Quirky Things Part 5 - The last of the series!
This is the last in the series of Quirky Things....... I jotted these things down while I was in Habanero so I could share them with you. It's been fun to write and remember these events. I hope you've enjoyed reading these blogs and it's shed a little light on life in Habanero.
Here in America I have a few little things that don't work properly around my house but for the most part everything works as expected. Key word in relating to these differences is expectations! Mine are always different than the reality of Habanero.
So you know when I go to Habanero to prepare for a team part of what I do is get everything up and running for the team as best I can. The tropical environment is hard on equipment and the quality of work plays into how things work as well. There are 3 things to fix on the doors. 1) There's just a padlock on the new door and the 2 pieces that you lock together don't line up well, so it was very difficult for me to slide them apart. 2) We need a deadbolt 3) We need a lock on the new bedroom door.
Yanet arranged for a man to come do the work and he is well known and is "very, very good". In Habanero there is no Angie's List, it's Yanet's List! He comes in the morning around 8:30am. He has to weld the new deadbolt on the door so he needs power. He hands me a cord through the window. I look at the end and there is no plug in just two stripped wires. I smile at him and motion for him to come in and hook it up. He puts the wires in the socket and welds the new lock. I ask if there is anything else he needs, he says no so I secure the rest of the house and leave to go to the school.
A couple hours later when I return he is still working on the bedroom lock. It's 4pm by the time he is finished. I have supplied all the materials so I just need to pay for his labor, I ask him how much and he says 700 pesos. Approx $15 for him and his helper. He also had come to the house the day before to tell me what I needed to purchase for the job. So $15 for 2 men all day + an extra trip was reasonable. We say goodbye.
Later that night Yanet comes over and we inspect the work. Hmmm....... the new deadbolt works perfectly but the 2 pieces that go together for the padlock still don't fit - I now actually need a hammer to smack them apart. We look at the bedroom door, lock looks good, but the lock doesn't actually lock. Bummer for us, because once you buy something in this country you own it weather it works or not. But don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the doors and locks, we have no lovers and no poopers back there!
Among other things that didn't work on my arrival, the water tank on the roof overfills, the refrigerator didn't work, the washing machine was broken and one fan didn't work.
As they say, welcome to the Dominican Republic! For you here in America "count your blessings!"
Quirky Things Part 4
One afternoon I was sitting on a white plastic chair in front of the colmado across from the mission house when Jose Luis walked by. He waved and then as a second thought he made a u-turn and headed straight for me. He took out a prescription from his bible and asked me if I could get the medicine for him. He said he's been sick with fever and diarrhea (both very common in Habanero). I told him I was sorry he was sick and I would see what I could do.
I took the prescription into the house and put it safely in my purse. I then added Jose Luis' prescription to my "to do" list. Jose had never asked me for anything before so I assume it was legitimate.
The next morning as I was going over my list I looked at the prescription again, I didn't know what it was for but I could see that it was dated December 5, 2015 which was over 2 months previous. Hmmmmm...... Red Flag! I made a mental note to speak with Yanet about this.
I normally only purchase recent prescriptions. If the prescription is old and they are still sick I tell them to go back to the doctor and get a current diagnosis. So later that evening I showed the prescription to Yanet and told her I was concerned because it was from December.
Yanet looked the prescription over and started laughing. She said no don't get this for him it is for hair loss! I started laughing myself because I could see that Jose Luis was getting older, probably 35 years old by now and yes, he
was loosing his hair. Yep, he almost got me~! :-)
Quirky Things Part 3
For those in the know, we have been working on the mission house little by little for a couple years now. Adding rooms so that it would be more comfortable for our mission teams and giving us some much needed storage space.
When we began I wasn't really sure the WHY's were good reasons. I mean after all, weren't the Americanos pretty comfortable most of their life in comparison to the people of Habanero? Maybe it was meaningful to suffer a little while you served. And seriously? Did we really need more space for stuff? I wondered if perhaps we were turning the mission house into little America. At any rate, we've been working on it. It is wonderful I couldn't love it any more. And the added showers and toilets have been very much appreciated. But that's not what this blog is about.
Last August when I left Habanero the roof had been put on the new kitchen and bedroom. Next step cement floor, so I left enough money for Yanet to have the floor finished in my absence. When I arrived in January boy was I surprised!
Not only had the floor been finished, but metal bars had been put across the windows and door. The new space was secured! Yeah! That's a good thing, right?
Well, the only problem was we owed money. No one was exactly authorized to put us in debt. But, at least they didn't sell the house, right?
I speak with Yanet and learn that evidently some teens were meeting up and doing a little making out back there! lol Some things transcend international date lines. The teens were using it for love connections until it started to smell because someone else was pooping back there! lol A third world problem for sure.
So Yanet had made the correct executive decision to secure the building. That's what we want her to do. Lead - and she did. She cleaned it up and secured it.
During our conversation I also learned that we had a problem with the building. Evidently when it rained the roof leaked. I'm like WHAT??? It's a new roof. So we get the builder, Boika and I say hey you gotta fix the roof it's leaking. He says well, are you ready for this? "It will cost more money if you don't want the rain to come in. We need to build an overhang so the water doesn't come in." I think about that for a moment knowing I must be careful with my words. I look at the rest of the work he has done and sure enough the other walls have an overhang. So I say, well I'll buy the materials but I'm not paying any more labor. He says, you didn't say you wanted an overhang. It's not my problem.
I'm like really??? I need to tell you I don't want water in the new kitchen and bedroom, really? I have to tell you that? Would you construct your own house so that water leaks in your bedroom? He kinda smiles, shuffles his feet and says, OK we'll fix it, but you have to buy the cement.............
Only in the Dominican!