Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy morning

So this is what my morning was like.

Jonathan got up at 7:00 to make my coffee and then I decided to go running. We just ran to the lake and back, but it was 8 o'clock before we got started. It was a little hot. The usual wind was blowing the brown water of the lake into little waves. Same guys were cutting the grass with machetes and piling it in their hand carts. A couple streets were lined with kids in their blue and white uniforms waiting for something, I don't know what. School starts at 7 so it must have been an outing or something. Then again, it's still vacation for a week. Except for the Catholic schools. Maybe it was a catholic school outing. But Sylvia said she didn't know anything about it. Who knows.

Anyway, pass lots of people carrying large loads on their heads. We decided to stop by the gym and see if it has enough weights for Jonathan. It is a beautiful little gym with a classroom, a couple machines, tread mill and spa area. Massage is 20/hour. We have a nice chat with the guy behind the desk who turns out to be a computer nerd and whose dream is to work for microsoft. We like the gym, but we decide to talk to the owner later and see if we can get a family discount.

Walking out the door, we see Ben and Peta buying bread from Tignieu the French baker. We go running over there to see if he has some bread for us. He makes whole grain sour dough in his place in the barrio maldito by the market. We've been looking for him, but couldn't find him. He and his wife have been traveling around the world for about 30 years. They just set up a bread oven wherever they are and sell bread. He must be about 60, very thin, long hair loose clothes and a couple of straw bags over his shoulder. Ben introduced us asked which language we wanted to speak. We picked French. The ensuing conversation was hilarious becuase Jonathan was fumbling slowly along in very nicely accented French. I thought I was too, but Spanish only came out of my mouth. Tignieu thought I couldn't speak French so he was talking to me in English while he was talking to Jonathan in French. He didn't have a loaf for us, but he said he would come back later.

We go home and find Riccardo the gardner waiting for us. We were supposed to have planters purchased, but we didn't have time, so Riccardo had to busy himself with cleaning up the garden while I asked very stupid, barely intelligible questions about plants in the garden and what we might grow. He was lukewarm about the lettuce idea. But he did point out that there was cilantro and basil already growing as volunteers. Funny, I was looking for cilantro in the market yesterday and couldn't find it. Didn't know it was in my own yard. It looks different here.

Riccardo the caretaker arrives with his brother-in-law Miguel to take care of various little things. Christina arrives and immediately starts doing the dishes. I ask her if we can have chicken for lunch and she says, did you get chicken. I say, well no, can't you get it? Oh course. Do you need vegetables, too.

Sylvia arrives to start our Spanish lesson. I am still trying to eat my oatmeal so I divide it in two bowls so there is enough for both of us. We are enjoying our oatmeal and writing down the recipe as part of my Spanish lesson when Tignieu arrives with the bread. We speak Spanish this time. He tells me about all the bread and I take a Pain Levain for now, but he says tomorrow he will bring a big brioche familial around 9:30. I give him his money.

Christina needs money for the market. Unfortunately we are pretty much out, so I have to break into the emergency $20 bills. Change it and bring me the change I plead. How many people are eating lunch she asks. I have no idea I say, but there are 8 people in the house at the moment so get enough. She heads out to the store.

Meanwhile, I have made sure that each of these people get a latte. Except for Riccardo the gardner who thankfully was happy with a fanta.

Sylvia proceeds to drill me in verbs. I think I am much more advanced than that but then I keep making mistakes so maybe not.

Every few minutes it seems, someone in the house shouts- someone is looking for you - and either Christina or I go to unlock the gate. Several fruit sellers stop by with huge baskets on their head. Not today, we already have fruit, I shout. The garbage removal man asks for Christina and she hauls the garbage out to him and he throws it in his cart.

Riccardo the care taker and Miguel his brother-in-law keep going in and out on their bikes to fetch things. Riccardo doesn't seem to have his keys. It is determined that the toilet is irrepairable and arrangements are made for Rene to drive Riccardo in our car to get a new one in Managua tomorrow. Miguel is sent to buy varnish and brushes for the now very weathered wood we thought was such an elegant touch to our house. I have to go get more $20's. Please bring me a receipt!

Sylvia and I finish with the verbs and read a short story. Christina comes back and sets to work on lunch. Miguel comes back with 2 receipts and a lot of change. Riccardo the gardner has done all he can do now and heads out to get some fertilizer. He needs some money. I pay him and give him 100 cordovas ($5) for the fertilizer. He comes right back with a receipt and lots of change and scatters fertilizer in the planters.

Sylvia leaves to pick Fabiola up at school and I sit down to do some work. Jonathan has come back from his meeting and is on the phone in the front room with another meeting. At 1:00 Christina says, Doña Tamara, lunch is ready. I come downstairs when Jonathan is done with his call and everybody is gone. Christina, Jonathan, Hans, Noah and I sit down to a delicious meal of chicken, rice, beans and salad. There is so much left over, there is enough for supper, too.


  1. Sounds really hectic at your house...but fun!

  2. Could you take some pics along your run in the morning?

  3. Hectic AND tiring, especially the running.