Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where the broom still rules

Colegio Calafia, Allison's school, begins promptly at 8 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. I was warned by other parents that lateness is not tolerated so I make big efforts to make it there on time. This morning my alarm did not go off (I must have shifted the on switch while moving the clock) but I heard the passing of the workers' busses and knew it meant 7 a.m. Busloads of men arrive to Loreto Bay every morning to hustle the development forward. Sometimes 15 or so men are working on our home alone. Currently, they are plastering the walls and installing the electric. Over 500 homesites have been sold. It is amazing to witness a village literally come up out of the ground. It's like watching a barn-raising, except that it's adobe, not timber, Mexicans, not Mennonites, and hundreds of structures, not one.

The mornings are chilly, about 60 degrees. I find myself layering with a sweater and jacket early only to change into short sleeves by afternoon. Kinda perfect, I'd say! Evenings it's back to the sweater. Living in an adobe house is a little akin to living in a cave; it's generally dark and the temperature remains constant. It's very surprising how that works. I love this grand adobe that we are renting. It is so totally handcrafted from the adobe that was built on site by hand to the frescoes on the walls and stone and wood floors. My only serious complaint is that the straw and mud plaster walls inside seem to be in perpetual disintegration. They are so organic they are like real, living things always shedding a bit of themselves. Dust is a problem yet no one here knows about vacuums or Swifters! Here, the broom rules. Every morning you see the shopkeepers sweeping away the dust from their storefronts to the streets. Some use buckets of water to wet the dust down. Our first week here I took the hose and commandeered valuable water to wash down our stone patio and driveway thinking it had probably been months since it was cleaned. My superior attitude of "doing things right" melted into humility when I soon witnessed the Bay winds spit all that dust right back to me.

I'm still hanging my clothes outside to dry even though our dryer works. Maybe it's still a novelty to me having never lived without a dryer. However, I did locate a laundry to wash my king size comforter. The laundry was literally a shack with a palapa roof. On the claim ticket the pick-up date read: manana. I have to handwash the dishes too which I don't mind as long as the hot water doesn't give out. We have to change and replace the small propane tanks every few weeks. There is a service that delivers it but we haven't bothered. But we have satellite television and of course, the world wide web, and that seems like just enough.

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