November 9, 2008

In the dark of the night came a knock

I was all ready to head to the rear apartment for the night, just short of hitting the mosquito and flea foggers in my bedroom and living room, when there was a knock on the door.
I turned the outdoor lights and saw men I didn't know. Who? Friends of Marta,they said. The said they had vedona, venison.
They had come from Sacalum bearing the venison that wasn't being slaughtered in torrential rains when I was there.
Venison is farm raised now in villages near Merida, its hunting outlawed to preserve the species.
If my house was being watched, it all looked so suspicious. Two men enter, open a canvas black duffle, not taking time to sit down. My reaching into various brown paper wrappers and taking a pinch to taste. The meat is precooked for preservation and if you've ever handled venison, you know it will be cooked for many more hours!
So, I settled on two have kilo wrappers.
So for one holiday, I'll make venison tacos, a Mexican tradition, and the other, venison chutney, a Zina invention.
And just before that, Adrian came with news about the old laptop - looks like I'll have one to rent out - and authorization to buy a wireless card. And then Adrian set my Dell laptop to feed the printer in the office. Very sweet. Also installed the ink cartridges that were confounding me. Bled them first, all the right stuff.
Earlier in the day, I took the ferry to Puerto Juarez to pick up my Christmas decoration, left behind in the bedlam when Sue and I got back from Cancun on Friday.
Got the three strips of bacon for beans at Mirtita had a mojito at Miguel's, where we traded some stories about Jose and his spendy appetites. He no longer works for either of us. We can't pay him what he thinks he is worth or feed him what he thinks he is entitled to: no ground meat or chicken!
Earlier in the day, I started training Margarita, a sweet young girl from Chiapas, not yet spoiled by the system or taught to steal. But the woman who referred her, a woman I only met twice and who couldn't produce her name, wants 20 pesos a day from Margarita for getting her the job. I might have to fire her and rehire her. She is being paid little because she knows little. And to have someone take 20 pesos from her is not just. It is a kickback! One she agreed to go along with because she knows no one here and has siblings working in Cancun.
She had never swept or washed a floor before, but she did both and she dusted. She did very well, but asked that I check every step of the way. Better that way!
It was time consuming, so I sent her home early so I could go for the Christmas hanging. She'll be back tomorrow and I will teach her over the next two weeks how to make beds and how to do laundry.
Then, she can do laundry for Zina's Guest House clients at the same prices the laundries charge, but it would never have to leave the property. And I would supply the washer and soap. She would have interaction with more foreigners, building her confidence. She has two rules for now: Never lie, never steal - or you are out!
And this morning, I read the fine print on the foggers. Seven months of no flea or mosquito infestation! Great, because while Lora was vaccinated against fleas and ticks, I was not and I think fleas got me. I have little blister-like itchies. Either that, or perhaps a side effect of antibiotics. Either way, with a house dog, it's good to have the house flea proofed!

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