Tuesday, January 19, 2010

19 January 2010

The 19th, the day Nextel bills are due. I have been trying for the last four days to get on line and pay the bill. Each time I tried I got an error message telling me my identification code didn't exist. I tried all the numbers I could find on my paperwork from Nextel, but none seemed to work. Remember, there is no postal service here. So, I call the bank and in spanish try to explain that my identification code doesn't exist, so what IS my identification number. After several tries, I understand it is not the bank's problem but Nextel's. I remember last time I paid the bill, I called Nextel and chose several options on their menu and they sent a text message with the invoice number and amount. So, I call Nextel, and again in spanish negotiate through several options. Finally in the fourth call, I get the right options, they send a text message, and all goes smoothly from there. I realized the bill payment option from the bank works well, but each time you pay you have to have the invoice number. Nextel doesn't have just one account number for me. Each month it will be a different ID number.

On Sunday, we went up to the property as usual to deliver water and groceries to find all the workers in clean shirts, all dressed up to go to town. As is typical in Peru, they all climbed into the back of the truck and off to town we went. All in all, there were 15 of us. As we came through town, we were stopped by the police. The men in the back promptly jumped out and walked away. The police kindly told us we couldn't carry that many people in our truck. We nodded our heads, si senor. A local joke is how many can you get into a mototaxi? The same goes for other vehicles. Being gringos, I guess the same rules don't apply to us.
Yesterday, we took Stormy down to the beach to play. She still wasn't sure about the water moving into her space. But as we played, she got her feet just a tad wet. We had a great time playing the old game of approaching the water with the backwash and then running to get ahead of the incoming wave. She is such a good girl; she is a great match for us.

Yesterday we drove to Talara primarily to pay our Claro (internet) bill and to figure out why the modem does not work in our new laptop. We bought the new laptop when we first arrived in Lima after the holidays, but haven't been able to connect with it. I talked with Toshiba for some time last night and they thought it was compatibility issues with the modem. The modem works great on this computer, but the new one has a different operating system which might make a difference? I don't know but would sure like to get it resolved.

Once we got to Talara, I was informed that my voucher from November was not an official voucher and was no longer good. The young gal that helped us that day apparantly just pocketed the money and made up a voucher. Our friend Luis told us we should take the voucher to the bank. We'll try it next month.

Also on the way to Talara, the thong on my flip-flops broke. I tried walking with it as best as I could. At one point, I took them off and went barefoot. No problem until we got out of the shade and the cement was HOT. I skittered across it as gently as I could and hopped over a curb onto some grass. I could hear some locals laughing and could only laugh with them. So on I stumbled.
Today I took the thongs and another shoe Stormy had chewed to the shoe maker. He looked at them and smiled. Told me to pick them up tonight. S/.15 ($5).
I was also looking for a fabric store as I had completed a quilt top and needed backing and batting. In the central market which is a rabbit warren of stalls, we actually happened upon a shop with floor to ceiling bolts of fabric. Only about half of the shop was visible from the aisleway, and as I explored I found loads of fabric. The owner showed me the batting once I described what I was needing and then led me to cotton fabrics for backing. It was amazing; certainly not something I expected to find in the market. My next step is to lay the backing and batting out with the top and baste them together. Then I can begin the actual quilting.
Out at the property this morning the workers were building the walls of the service area with bricks. A large load of bricks came yesterday. The truck wasn't able to get up the hill or through the gate, so they unloaded the truck across the fence. There were four workers, two in the truck, two on the property. They unloaded those bricks one by one from the truck and stacked one by one on the property. Today as they were building, those bricks were brought over to the work site one by one by wheelbarrow. They work like a well oiled machine. Each has his own job to do and when the brick layers need bricks, they are already there for them.

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