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High Drama

Just biking over to my neighborhood restaurant where armadillos, ducks, ferrets and other unknown bird characters nibble at your toes while you eat in the tiny garden and gorgeous Nica poets of eras past sip whiskey or rum and deeply converse, to ask them to set a special table for my gang on Friday and get camarrone for us(giant pacific shrimp), and on my way back I stop at the house/shed where a family repairs bicycles. I needed air! Love an excuse to stop in there with all the dogs, generations, bicycle parts and pieces and just a charming family. Welllll....just minding our own business when a carraton driver drives his tiny pony down the street past the house which is a dead end at the river. Alert! Madre de mundo!! I ask where he is going. House matriarch tells me the arroyo...with a shrug. I GASP! NO! And hop on my bike and the chase begins - all one block of it - and there is the fragile horse and equally fragile caratone driver tossing concrete rubble into the river canyon! Alto! (Stop!) I cry! By then there is quite a parade of folks on bikes who followed me down and all with frowns of concern for - wow! - that is one sick looking arroyo. With emotions very high I tell the story of agua limpia and how the creek goes to the lake and how the lake is on the brink and how all the children's futures are at stake and turns out the three little girls who live on the house iIn front of where the dumping is happening are from the school where I painted the Madre de mundo mural. And we created the finca por Los ninos!

Poor caraton driver has a loco gringo in an emotional rant and all the neighbors somberly nodding agreement. So I give him the 70 cords ($3.25) it costs to take his load to the city dump and he turns his cart around with all neighbors helping the straining little pony and he shakes my hand and promises to charge enough for clearing rubble in the future cover the dump fees.

Update! Just back from the site of the crime. I have painted a little !NO BASURA! (garbage) sign and donated AGUA LIMPIA posters and the neighborhood will collectively watch to stop dumpers forevermore! My own kids would be mortified were they to know this story! Cannot help myself but gosh, once a zealot, now a crazy lady! So got to love this place - while I get hysterical, gentle ladies roast their corn on tiny charcoal burners in the planting strip in the center of the street, children play their games on tiled sidewalks with just their imaginations, so much dialogue and all of it sweet. Beribboned horses trit trot by pulling little covered chariots with wooden spokes and rotund gents, proud with their families shout greetings to all they pass. Aproned men and women pushing little carts, happy bells tinkling ice cream, amble by! The sky is rumbling, the air is thick and the breeze a gift when it comes. Then the church bells sound and I just feel the love of this quirky place. It is like living in the past. I am a time traveller.

I brought from home many yards of bright cotton chince in stripes and florals that will combine so beautifully in my casa. When Esmeralda came over ten days ago, we mimed my ideas and drew pictures and tomorrow she will deliver four bed ensembles with seventeen big throw pillows filled with natural cotton and all with zippers and sconces to go w my drapes - all for $76! She labored for two and a half days of sewing and the cost is $600 cords ($25). The rest of the bill is zippers, stuffing and supplies! And the iron smythe near the market took my drawing for the curtain bar with flourishes and four iron hooks to hold the curtain bar - had it done in ONE day. Using billows with his foot and tongs in one hand and hammer pounding hot metal in the other - like medieval in his dark cave of a tiende but so fabulous!

Yesterday, Amanda, (love this colorado gal who is also a mountaineer!) and I went up to San Marcos in an expresso bus (only a a few stops and no chickens!) to get spigots for my water filters. Such an adventure up in the farm country and their market teeming with supplies for horses, oxen and working the land. I interviewed my agriculture guru, Mel Landers, up there and will implement his farming practices on my finca (farm) I have a super NGO that is interested in partnering with Wilfredo and me there. The no-till method/heavy residu applications he teaches in seminars throughout the country recognize the fungi bodies that create weblike networks to bring nutrients to root tips. Heck, if you till, you tear the little fellows apart! And it is just making my UCDavis program so very relevant...

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