Hola......today was my last day at DIF. When I walked out I felt like I was leaving something behind.
Things have slowed down there. Not as many people are needing hot meals. Clothing still remains to be a very popular item and it looks like there is enough clothing to open a few super Wal-Marts. Still people come by the dozens to get the clothing and I noticed this morning a huge new delivery of beautiful, warm blankets. And of course, people are still coming for packaged food and water.
There are no perishables available in town, at least not that I am aware of. The stores at the alameda remain locked. The mercado is locked.
There are few small grocery stores scattered among the barrios that are open and are carrying packaged items: lots of saltines, canned frijoles, cartoned and canned milk products that don't require refrigeration, soups, chips, lollypops.......I have not seen much.
I think alot of people, when they can, are driving to Navajoa and doing their grocery shopping, not only for themselves, but for large groups of people.
There is talk of barrios that still have no electricity and no phone service. The chalaton is still a mix of debris and mud, arroyos are still running.
Bull dozers worked all through last night, instead of stopping.
School kids have received supplies that have been generously donated. Babies have diapers, families have warm blankets.
There are still possibly families farther out in the montanas that have not been reached, but people are working hard to resolve that.
People are shoveling, still, everywhere. There are still calls for help and assistance in getting mud out of homes, and this is almost 2 weeks after Norbert. There is still major damage and round the clock clean up.
Hermosillio, the capital of Sonora, has sent alot of young men to assist in the cleanup process and the young police recruits from Sonora are here as well ( they were headed toward the alameda, carrying shovels, as I left DIF).
And, I hear that every event that has been planned for Alamos, is still planned for Alamos. There are a few upcoming photography and film workshops, Dia de la Muerte is November 1st, there are cooking classes and language classes, and classes have resumed at Casa de la Cultura, the event calendar goes on and on.....
Last night, there was a huge fiesta across the road and the music was lively and there was alot of laughter.
The tortilla and water trucks have begun to drive through the barrios again, their happy music and announcements filling the air.
Planes are still flying in supplies, a few vehicles are still detained at the border. But, even with all the work to do, faces are brighter, smiles are wider, heads are higher.
More people are out on the streets............and so was I....... 4 days ago when I went to DIF at my usual 5:30am time, a pretty walk in the dark, beautiful stars and moon still out, the air was very cool and breezy.
Walking in the front door, I was happy to see the federales fast asleep, on pads and covered in warm wool blankets.
I went into the cocina...... there was no one else there.....I started one of the huge burners and put on the tea kettle....I made some coffee..it was bitter, so I threw it out and I made another cup....I wiped the long tile counter top......I moved a few things around and then, I moved them back....I was still all alone.
6am came and went. The tv out in the hallway is always on by now. I opened the door, tv stared blankly back at me and I noticed the federales were gone...the place was empty.....
I closed the cocina door and looked around and decided to start cooking frijoles. I lit the rest of the burners, opened the cans, put in the oil and water and hot sauce.......I cracked about 2 dozen eggs and then, I panicked........what if there is no desayuno today..no breakfast...what if I am wasting food.....maybe they are doing rolls this morning?
I became very worried..... this is not your kitchen, I told myself........you are trying not to get in the way and now, what are you doing........
Then, I thought, but what if ninos come to the gated window and I don't have any food to give them?
So then, I began to think like a Mexican would........I said, this is in God's hands now.....if I am not supposed to be doing all this preperation and cooking, then, it's not really my fault, and the food will all be saved somehow and everything will be just fine, stop worrying so much..... if this is all wrong, they can put it in the fridge for a rainy day.
So, I crack all the eggs I can get in the bowls and I begin to look for more bowls. I think...do I fry chorizo or weenies...I decide on the weenies and get them out of the refridgerator. I pick the ones that are not individually wrapped in plastic (the other day I cut about 20 pounds of these hard weenies and finally realized they were hard because they were each wrapped in plastic, one does not make that mistake twice....).
6:30am...now I am worried again because the Mexican National Anthem is always on at 6:30 and everyone stops and listens. I am still the only one here...and I think about turning on the anthem...PEOPLE! I say out loud....where are you, we have desayunos to cook here!
Looking outside to the mounds and mounds of clothing, I see the egg scrambler man. He is walking around...hey! se comida o no comida.....i ask.......he looks at me and says... cada dia es desayuno, every day, linda, we cook breakfast.......i tell him there is no one but me in the kitchen and ask if he is coming in there...he tells me he has 3 days of no work and otra persona should be in there cooking..........should i cook frijoles and i hope he says yes, since i already have them cooking...he says, se and sausage and eggs and everything.
OMG, I go back in the cocina. It is 6:40am. I go in the back room and see more eggs, so I crack more eggs, I check the frijoles, I get out the trays, the to go plates, the forks, the bags. I get everything ready I can think of and the only thing left to do is fry the weenies, throw in the eggs, put it all in the huge pots and start dishing it up.
I take a deep breath, get the matches, light the burners..............
and the door to the cocina burst open and about 8 senoras walked in, put on their masks and hair nets and said, buena dias, linda and I thought for sure I would hyperventilate and faint.
Next day, same thing......
Next day, same thing....
So, this morning I didn't go until 6am because I thought the egg scrambler would be back, nope, same thing......and I had lost 1/2 an hour, so I was scrambling to get things prepared.
It's like right before I start those weenies, BAM! the door opens.
And so, as I said, it was my last day. All of the senoras have been so warm and friendly. They have all worked 11 days straight, 8 to 10 hours. I found out today that most of them have regular jobs about town and they will all return to them on Monday.
I will miss them, but I am eager to get back into my own routine. I have not walked at the track since Norbert hit. I have a lot of glass and jewelry orders to finish so I can mail them from the states in November. I have a lot of things to do around the casa. I have my papier mache' class to attend at the casa de la Cultura.
I will continue to let you know what is happening here, how things are progressing. I think I have shown you enough photos of the hurricane damage. If you want to see more, you can search Alamos and find a lot of photos. I have seen them, they are heart wrenching.
But, while the time to heal will continue and perhaps my help will be needed somewhere else, it's time to move on...................... but first! a 2 hour nap is on my 'to do' list! adios, linda lou.....