We were up with the sun, as usual, on Easter morning, and it was a good thing because the honking at the gate started at about 7:15. This time, it was the guy from the Water Authority stopping to give us our receipt for last month’s water bill – a whopping $10BZ – and to tell us that the pipe water was running again. Apparently the pipe was broken, and although it would have provided some water to everybody up line from the break, somebody not too far from the break opened their valve and left it open, taking all the water that made it that far through the pipe. As of Sunday morning, the Water Authority hadn’t yet fixed the pipe, but they had capped the water pig’s line so he can’t bleed off any more water until the pipe is repaired.
About 15 minutes later Damion stopped by to see if Tom had a radiator hose since he’d driven his truck to San Antonio Saturday evening to pick up his Mother for Easter and found that his radiator hose had blown. Tom didn’t have any parts that would work on a Toyota, and we were glad that we’d decided to drive to Caracol on Saturday. Damion left, and was back a few minutes later, dragging gutters that he had noticed in the ditch. The gutters match the gutters we pulled off the cabins, so the three of us figure that whoever took the gutters when the place was being looted lost them off their pickup truck, and didn’t notice until after the brush by the road grew up enough to hide them – which makes sense, since most of the looting was being done at night. Tom had been clearing the front pasture line on Saturday evening (while I was exercising – he Nordic Tracks with a weed whacker), and didn’t notice the gutters since it was a bit dark to see many details of what was on the ground. We figure that Damion dragging the gutters back to us before somebody else saw them and picked them up probably saved us about $100BZ in new gutters.
The rest of our Easter Sunday was pretty quiet. The Honduran Marta family came over and talked to Tom for a while because they have a new solar panel and have been trying to charge their battery with it. They’ve been over with one problem or another almost every day since they got the panel, wanting Tom to reinstall the solar panel so it works, hook up the battery so it works, fix the battery so it works, etc., and their latest brainstorm was that the battery wasn’t charging because it needed more water, so maybe Tom could fix it. Tom has been resisting getting involved because he doesn’t want to be responsible for their electricity or lack thereof (and because I’m a witch and know that if he gives them one hour today they’ll want two tomorrow and I figure it’s better to not let them even start depending on him for power), but he finally gave in and went to take a look at what they had. He found that everything was okay – solar panel properly installed and hooked up, closed battery full of battery acid – and told them that their problem is that they never let the battery get fully charged, so they’re killing their battery by letting it get just a little charged every day, and then completely draining it every evening.
We talked about it later and figured out that the battery situation is probably symbolic of how they live and why they’ve been so intent on getting everything from us that they can. We figure when they find a source for something – food, housing, rides, electricity, or whatever – they suck the source dry. If it’s a fruit tree, they pick every piece of fruit off it whether they can use it or not, so when their store of fruit is rotting in a cupboard they’re out looking for the next fruit tree to strip. If it’s a battery, they run it dry and never let it charge so it will no longer hold a charge. If it’s other people’s help, they keep asking for more until all good will is gone. They haven’t yet figured out that if they only take what they need and try to plan ahead, they could keep getting fruit off the same tree, and power out of the battery, and help from other people before they’ve totally alienated them. But, because they don’t look ahead, their experience is that everything ends sooner or later, so they better get what they can while it’s available. Unfortunately, there’s no way we can explain this to them because of our language difficulties, and I’m doubtful that they’d understand the symbolism anyway.
On a more productive note, Tom continued his week whacking rampage and finished clearing the fence line on the front of the property, and started on the pastures. I had chopped around the fence line with a machete because it’s risky to go near the fence with the week whacker blade when there may be fencing wire in the vines, but Tom very effectively cleared the inside area of a large part of the second pasture. The plan is to completely clear the two small pastures in the front and leave the horses there for a few months while we clear the big third pasture and plant grass there. When that grass is ready for grazing, we’ll turn the horses out in the big field and plant the two smaller pastures. Within a year, we should have three fairly grassy pastures that we think should support five or six horses with a minimum of hay.