A plague of flies has fallen upon us. I wonder if it was like this for the Egyptians during Biblical times. I blamed the food remains at the front of the house in the AM, but still they kept coming. As clean as our back patio/kitchen area is kept, there had to be at least 30, 40, 50 flies. Hanging out on the hammock, resting on the chair, dancing on the countertop, and tap dancing on the bathroom floor. Arrrg! DISGUSTING!
I did what I could: alternate attacks with the flyswatter or the Baygon (like Raid), but my cockroach Baygon did nothing more than make the bastards dizzy for a few moments and off again they buzzed. By late afternoon, flight was a better choice than fight, and I went where the car could take me – FAR away.
I always make friends at the gas station in Amayo (pronounce “uh-mai-oh”). Vendors approach me every time (gringa face), selling their wares. I kick in a few coins or bucks if I can use what they sell, as their lives are a scrape-by existence relying on people like me more fortunate than them.
Today the hammock people and the boy with nuts were there. The nut boy remembered me from last time. He was there when the cookie ladies were, on my last visit; I’ve known them for a few months now. They take Sundays off, I was glad to hear that. They are a mother and daughter pair, with a huge age spread between them. The mother is somewhere in her 50’s although she looks like 60+ from all the weathering her skin has gotten from walking everywhere in the sun. Her daughter is 15, and her mother and I always joke about how you ‘have to keep an eye on them’ with the boys. Of course, I helped her daughter be all the more devilish one day myself when I let her take a couple slugs off my Smirnoff ice. It was in a can, and as her mother can’t read, we told her it was a power drink, like red bull. We weren’t very convincing. The mom asked me for $5 once for something urgent, which I gave her, but when she asked for $10 the next time I was at the station, I felt that was going too far. But I will buy their cookies loyally each time I see them.
I’ve urged the nut boy more than once never to quit going to school. He is in “Quinto” or 5th grade. This sounds about right for his age, so hopefully he keeps up without being held back or dropping out. Many, many, many kids in rural areas drop out in grade school as early as the 5th grade. A lot of kids make it to say, 7th grade, but if they’re held back once or twice they give up out of shame, not wanting to sit in class with kids 2 or 3 years younger.
I will remind you that today is Sunday, and the boy with nuts, 11 or 12 years old, is working. I will buy nuts from him every time I see him.
Diary entry, April 25, 2010