The day started off a little better than yesterday. I was still a little sad and missing my family. I called Matt to talk to talk to him for a short while. I needed a small jump start to my day and talking to family usually does the trick. In the morning I worked on my blog from Sunday and finally finished it. It was a huge day with so much going on. I ended up uploading 58 pictures to the blog. That’s not the most I’ve ever added for one day but it’s close. I figure pictures don’t take a long time to look at if you can go at your own speed and they often do a good job of telling the story of the day. Later on I did some laundry. I washed about 50 minutes before lunch and then took a break to eat. Then I washed maybe 20 minutes after lunch. It takes a long time to do laundry here and I didn’t even do that much.
In the afternoon I went to the nearby town of Mercedes Umaña with Blanca, Cecilia, and Kathy to look at fertilizer prices. The fertilizer is purchased by some churches in Iowa for their sister communities here. People are in desperate need of fertilizer for their crops because not much grows without it. And with the poor harvest last year people need as much corn and beans as they can get. Plus, fertilizer is more expensive this year than in previous years. People need it in May and the later you wait to buy it the more it costs.
I’ve been through Mercedes before but haven’t been around the town that much so this was like a little adventure for me. We only stayed a couple minutes at the first place we stopped at and then Blanca and Cecilia were ready to head to a different place. We drove to a second place and sat down inside so I figured we’d stay for a while. I did not like the smell in there. It wasn’t manure but chemicals that made it smell bad. My mom always told me to breathe through my mouth in those kinds of situations. I did because the smells made me sick, but I’m always worried about the chemicals in the air entering my mouth. If only I could hold my breath for 20 minutes.
I heard little cheeping noises coming from inside a box. Kathy went over to investigate and pulled out a tiny little chicken. It was adorable! Taking that as a signal that I too could pick up a chick I immediately went over to the box and scooped one up. I held it for a while and then put it in the box while they were talking about prices. As we were getting ready to leave the owner of the store offered me a baby chick to take home. My eyes lit up and I glanced over at the ladies. Then I picked one up from inside the box. I looked over at Kathy and said, “What now?” She told me, “You take it home.” Really?! I was so excited. I’ve always joked about getting a pet bird or chicken but never thought they’d actually let me have one.
I walked out of the store with my fuzzy, yellow chick and hopped into the truck. I think it was Blanca who said to me that we should call him “Chelito.” You see, one of my nicknames here is “Chelita” which is Salvadoran slang for little light-skinned one (Chele=light skin, –ita=little [feminine], so Chelita=Alisha). Thus, it only makes sense that my new son’s name is Chelito. Well, we think it’s a boy. I guess we’ll find out sometime.
He was quiet most of the way home because I held him close and he was warm. When we got home we found him a box to live in for a while. He can’t live in the backyard yet with Barbara the duck because she might peck him to death. When he gets older he’ll be able to live back there. So for now he has a box. We put newspaper inside it with a little towel. Then we made some tiny bowls for water and food. The water bowl is the cap to a 5-gallon water jug and the food bowl is the bottom of a styrofoam cup. He pecked at his food as we put it into this box. He was much noisier when we got him home. The ladies put the box in my room and said he could live there. That’s fine with me for now!
Under Kathy's job description is:
Other duties not specified
My baby chick!
He's sitting in his food
His new home
Yum, yum, yum
He sleeps in my room
Around 5pm the ladies at the house decided that we should do something special because it’s International Women’s Day. So Cecilia, Blanca, Idalia, Kathy, and I drove to Alegría for dinner. We parked near the town square to walk around for a while. There are so many beautiful flowers in that area. We saw roses, lilies, and an assortment of other flowers. Sometimes there are little stands with trinkets set up in the town center but there weren’t tonight. It was nice just to walk around and look at everything.
Then we walked down the hill to a little flower store. It was someone’s home with the outside turned into a little nursery. They had all sorts of flowers there (and the ladies at the house love flowers). There were roses, azaleas, calla lilies, impatiens, peace lilies, anthuriums, and many more. We spent about 25 minutes there looking at all the flowers. The ladies began setting aside the plants they wanted to buy. Each ended up with at least four different plants. The roses bushes were $3.50 and the calla lily plants were $3. Wow! Probably couldn’t get those prices in the States. Kathy had to drive the truck down to where we were because the ladies had bought some many plants.
After buying plants we drove back up this hill to have dinner at the same restaurant we ate at on Sunday called Mi Pueblito. We sat below the deck this time, just us girls. I’ve had the steak and the shrimp there so this time I tried the chicken. It was pretty good, but next time I’m going to try the pork. Cecilia had it and it was delicious! We sat and chatted for an hour, enjoying our meal. We had brought the plants into the restaurant with us so they didn’t disappear from the back of the truck. After we’d finished we carried out the plants and piled into the cab of the truck. It’s good to be among friends.
Los amigos son como las estrellas: No los ves siempre, pero siempre están allí.
Friends are like stars: You don't always see them, but they are always there.
The town center in Alegria
The rose smelled wonderful
Smelling the flowers
A cool building I saw
The small nursery
Plants up on the roof
This is also their home
Kathy bought a rose bush for Blanca