a brief….

….description of the past days, chiefly what I’ve been working the past few days. And is it ever a mix. Instead of just building outdoor lawn funiture, houses and other buildings or on-site storage barns, my work is so varied, that it’s almost maddening. There are times when we chase our tails, or what’s left of ’em, and days when the work is virtually non-existent. My title, maintenance man, is so generic that it’s almost a mis-nomer. But it is also a good thing. I don’t think I could have put on my prayer card all the things that I’m required to do. In brief, here are the aspects of my work: herdsman, gofer, builder, remodeler, accountant, purchaser, seller, dariyman, chauffer, tour guide, ambulance driver, committee member, writer, student, logger, trash hauler, grass cutter and barber of myself (hint: if you cut short enough, you don’t need someone to trim you. Dad, why didn’t you tell me that?). Is that all? Wait, there is one more. Monkey pesterer! That can be the most enjoyable aspect of my day. Of course, they give the stress back. Because of some sort of deficiency, I don’t know what…wood maybe?, they chewed up their plywood monkey box. So, my first project was to build them a new one. Currently they only gnaw at it. As long as that is the extent of their damage, I’ll remain satisfied. Another recently finished project was a well top that was made for a old dry well behind the clinic. In this well, we dispose of all the used syringes. Considering that it was made out of some ‘wah-oo’ wood (wah-oo is the local term for bad or slightly lacking in perfection), it turned out okay. Now, there is a order on the table for another well top. This won’t be as hard to build….I think.

Of course, I don’t spend all my days in the shop. There is enough variety to keep things going. Today, I was getting good and started on a project with Joby when a call came for a transfer to Caaguazu. It wasn’t urgent but we drivers like to act like it is. It validates our fast driving! The current midwife on duty had other patients so Rosene went in her place. A nurse aid going solo on a transfer doesn’t happen too often but circumstances compelled otherwise this time. We had to stop just outside of Camp 9 to pick up some of her relatives, of the patient that is, not Rosene’s. All went well, meaning the police didn’t stop us and traffic was light, until we came to Caaguazu. Making all the correct, or so I thought, turns, we couldn’t find the hospital! Fortuanately, this wasn’t a emergency which gave us some time to drive around. The grandmother that went with thought it was amusing that we couldn’t find the hospital. Finally, we stopped and she asked directions, much to our American relief. After we dropped them off, we drove through town and discovered where we went wrong. Filing that info away for later use, I turned the van’s stub nose homeward and away we went, drinking tea all the way. Again, the police let us pass in peace. Whew.

The variety is great. On one day, I’m sticking cows, much fun. The next day, I’m being stuck, not so much fun but a cinch as the nurse doing it has had much practice. Who knows what I’ll being doing tomorrow. It could be sanding trim in preparation of reinstalling it on a remodeled room or it could be picking up a broken down vehicle. I hope I don’t jinx us as currently all our vehicles are out of the shop, a event that, given our past 4 month recored, calls for a ice cream celebration. Almost. More like a terere toast. Maybe it’ll be another transfer. Or maybe some wah-oo wiring. I know of one valve that needs replacing. Maybe I’ll do that.

But now, my laptop is sending my warning signals of a lack of juice, so ciao

Categories: Paraguayan Parables | Leave a comment

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