Here are a bunch of photos and quick little captions to show you what the house has been doing. Then I am going to tell you a story.
First, I want to say the second half of the contest continues on. There was a huge electrical storm last week, but we weren't here. And that's part of the story.
Three gorgeous iron chairs. That's part of the story.
So, there you have it, in pictures. Now let me tell you my story. As I said, there was a storm, but we weren't here; we were in Hermosillo, getting fingerprinted so our VISA paper work can be sent to Mexico City, where apparently the VISA card making machine is kept.
We had not planned to go. We did not even have a car to go in. Our car had been in the transmission shop in Navajoa for well over a week. They kept saying they would call when it was ready. I was so stir crazy that I was considering getting on the bus and riding it to the border and back. Then one morning I said to Senor............let's just get on the bus and go to Navajoa and see what kind of shape our car is in. We yelled 'salida' to the driver on the outskirts of Navjoa and after making our way through a standing room aisle filled with school kids and clucking chickens, we walked the few blocks to the shop.
New old car was just sitting outside the fence, on a dusty street, covered in dust, looking very lonely. As we got closer we saw what appeared to be youth baseball team slogans written in the dust covering the windows. Senor saw the 'jeffe' and asked him about our car and he said it was all ready. Since this was new old car's return visit to the shop, the 'jeffe' explained, in Spanish, to a confused Senor, what he had done to it and since we had paid a considerable sum the first time only to have the same problem occur again, causing us to return it to the 'jeffe', he said, 'no charge' and Senor certainly understood that Spanish.
We thanked him and got into new old car and immediately realized that it had not exactly been lonely. There were empty ketchup and mustard packets all over the backseat and the left over wrappings from several youth support sports jock straps. It seemed our car had a few adventures without us.
It started right up and quickly drove us straight home where, on the computer, the VISA store (this, my new word for the Immigration office helps me cope with the stress of going there), indicated that we needed to come to Hermosillo as soon as possible to move forward with the VISA process. We decided to get back into new old car and go. Within the hour we were back in Navajoa and heading north.
Near the town of Vicam, the Yaqui tribe has erected a blockade on the main highway. It has made a huge impact on commerce and tourism. This blockade is over water rights that the Yaquis believe belong to their tribe and not to the government who believe the rights belong to the government. We were prepared for a wait, but we also thought we could probably find a way around it.
When we got to the blockade, a lovely old Yaqui senora pointed us in the direction of a side street, which we followed around town to the other side of the road block. On the way, we encountered at least a dozen other road blocks, very young children holding up ropes, asking for a peso for our passage. This was their dusty dirt road, we were making it even dustier and we gladly paid each rope block a peso. The children smiled, dropped their ropes to allow us to pass as their mother's threw buckets of water in front of us to ease the dust. After this fifteen minute detour we found ourselves on the north of the blockade and continued on.
The VISA store closes at one. We knew we would not make it so we detoured to San Carlos, where we really only like to go for tacos and if we have to stay overnight, the tv at the Tetakawi Hotel. I looked out of our hotel room after taking a break from watching the Food Channel and there were three old iron chairs sitting in the dirt by a tree, all alone. My sister said to me, from far away, get those chairs, get those chairs, girl. So, after a quick talk to the man at the desk about the abandoned trailer park and the chairs, I did just that and we now have three pretty iron chairs, without seats, but pretty nonetheless. Thank you, Kax, for telling me to get those chairs.
At the VISA store, early the next morning, we were told we were both getting Permanent Residence VISAs, which surprised us. That is what we were applying for and we knew that at least one of us would get it, but the horror stories we had been told, suggested that either we did not make enough monthly income to both get that type of residency or the store was just going to flat out say, NO. We confirmed and double confirmed we were both getting that VISA and the person behind the counter double confirmed that there is no expiration date. It is indeed a permanent residence card and we will NEVER need to renew it. That means we will NEVER need to go back to the VISA store. But, then, we have found that when in Mexico, one should NEVER use the word NEVER.
Now on the road again, a trip to the new Lowes in Hermosillo, another dusty side road trip around Vicam, a quick trip to Home Depot and WAL MART and we were home by six.
As we wait for the actual cards to come back to the Hermosillo VISA store from Mexico City we are trying to figure out the best way to nationalize our car. As soon as your residency changes from temporary to permanent, you are no longer allowed to keep a foreign plated car in Mexico. You are no longer allowed to have a temporary import permit (sticker) on your car, in fact, you can't even get issued a temporary car permit at the border. We are attempting to determine the logistics of that and decide what is the best thing to do. I am sure that will be another exciting story to tell.
For now I have to go and clean up the fake kitchen. Earlier I was minding my own business, relaxing out under the West Wing fans, in a wicker chair, when I heard some glass crashing in the kitchen. I rushed inside to find our garbage all over the floor and a few of the herb and spice jars broken among the litter and no sign of Senor on the floor, thank goodness. After a few seconds what I did see was one of the big iguanas, as it jumped from behind a bin on the floor and up onto the table, where it missed its mark and slammed back down to the floor. Senor came to help and we turned up the radio volume, hoping that would drive it out. Then we threw a few paint thinner soaked rags inside the door hoping the smell would drive it out. Then Senor got a stick and while I trapped it on one end, he tried a 'pretend attack' which had no results at all. We decided to leave it alone and hope it would get bored with the contents of the fake kitchen.
I went back and sat under the fans and waited. Before long, all two feet of it sauntered out as if it was leaving a restaurant at noontime and crawled up the wall and over the roof top. I scrambled over and shut the door.
And that's my story.
que le vaya bien! linda lou