05/25/2013, La Paz
We're not being disrespectful to anyone with this blog story. Just wanted to get this out front!
We've come across several instances where we just shake our heads and chuckle. This is one of them.
I'm at Dulce's house and we're fixing a meal together. I notice the refrigerator doesn't seem to be very cold... well, it's not plugged in! Someone has taken the extension cord that was used for the refer! Ohhh, Danny?
Anyway, her nephew Luis was there helping us and he took care of it. He found another extension cord and pulled off the female end of it. To the now bare wires, he threaded these through the holes on the plug prongs. Then he took a piece of plastic garbage bag and wrapped it around each prong - insulation, I guess!
It was then carefully strung across the doorway, out of the way and plugged into the socket.... oh, down the way!
Both Dulce and Luis looked at me, then each other, shrugged their shoulders and said... " it's the Mexican way!"
05/24/2013, La purrrzzz
No, it's not a new addition! I'm just getting in a bit of kitty time! This is Daniella's kitten, named...?... dang it, I can't remember.
She's also got a little puppy, a Doberman mix that is very smart! Give me the kitty any day!
We had an opportunity to take a pair of kittens home, or one, but I resisted... I just held it while it cuddles under my neck for almost an hour.
Rental kittens, puppies and kids... that's the way we go!
05/23/2013, La Paz
Those of you that know Tom and I know that we are natural networkers. It's easy for us to gather information, and give it out to those who request it, or have a need. A couple of months ago, at one of my Mujeres meals, I overheard a bit of a conversation that interested me, and thought it would be useful.
I heard there was a womens shelter that would accept opened food, and condiments for use, rather than being thrown away. Since this time of year there are so many folks heading back to the states and Canada for the summer, this bit of info was very useful. Olivia and I went and checked it out.
Benita is the woman that runs the place. Basically, she's opened her own home up to women and children who have been victims of violence or are homeless. At one point in her life she could have used such a place for herself. After settling in La Paz several years ago, she realized a need and declared there would be a place for women in a similar situation, thus, MamaBenitas.
Currently, she has about 29 people living in her home. There are 14 kids, from infant to 12, 8 mothers,
several homeless women, several physically challenged adults, and also 5 men who were homeless. Now, before we all jump on the soapbox about men in a womens shelter... let me explain. She took in 5 men who were turned down by a couple of other places in town. She has contracted with a neighbor who had an extra building - sort of a garage, that is being used by the men. It's mostly storage, but they each get a mat to sleep on off of the street. The men are allowed in the common area and the bathroom, but not in the sleeping quarters or past a certain point in the house.
I've met most of the people who live there. There is a great amount of respect for Benita, what she's doing to help them and they respect her rules.
With the use of the VHF radio, our cruisers lounge and word of mouth, I've gotten the word out about this shelter and the good this individual is doing. We've made a weekly trip to her place with food donations, clothing, a bag of toothbrushes and toothpaste, soaps, lotions and household goods - an almost new microwave taken off of a boat - books, some party things for birthdays and even some cash donations. Almost daily someone leaves a little bag of goodies in our cockpit - a few t- shirts, some extra pasta or other food.
You'll be hearing more about this and how the cruisers are helping, and how you can if you're so inclined. With Benitas permission, I've taken photos of the kids and some of the visits. She's asked me to put their pictures on Facebook so they can see them. Unfortunately, at this time, we're not 'friendly' with FB........(maybe soon).
I've organized several projects to benefit the shelter and you'll hear more about them later and as they happen. It is truly some of the finest networking I've done and hope to continue with.
05/22/2013, La Paz
This little boy of about 2 or so just found out about technology! At a public event a few days ago I was watching the activities on a stage. It got a bit boring, so I turned my attention to those also in the crowd, like me. I spotted this little boy who was with his family.
To entertain him, Mom gave him her phone, and I'm guessing, showed him the 'camera section'. He stood in front of everyone for quite some time, very intent upon the phone and it's buttons.
All of a sudden, his eyes lit up, he squealed with delight, then stepped over to Mom and actually shivered with excitement! His 'ah hah!' moment! He'd figured out how to use the camera and had taken his mothers picture!
Well, the activity on the stage was forgotten by about the first 3 rows of people. This little photographer was more fun! He then continued to photograph the people in the front row. As he took the pictures, he'd look himself then come over to show you what he'd done! I hope his mother saved his first photo so that some day she can say.... "remember when you took your first picture?"
05/17/2013, La Paz
....down the Malecon tonight. It has really started to warm up, with temperatures reaching the high 90's last several days, so along with many of our local Mexican neighbors, we all head down to the Malecon. By now I am sure that you all know that the Malecon is the long, wide sidewalk that separates the water and sand from the street that runs along the beach. Nearly ever night it is busy with families out for a walk in the cool evening breezes that come off the water. In addition to the usual large group of bikes and three wheel tricycles that is made low to the ground, and for large kids and adults, there is almost always some event going on that can catch for attention. There are a couple of vendors that rent the bikes very cheaply, so all Mom & Dad need do is drive down, rent the bikes and away go the kids! safe and sound along the well protected Malecon.
Tonight was no exception. Jeanne and I parked the truck near my office, "Harker Boards, and Brew Pub", and started a slow stroll down the Malecon. Strolling thru the various Sculptures that are at regular intervals, we ran across a group of South American musicians/jugglers playing and practicing on the sand along the water. In the next block or two, the young artists were hard at their creations in the Malecon kiosk, where easels have been set up. Spiderman, Tinkerbelle and other famous characters were all very diligently being painted while Mom, Dad, and the Grandparents all sat along the wall near the water enjoying the star filled night and chatting with friends.
A few more blocks we ran across the La Paz, Mexican Archery group all practicing, with their targets near the water, so any misses, well, splashed! These kids were 8-17 years old, and with the exception of the youngest little fellow, never missed the target. Most of them had very high end almost Olympic Grade Bows, and carbon Fiber arrows. What a real treat to see, even at this age the obvious dedication these young people showed.
A few more blocks, and we had made the primary objective of our walk, Fuentes Ice Cream!! The best Ice Cream I have ever had, and it is even better after a long hot day of boat work.
Continuing our walk down the Malecon, we came across an entire park area, that was now covered with tents...well this just had to be investigated. Turns out it was a very special High School business fair. A select group of local High School students all were competing in an event to show case the new business idea that they had conceived, planned and were now promoting. Bike shops, recycling centers, "Green" clothing, and foods ideas, music shops and even a coffee shop. One of my favorites was a 15 year old girl had designed a smart phone "app" that was similar to an Amazon type site where you could purchase neatly anything. Movie tickets all included the trailer to the movie so you could pre-view it before buying.
By now we had walked nearly the length of the down town (Centro) part of La Paz, and it was time to turn back. We visited with a few locals that we have come to know, enjoyed the last of our ice cream, enjoyed the amazing variety of music coming from the many bars and lounges that were just starting to get warmed up, and slowing we got back to Pancho, the truck.
Sitting here on Eagle, I came to realize that the Malecon is yet an other part of La Paz that has made this place so special to us! Now some our friends all need to come down and enjoy these evening strolls with us.
05/16/2013, La Paz Malecon
Meet Manuel, a local street musician. Almost nightly he can be seen strolling the malecon, in and out of restaurants trying to catch the eye of a music lover!
We've seen him many times. Can't say we've heard him..... he's just one of many evening entertainers with such great character in their faces, hands and clothing!
A couple of nights ago, we were gathered at 'the office' for an evening sunset beer. Patty and Fabrizio, who run the bagel shop just up the street stopped by, Tom Ireton, our friend and photographer, stopped for a beer and a hot dog, Sergio our Sports event contact was there... so pretty soon, our group had taken over a fair portion of the deck. Then along came Manuel, looking for someone to sing to. Instead of buying a 'song' from him, we treated him to a cerveza and he sat and visited.
I had my camera with me and began to take some shots. Patty, borrowed it to take some from her angle and Tom I. ran to the car to get his! Manuel wasn't quite sure what to make of all of it, but in the end he was gracious. Just another impromptu happening!