I have now been in the campo for a week. It is freezing cold at night, well, compared to the town, going down to 15 degrees Centigrade, 59 Fahrenheit. Chivirico is here for the weekend and he finds it cold too.
I have spent the week trying to sort things out in the house, trying to find things, as when you move here there is no rhyme or reason as to how things are packed. I have come across ketchup in my knicker drawer, and knives and forks in handbags. So far not much appears to have gone missing en route, which is a miracle in itself.
One of the most important things for a Dominican man is his gymnasium and that has been set up already. Standing there is Hector, who is helping us with the garden and painting at the moment. Behind him is the water tank. Water comes from the mains into the underground cistern once a fortnight and then is pumped on demand into the house. If it runs out, which it does if it doesn't rain, as we have to water the newly planted trees, then we have to call the little tanker and they come to the house and fill your cistern up. It is 500 pesos a tank which is around US$13 and it takes 5 or 6 tanker loads to fill it. Apparently there is a new aqueduct coming soon so the water should come more often.
I have also been out and about trying to suss out where everything is, and I came across the pork butcher. He is only open on Saturday and Sunday, or until he has sold all of the pig.
The neighbours continue to visit. All of them. All day long. They come in little groups of 3 – 5. They usually bring something, whether fruit or a whole meal or coffee. They just walk in the door and sit down and stay for around an hour. Whilst it is lovely to have such friendly neighbours, I am hoping the novelty of talking to a foreigner will wear off soon, but I have a feeling it won’t. Everyone seems to spend every day visiting each other and I am being told off for not visiting anyone yet. The dogs are escaping through a gap in the fence, so I asked the man who lived there if he minded if I fixed it. He said he would fix it, and he did.
I have started my vegetable patch and am eagerly waiting to see what, if anything, happens. So far I have tomatoes, peppers, radishes, cabbage, and of course, parsnips. I planted it 3 days ago and the radishes are already doing something. I have also got lemon grass planted, and the neighbours have promised me a ginger plant.
Chivirico has had a great weekend, although has spent more time in the various neighbours’ houses than here. I will take him home this afternoon and try and find my 3 pawed cat who was left behind.
Fingers crossed I find the cat.