Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pine Ridge is becoming home

We’re really hoping that the closing on this property comes through quickly and goes smoothly. After working on the property all week, we’d expected an unscheduled weekend where we would wander around and just take stock on what we have to do. Instead, by 9:00 on Saturday morning, we had all of Saturday and most of Sunday booked with neighbors. Our neighbor up the road, Bol, has a cave on his property. It’s a Mayan storage cave that Bol discovered, and he has it set up as Bol’s Museum Cave where he and his family give tours. It’s four or five chambers, and Bol has left everything that he found in each chamber, although he’s organized it and moved it out of the paths through the cave so it isn’t damaged. To get to the cave, you have to walk on a trail to the Sheila Re View (on the top of Bol’s mountain), which allows you to see all the way to Guatemala. Anyway, we were having a drink with Bol, his wife, and Selwyn on Friday evening, and Bol invited us to tour his cave at 10:00 Saturday morning. Around 8:30 Saturday morning, our neighbor Jim stopped by because Tom is going to use some of his tools and we’re going to work together on a few things that we need to talk about, so Jim came down the hill to see if we could do that Sunday morning. Tom told Jim about our cave tour, so Jim and Sharon decided to come with us. Jim went home to get Sharon, and the family from next door stopped by – Marta, who I had previously identified as Salvadorian Marta, but who in fact is Honduran Marta, along with her five children, Thelma, Cindy, Heidi, Giovanni, and Eduard. They wanted to know if we were going to San Antonio so they could come with us to get a phone card to call their husband/father, who is in Orlando, FL. As we were talking to them, we had a brainstorm and offered to take their picture with our digital camera and email it to Tom’s parents who live near Orlando, who we volunteered to print out the picture and somehow get it to Marta’s husband. They wanted to look better for the picture, so we told them that we would pick them up to go to town in the late afternoon, and we would take their picture then. We knew we had to do this in the late afternoon because we’d already arranged with Damion from next door to come over and spray the first cabin for termites. So, suddenly, our entire Saturday was booked.

We toured Bol’s cave, which is now a must-do for anyone who visits us, had a quick lunch, talked to George and Ronnie for a bit because George came by to charge his iPod and chat, we chopped vines and jungle creepers for a while with our machetes, then Damion came to spray, then we went to pick up Marta’s family. We had a minor change in plans there because we got there later than expected and Marta was cooking and 10 month old Eduard was asleep, so we just took Thelma, Cindy, Heidi, and Giovanni to town with us so we could get email and post on the blog and they could pick up the phone card and a few other things.

Bol explaining some of the artifacts found in his cave

On the way out of town, we decided to stop at the San Antonio fair, since we had heard that they had some cultural shows. Unfortunately nothing cultural was happening when we got there, but we ran into Jim and Sharon on the way in, so Jim and Sharon, the four kids, and Tom and I wandered around the fair for a little while and watched Giovanni take a ride. We left there, and had to drop of some plates at the church, which we had picked up for our neighbor Elizabeth after she waved us down on our way to town and requested that we get the plates and drop them off at the church. Elizabeth and the rest of the family were just pulling into the church as we were pulling out, so Tom told her who took the plates, we waved, and we headed home.

We dropped off the kids, fed the dogs, and saw a flashlight coming up the driveway. It was Thelma, Heidi, and Giovanni, who had come to see if we wanted to have dinner with them. Marta had been home making escabeche while we were shopping, so instead of working out and then cooking dinner, we had a great meal with Marta and the five kids. We then looked at their photo album, which was worth a few giggles as we saw 12-year old Thelma as a pudgy baby, Giovanni in cool shades, a few pictures of Heidi, LOTS of pictures of Cindy, some pictures of Eduard, pictures of Marta and her husband, and other pictures of family events. On top of that, Thelma was holding Eduard behind me as I sat in a chair to see the pictures, and he farted a big one right in my ear. I think he figured out what he had done to make us all so hysterical, because Marta took him and started bouncing him on the table, and he started farting and laughing. Kids are kids no matter where they grow up!

Anyway, it felt just like a Saturday at home, as we talked to and visited the neighbors, dropped things off and picked things up, shared rides to town, and shared a meal. We already have plans to take the postponed picture of Marta’s family tomorrow at 9:00, and then we’re heading over to Jim and Sharon’s so Tom and Jim can work in the shop and Sharon and I can play Scrabble, which we’ve both missed since my Scrabble board is still packed and Sharon hasn’t found anyone else around here who likes to play. Everyone around here is incredibly kind and generous and willing to accept us into the neighborhood, and if anything falls through with this property, I think we’ll just have to look for something else for sale right around here!

We really do miss our friends and neighbors back in the States but we are making a home out here in the jungle. It seems that good people live everywhere and we are really lucky to keep living near people that can become part of our family of friends. We can’t wait for everyone to come down to not only visit with us but also to meet our new friends.

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