Friday, July 4, 2008
Bahia Asuncion Work Trip July 2008
I left San Diego on Monday, June 30 about 4:30 am. I have a pretty solid routine now getting up at 4:00 am, showering, making coffee, and on the road by 4:30 or so. If I have my FMT (tourist permit), I might sleep in a bit more. Anyways, I drove to TJ and got the green light from Immigration. I had received the red light my last couple of trips so I was a bit apprehensive. I’m always bringing things down…nothing major…but I hate putting myself in a compromising position. Well, no worries this time.
I park the truck and walk to the Immigration office for my FMT. Low and behold, I walk in and find two young ladies working the office. Usually, I have to wake up a grumpy old man and hope he’s in a good mood. Well, the young ladies had me on my way in record time.
After making a detour through TJ as there is road construction, I was at Playas about 5:20. A big sigh of relief came out of me. Once I’m on the toll road, I feel comfortable. I head down the road alone….there is no traffic what so ever. Tracy has packed me a huge lunch and I start snacking.
The drive was pretty uneventful except for a lot of road work south of El Rosario. It appears as if they are adding a lane to the road. Why did they choose to do it here? I don’t know. Anyways, it’s 267 miles from the El Rosario Pemex to the Vizcaino Pemex. My routine is to gas up at Vizcaino, grab a six pack across the street, and enjoy the last 70 miles usually listening to some blues or raggae.
I arrive here about 5:30 or so…I always forget as time starts to become irrelevant. Anyways, the trip takes about 12 hours pretty much driving straight through. I head to Juan and Shari’s but no one is home so I head to the casita. I arrive to find a note from Shari saying to head to Lupita’s as there is a mini-fiesta for Briseda. I unload the truck and head over to Lupita’s but no one is home. I bump into Juan and Shari along the way and we decide we’re going in circles. I follow them to their house for a bit and then I move along. I come home to find on the table some crackers, scallop, abalone, and caracole cocteles, and a welcome note from Lupita. It didn’t take long for me to feel at home.
I promised myself that I would not over do it with work this trip. I always goes way to hard on the projects. So far, I’ve kept my promise to myself. Each morning, I get up early, about 6:30 or so, and make some coffee. Then, I do a small project, and then get to my studies for my math exam. After about an hour, I try and get some labor in before it gets too hot.
My first project was to install a new toilet that I brought down from the States. Well that didn’t go according to plan as the existing toilet is cemented into the concrete floor. Ni modo! Instead I clean up the old toilet and finish painting the walls. Today, I decided to paint the ceiling white…two rooms down and three to go.
My main project for the trip is to build a cinder block wall and planter on the west side of the house and yard. With that in mind, Juan said he was going to get sand and I said I’d like to help out. After all, I would need some for my project. He showed up on Tuesday evening about 5:00pm with Juan Carlos. We head over to Fernando’s as we’re taking his one ton flat bed truck.
We drive out about five miles from town up a canyon lined with mesquite. I make a note to myself and this is the place to get dirt for planting. After a long delay with the truck stalling and Juan having to pull his battery out of his truck multiple times, we finally start to shoveling. Wow-I had no idea how much sand we could put on that truck. We shoveled until our arms just about fell off. I kept thinking this has to be enough sand…and then we’d get more. We had plenty of beer and laughs and now I had sand, too. Fernando said he had some cinder blocks that I could purchase which I did.
Last night, he delivered 140 blocks and charged me $100. They aren’t the best quality and I’m pretty sure they are from Diver’s place but that’s life. Hopefully, we’ll start the work this weekend. That is if we don’t get too caught up with all the activities. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July and I think we’re having a horse shoe contest here and a bbq. Then, there are a couple of dances at the concha and horse races on Saturday. Ah, life is rough.
I’ve also been busy in the yard. This afternoon I transplanted a number of plants.
I also got rid of the lobster trap wire and replaced it with lava rock. It looks so much better. I’m also pretty excited that my palm tree is coming around. I was a bit nervous moving it but all is well now.
Lupita had me over today for lunch…fried yellowtail with all the fixings. I love her and her family. I also had a break through at the Internet café. Yesterday, I had troubles connecting but today was great. I was even able to call Tracy using Yahoo messenger.
I need to dial it in a bit more as Tracy had a hard time hearing me…but for 1 cent per minute you can’t beat it.
The other highlight of the trip so far was the elementary school graduation. I walked down with some books I had to donate. The ceremony started with the kids dressed up in card board cut-outs of sea creatures…it was to die for. The kids were great! I saw Manolo and his family along with Lupita and Chepe who introduced me to the director of the school. I gave him the books and he was thankful….thank you Patti Ledford.
Well, that’s all for now. Tomorrow, I need to pick up some bags of cement. I’m also running a new faucet to the planter. So I’ll probably pick up the pvc and supplies for that project. I’m really at ease here and feel blessed.
Out for another adventure!