Yesterday morning I woke up and walked out to Campo Verde to begin work on the repairs of on Don Gregorio´s pond. With the heavy rains this past year, we lost an entire side of the tank and most of our water. Now, the pond is a mess. There are weeds growing everywhere and the remaining walls are being eroded away by the goats who drink from the pond. I still do not really understand how this happened. How is it that his tank is the only tank with problems? It makes me feel terrible because I really do not have a good explanation. Anyways, we have to fix it.
When I got to his house, I found Gregorio working with the goats and hanging out with some other guy who I did not know, but who certainly knew me. They had been pre-gaming from the looks of it and were, as a result, ready for a good conversation. We sat down at a table and started talking, a bottle of puro and creek water was passed around, and I started to wonder if any work was actually going to get done. Turns out it did not.
After talking for an hour or so about whether or not I was going to stay and live in Palmar after my service was up, if I had kids back in the states, and if I had a girlfriend in town, we finally made our way down to the tank.
As I said before, this tank is a total disaster and is going to require a good week or two of work to clean it up. Our plan was to begin pulling the plant life out, but since we were unable to get our hands on the water pump we could not get much done. We ended up piddling around with the shovels for about 2 hours and then sitting down. It was a good morning´s work we decided. I am not sure why. All we really did was confirm that we had a whole lot to do and then put it off until Monday. Still, they were happy with it.
On my way back to town I passed a retarded kid that I always talk with on the road. He was kind of far from his house and was playing with a sling shot. Right before I got to him, before he had seen me, he turned and just nailed this dog with a rock. Direct hit, right in the ribs with the sling shot. The dog yelped something furious and took off into the woods. The boy stood there smiling and laughing a not too comforting laugh. He sounded crazy. I passed him, waved and said hello and he just kept smiling, staring at me. After a few steps I turned around to look at him. He was still just standing in the middle of the road with his sling shot. I started to get a little freaked out. I kept wondering if maybe he was going to shoot me too. I know that is a terrible thing to think, but I just couldn´t shake the thought. I kept walking and looking back over my shoulder. He just stood there. I started a fast walk to get out of range as quickly as possible without seeming like a jerk.
Later on, safely out of range of his sling shot, I felt terrible. Sort of the same sensation you get when you lock the door of your car when a homeless person approaches. A general shitty feeling that, for better or worse, colors the rest of the day.