I can’t tell you how I spent the morning. It went by so quickly. Margarita was going to go to a culto (service) at 10:00 a.m. I put on my jeans and she said I didn’t have to go. I was fine with that so I put my shorts back on. She said they were dirty and I changed again. I personally have no problem with a dirty seat on my jeans or shorts. We don’t have a lot of clean places to sit in El Refugio including our house. But she worries about her reputation as a housewife.
About 10:30, I was trying to concentrate on something on the laptop and she was yakking with one or more of the kids. They seem to think wherever mommy is is the social center. I moved my desk into the bedroom for some privacy and noise reduction. I’m easily distracted. Always been. I asked her if she were going to church and she decided to go back to washing the clothes that have been accumulating…while María listens to music or watches TV, applies makeup to whatever is unpainted, or fixes herself some more food.
I put up a chicken wire fence across the driveway so that half of it is patio and the lower half the garden. Duke the puppy likes to chew on whatever is poking its green head up from the ground. The fence bisects three clothes lines running from the girls’ room eaves to the top of the driveway gate. I saw a sheet dragging and had to go out front to open the pedestrian gate so I could put clothes pins appropriately to keep the sheet clean. I think that was the highlight of my morning.
Margarita brought me lunch at my desk. I ate casamiento, rice and refried beans, with salad and Pepsi. We still had pan dulce from the other afternoon so I had a little something sweet for dessert.
Margaret had emptied the giant plastic tub we bought for some part of our wedding, so I was now able to give Duke his bath. He doesn’t like it. He’s about seven weeks old now and growing before my eyes. I put the tub on the scrub-board part of the cement sink and put him in the water. He tried his best to swim, climb out, or fly. I could feel how much stronger he’s gotten in just about ten days. But he endured his flea bath stoicly until I put him back into the tub to rinse. When the tub was full of soapy water and pup, I removed him and started pouring water over him from a basin. That’s when he really started to howl.
Once he was squeaky clean I grabbed the too small towel Margarita gave me for him. She didn’t want to use one of our “human” towels as I’d been doing. She may be afraid the kids would turn into werewolves or something. The dog is healthier than any of them. I’m more afraid of Duke coming down with a cough than I am of Adriana getting worms. Oh, wait. She was treated for stomach parasites shortly after they moved into the house here.
We went to a meeting at the church for parents of kids in the CDI (Whole Child Development) program we operate for the community. It was good to see a policeman there and to hear his message. I’ve never experienced a community relations cop in El Salvador. He spoke about the common problems of drugs and gangs, and how important our program and parent cooperation along with children’s attendance is to try to prevent kids going the wrong way and causing grief to all of us. They discussed upcoming events including physical exams and birthday celebrations. Our Christmas party will be in December and that’s when the kids all get a new pair of shoes in their size. They’ll also get gifts and eat well. Now that we have an oven, we’ll have lots of baked goods at our events. Several of the young men and ladies have learned to bake cookies, cakes, and sweet breads. We sell them to help support the program.
So, while you people are eating your turkeys and all that goes with them, the sun is setting on El Refugio and heading over Guatemala to Mexico. I don’t smell anything cooking. Margarita is still scrubbing clothes and María is watching TV with Luís and Adriana. Duke may be sleeping again. He is a puppy, you know.