to check on telephone, internet and cable, retirement insurance, a month's membership at the tennis club, and contacting the plumber and electrician for repairs needed here at the house. I went to pick up paperwork to get our taxes ready, went to the post office for change of address information, went to Whole Foods for some VitaBiotics, REI for mosquito nets, and contacted our stock broker to set up an appointment so we can finance this adventure of ours. Our list continues and we hit the road each morning trying to get things accomplished. Doug's main focus will be to finish the remodeling we started a few years ago; painting, molding, the final touches. I've been relegated to gathering necessary information for taxes.
We did purchase a dalmation pup. She is 6 months old, so is house broken. She will be spayed and then shipped to Lima and we will pick her up there. Our first dalmatian, Smudge, was such a pleasure. We had to put her down after she was hit by a car and had broken her leg. She had lived 16 years with us and had gone deaf. There is no replacing her, but I think "Stormy" will be a good fit.
I've also been able to reconnect with family and friends the last couple of days which has been wonderful. I truly appreciate those connections now; for some reason I've been somewhat of a recluse in the past.
We broke ground on the construction of our home in El Nuro on Monday. I'm saddened that we weren't there for it; but so glad we are finally getting started. Koki, the architect has sent twenty workers and his best "maestro" (contractor) to work on the project. The biggest issue for them is food. They will build themselves a shelter to sleep in, but the food will have to be brought out to the site each day; possibly twice a day. I'm anxious to hear how they figured out the logistics.
Thanks to all of you that have followed this blog; know that there will be a guest bungalow available for you when you wish to visit.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
On Tuesday the architect, Koki came up to see the property, visit with us, and check on local prices for building materials. The bus dropped him off at the entrance to El Nuro and we met him there a little after 10:30 in the morning. He came up to the house and really enjoyed the view (he had only pictures and technical information about the property). We ate lunch at the house and shortly thereafter, Georg showed up and the beer started flowing. I let the guys drink and I packed up the house. When they were ready to move on, everyone chipped in to help us move things into a storage building behind Georg's house.
We drove into Los Organos and Koki visted some building supply stores to get some prices. Meanwhile, I checked in at the furniture store where we bought the bed and they had the missing piece and the queen mattress. So we loaded matress on top of the bedframe in the back of the pick-up, picked up Koki and took the furniture up to Jay's. Once unloaded into the room we will rent, we took Koki into Mancora to catch a bus home.
Once in Mancora, Koki could not find passage on any bus line back to Chiclayo. Apparantly, there was a protest going on near Zorritos that had shut down the highway for two days. The protest was against a foreign oil company that had been granted permission to do siesmic testing on the ocean floor. This testing however interrupted the fishery there; driving the fish out of the area. No traffic was passing north or south so many busses were stuck. Koki finally found one seat on a bus and immediately took off. We had thought he would spend the night, so had made reservations for him, but he wanted to get back for work in the morning.
Our trip home was long, but uneventful. We left Georg's house Weds. afternoon, taking the reservation the architect didn't take at El Refugio. I figured we paid for the room, and since they wouldn't refund us for the room, we'd take it. I was really looking forward to the hot water shower. Not! It was our luck that their hot water was down and would be fixed the next day...so once again cold showers.
Victor, a driver we first met on an earlier trip, drove us to Piura. In Piura we caught a plane for Lima in the early afternoon. Domestic flights in Peru are very favorable for the foreigner. The fare for a Peruvian for this flight is $52. Doug and I each paid $138 a piece for the same flight.
Once in Lima, Maximo's wife, Teresa picked us up and drove us to the health insurance agent we had contacted to get insurance coverage. We found the office amidst rush hour traffic, which in Lima, is ugly.
We met with the agent, filled out paperwork and got the process started. We had to do it that afternoon since once Doug turns 61, on the 14th of December, he is no longer accepted for private health insurance policies. I was rather proud of myself for doing all the negotiations and filling out the application in spanish. As a matter of fact, the agent said my spanish "was very good."
We then went back to Maximo's house for dinner and a bit of celebration in honor of Maximo's birthday. Maximo and his wife returned us to the airport about 11:30 for our 1:40 a.m. flight to LAX. We spent the night in Pomona with Doug's sister and then flew to Oregon the next day.
And here we are, back in Oregon. The blog may get a bit spotty during the next six weeks, but will fill you in on anything that happens toward our final move to El Nuro, Peru. Meanwhile, you can contact us through the above phone numbers!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Lo 65.7, 78% humidity, clear becoming cloudy
This was a very quiet day, although Doug took a 4 kilometer walk up the beach toward the vilage of El Nuro.
Here are some other things we've learned;
We would never be able to do this without our Peruvian friends. They have watched over us and been ever so willing to answer questions.
Be patient. Peruvian time isn't the same as US time. Just because they say they'll be there, doesn't necessarily mean today, tomorrow, or the next day.
Our driver's have become protective of us. Before we had our own transportation, they watched out for us no matter where we were. One driver called us after we traveled to Chiclayo by bus to be sure we had made it to our hotel safely! Another offerred to bring the doctor to me at any time of the day or night when I had tonsilitis.
A lot of togetherness is a good thing when your companion is your best friend as well as your partner and lover.
You have to have the memory card in you camera to save any pictures you take.
Having only one hour of electricity is do-able.
Don't leave any clothes on the floor as some critter may take up residency.
Be thankful for normal bowel movements and rejoice if they are regular.
Spices come in packets like sugar in a restaurant and have some weird names that don't give you a clue as to what it is. One packet proudly displayed the name "Comino" which the dictionary translates to "I don't give a damn."
We don't have to worry about losing electricity no matter how hard the wind blows.
Hang your T-shirts by the bottom so you don't have clothespin marks on your shoulders for days.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The surf the last couple of days has been quite turbulent. If you look closely at the photos, you can see the spray drifting with the wind. We could see rainbows in the spray, but they didn't show up on the pictures.
Friday, November 13, 2009
There are a couple of places in Los Organos that have furniture. We found queen mattress at both; at one the mattress would cost S/.450 whereas the other it would cost S/.900. The first place had some headboards, but most had flaws and looked like they were used. At the other store, they had a pine headboard and a foot with drawers in it. The quality of the pine furniture was definitely superior to the other. We decided to look at our plans for the house, take some measurements, and then take a look at what might be available in Talara.
The first picture here is of the waves near the harbor of El Nuro. You can see the fishing fleet moored in the background which is about three kilometers away. The rocks often sport a beautiful spray of water when the waves hit. It is also the one and only surfing spot of El Nuro. In the next picture, you can see the fishing boats returning to port after a day out in the ocean. Often times they disappear over the horizon and come in late in the afternoon. The tuna have been running so many more boats than usual are going out, and are going out even further than usual. We knew something was up when so many boats left the harbor than the usual amount, and were out longer than usual. Once we went to the market and found tuna available again, we figured they were running again.
We contacted a gentleman about getting health insurance here in Peru. He sent us various options which we will have to study before making a decision.
I worked some more on my tapestry while Doug read the New York Times on the Kindle and studied Spanish. It was a very relaxed and peaceful afternoon. We even laid out in the sun for a while.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
There are two boats somewhat similar to the river drift boats in Oregon. They paddle their boats stern to stern. Each has a net aboard, and they join the nets and then take off in opposite directions, laying their nets out as they go. They make a big circle and then spiral in toward the center. Then they start making noise in the water with some kind of plunger; we think to attract the fish. Then they reverse the process, pulling the net in as they go and removing the fish caught up in the net.
Sorry, some of these pictures are out of sequence. I spent the better part of an hour trying to put them in order without much luck. Hopefully you can figure out the order from our description of the process.
By the way, I love all of you who are following this blog. Only three people have become "followers" but I know many more are reading our entries. It would really be nice to know who all is reading the blog....send me a message?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
We did a little shopping in Los Organos for Sanchez before returning to the house. Along the way we picked up some bamboo pieces to use as pots for the plants we have started from seeds. The dirt we tried was very much like clay, and the seedlings were very small. We shall see.
I got my loom set up for my tapestry. I wanted to get more detail, so I made the warp 12 per inch. However, when I started to use the yarn that I have, some of it is too thick to cover the warp as weft. I do have several fibers that will work well, but won't be able to use more than one fiber at a time. It changes my whole idea about how this tapestry will work on this loom, but am not unhappy with the new look. We are going into Talara tomorrow morning and will look for more fibers to work with as well as a place to print the plans for the house.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
This morning we went into Los Organos for a quick shopping trip. We found tuna at the market again; it has not been available for a couple of weeks. Doug had said that a larger amount than usual of the fishing boats had left the harbor early in the morning. This morning was the same. We figure that is because the tuna are biting.
This afternoon and evening, Doug and I did some planning for the next month or so. We had return tickets to the US for the 19th of November. I called the airline to change them to Christmas time. However, according to the conditions of the tickets we had, it would cost us over $500 a piece to change. So, we will be going to the states on the 19th of November and plan on staying until after Christmas.
It seems like every day we see something that is so "Peruvian", but we either don't have our camera at the ready, or aren't quick enough to catch it. Today is was a surfer returning to town on a motorscooter; sitting on the front end of his board over the seat, and the rest of the board hanging off the back end. In Talara the other day, we saw a pick-up loaded with building materials; metal screens, rebar, plastic tubing, and various other things. Also in the back were two men holding the materials down...no need for tie-downs! Earlier we saw a mototaxi coming into town with a tuna; it's head sticking out one side, and the tail sticking out the other side. And numerous times we've seen trucks full of passengers in the cab, and up to fifteen other people in the back! I'd love to make a collage of these sights; they define Peru and Peruvian culture.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Our friend Feruquo was so fun to watch during this service. He was looking over everyone's shoulder and got right in the middle of everything. At one point, he was in the passenger seat while a technician was in the driver's seat, asking about this dial and what it's function was; and what about this dial? The technician was very patient with him and explained things to him. At one point, the service technician took out the manual and pointed out where in the manual he could find answers to his questions. Feruquo was going to make sure everything was as it should be!
After the service, we took our friends to the bank. They are managers of a hotel in Mancora noted for its yoga, and do their banking in Talara.
We then walked through the market; somewhat akin to a flea market. Much of what we saw was junk; cheap stuff. I did find some mechanical pencils, a watch, and some kitchen knifes. The pencils are made by Faber Castell, a familiar brand so should be fine. We'll wait and see about the watch for S/.12 ($3). We were told that it had a 30 day guarantee; but he never gave me a receipt or bill of sale. Does that mean the 30 days are any 30 days we choose? We saw many poorly made knives but found a cleaver for S/.11 (about $4) and a 7" kitchen knife for S/.5 (less than $2) that were of decent quality.
Some things in Peru are very inexpensive. Many things are of poor quality as well. Diesel is about the same as in the states, $3.50. Paper is quite a bit more expensive and harder to find than in the states. Cartridges for the printer are probably 20% more expensive. Food is generally much less expensive; good meals at reasonable restaurants run about $10, a dozen eggs are $1, one kilo of fruit or vegetables will run about $.60, fresh fish at the market (marlin, tuna, shrimp, calamari) is about $2.30/lb., rice is about $.60 per kilo.
On our way home from Talara, Feruquo wanted to stop at milepost 76 to have Lucia, his wife, take his picture. He is 76 years old. What a character!
We then came back to Los Organos where Lucia and Feruquo wanted to take us out to lunch. The restaurant was right on the beach and have a wonderful view of the fishing fleet and the pier at Los Organos. The food was excellent! Lucia's son, Feruquo, joined us as well.
Once back at the house in El Nuro, I worked on setting up my table loom for a tapestry while Doug worked on the layout for the house. It was a quiet afternoon and evening.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Then we were off to the market. Yesterday, we pulled some chicken out of the refrigerator and it was nasty! I think it probably wasn't so fresh when we bought it and then combined with the marginal coolness in the refrigerator, it didn't survive. That was the chicken in the sea. Today, I started to make a soup of calamari and shrimp, but the shrimp was even nastier than the chicken! Doug took it back to the sea, came home and took a shower, and I did laundry to get rid of the smell. Even the soy milk had curdled. I'll bet even Hostess donuts wouldn't last a year here. Lesson learned; buy only for today and the next. Nothing more.
One thing I was looking for in the local market was some crochet thread I was using for the warp on my loom. They didn't have anything there, but suggested I find a Senora at the grand hotel in Mancora. The place where I saw the sign for "hilos" (threads) in Los Organos apparently sold jute twine for macrame. So we bought our groceries; broccoli, cauliflower, fish, chicken, eggs, rice, water, wine and beer. I was very tempted to buy some octopus, but don't know how to cook it. I'll have to investigate and go from there.
Then we headed to Mancora to find this Senora. We did indeed find her at the Grand Hotel and she then took us to her shop next door. She had a large selection of beads, thread and yarn in her store. She actually had the exact same crochet thread that I needed for the warp on my next project. The lot number on her thread matched exactly with the thread I bought in Santa Cruz.
My tomato seed sprouted today. When it gets a bit bigger, we'll plant it in some dirt in a large water jug. We can then hang it upside down to conserve the water. The sourdough starter is getting bubbly and starting to smell sour.
When we went to Lima to buy the truck, we decided not to bring our camera. I remember putting it in a safe place; it was so safe, we couldn't find it when we returned. While in Lima, we needed to have Sr. Sanchez send Doug's driver's license. Sanchez had come into the house and searched through my purse and sent some cards from my wallet. When we realized that he had sent the wrong documents, we had him look again for Doug's wallet. The second time around, he had the right documents and we had what we needed in Lima. Upon our return, we could not find our camera. I knew it was here, but could not remember where I have put it for safe keeping. I finally asked Sanchez about it, thinking he might have seen it. He hadn't, and I figured it would show up eventually. This afternoon, Sanchez asked me about the camera and I told him I had not found it yet. I told him would keep looking for it and that I was sure it was in the house somewhere. He asked if he could look for it, and I said sure. In a matter of minutes, he found the camera in between my blouses stacked in the closet. I was astounded as I had already searched through my closet. He was so happy to have found it as he felt responsible for the security of the house. He is truly a treasure!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The wall to the compost pile had been knocked down, so Doug built it back up and went higher yet.
The sourdough starter is perking! Time will tell if it works or not.
Doug also created Chicken of the Sea. The chicken we bought a couple of days ago went bad so instead of putting it in the garbage, he threw it out into the ocean!
Georg was here this evening (though he said he would be here at 11:00 this morning) and installed a new solar battery so hopefully we will have more electricity than before. It is almost 8:00 and we've had electricity since 6:30!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Just after lunch we drove into Mancora to visit our friends at Samana Chakra. We need to take our truck into Talara for its first service. Lucia and Feruque are quite familiar with Talara, so we asked if they might go with us to show us around while the truck was being serviced. We'll go with them on Thursday.
Later this afternoon, we went into Vichayito for massages. Origenes spa is a beautiful spot right on the beach with very modern facilities. The massages that we've had there have all been great and at reasonable prices; probably high by Peruvian standards, but quite reasonable by US standards ($60-70). I tried the hot stone massage for the first time and really liked it.
We then went by El Refugio to talk with Georg who is up from Lima. When we do break ground, one of the first things they build will be the cystern for water. The plan has it located in the exact spot Georg's septic tank is. Within the next week or so, Georg will have to move his septic tank onto his own property. We also talked about getting a generator; asking him for his opinion as to what would be needed.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I started a sourdough starter today. We'll see how it goes.
I also started the compost pile today. Doug built a rock wall around a small area and we put a cylinder of wire mesh inside. Hopefully the dogs won't get into it.
We spent hours on the computer this afternoon at El Refugio trying to download books and podcasts onto my iPod. We didn't have much luck though. I think I only got two new podcasts. Oh, well; this will have to wait for unlimited electricity.
Doug talked with our friend Perico about getting some spanish lessons. Perico will send his nephew up here in the mornings to work with Doug.