Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Before our hosts returned to Vancouver on January 6th, they left several requests with Nestor, the Property Manager.They join us again in PV tomorrow and there is a mad scramble to ensure that everything is in place.
The most important request was for the installation of a pool heater. That might seem like a strange addition to a PV pool, but, there are days when the pool temperature drops below comfort level. So, the heater installation guy in the red pickup truck came to work on this project 4 or 5 times before being satisfied that it was working. That was before the heater blew up last weekend!
Since then, the supplier has visited twice to examine the damage and finally decided that he would replace one part, not the whole unit!! Then, Nestor decided to move everything...heater, pump, filter. As a result, the laugh-in door was very busy with strange men coming and going all day yesterday. At 7pm last night the sun had set and the project was not complete.
On a bright note, Noe, the new computer geek managed to get the computer up and running after a four week delay! So the second request has been satisfied. I discovered that my Spanish is quite proficient when discussing computer language. I had no problem translating AUTOCAD and OFFICE. Noe sat at the desk, sipping tea and gazing at the computer screen for 5 hours before declaring the job done!
The third request involved filling and hauling about 50-50lb sacks of soil up three sets of stairs to fill a garden area outside the new bathroom. Don Beto, at the age of 60, managed to outdo Ulysses, his young helper. Now Jesus has the challenge of finishing the inside wall of the planted area with stone and mortar before tomorrow!
Saturday is usually a half day for workers but it looks like we will have at least seven men rotating through the laugh-in door all day long. Tonio is pretending to be in charge, running back and forth between the upstairs garden and the pool maintenance areas. His last challenge will be to clean the pool and make it crystal clear! Will everything be ready?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Three times each week Pacheta appears at the door with a broom, mops and a bucket, her smile reflecting glints of gold. Her uniform is a navy skirt with a white, collared shirt. The initials of the cleaning company are monogrammed over her breast. Brightly coloured earrings decorate her ears.
She starts with the lower pool level, swabbing the decks and sweeping the floors. A cloth flies through the air, dispersing dust in every direction. Everything is moved, leaving proof that she has been there. A pounding sound echoes through the house. What is she doing??
From the lower level, she moves to the top bedroom level. Once again the floors are swabbed and particles of dust are scattered. Toilets and sinks and showers are cleaned and polished before we hear more pounding?
Finally, on the kitchen level, scatter rugs are gathered up, more swabbing of floors, wiping of counters and flicking of the dusting cloth. This time we are sitting on the main level terrace, ready to solve the pounding mystery. I watch as Pacheta lifts two cushions and beats them together, raising even more dust! So, this is the pounding sound! It is very reassuring to know that three times each week our cushions are given a thorough pounding!
Pacheta is the patient recipient of my broken Spanish. We laugh together and try to share family histories. I learned today that she is 51 years old , that she has five children and is also an abuela (grandmother) of nine.
I had difficulty explaining that John A-P was esposo number 2 and that this John is esposo number 3. "Son tus hermanos?" she asked. "No, they are not my brothers!"
Sometimes the sharing of family histories is too difficult. I still don't know which member of her family had a hernia and Pacheta was still confused about my relationship to John & Doug. Before she left, I thanked her for pounding the pillows, we hugged and she gave me another gold toothed smile.
Monday, January 18, 2010
An article in the local Vallarta Tribune caught my eye. The third annual "Blessing of the Animals" was scheduled for yesterday. I decided to hike over and view the event. Sponsored by the SPCA-PV, it took place in the lovely chapel of Hacienda San Angel, above and behind the Cathedral.