But, wait! There's more.....So we are sending a few shekels down to our Mayordomo as a matter of course. Some is for his enjoyment and some is for the maintenance of the Quinta and the animals. The Mayordomo, whom we have titled "Sargento Mayor", grumbles a bit because he has to go down to the Telegrafos y Telegramos Station in the center of the Estacion de Santa Engracia and stride in with a waiting room of people sending and receiving money. The money always arrives...it's like magic. We know that the Sargento Mayor actually likes doing his John Wayne swagger into the office...it's air conditioned, clean, very professional, smallish. Alvaro will cock his hat back and declare, "Well, I'm here".
Carlos has the money in a small envelope...to be discreet, because it is a sum...so to speak. But, Alvaro will insist upon counting it, especially if there are pretty girls in the waiting room. It is all part of the show...part of the reason he wears a fine shirt and new Levis and his second best cowboy hat and boots. Sometimes, Carlos will have to impose a limit on the amount he can give out...a limit that Alvaro's collection will almost always exceed. Carlos, a youngish, early-
middle age man who is always summarily pleasant....is also very polished and civilised. When the limit is imposed, he will write a certain hour on the envelope. That time indicates when Carlos will drive by the Quinta on his way back to Cd. Victoria and deliver the rest of the money. Very Classy.
Our friends look in on Alvaro and our place while I am absent. Sometimes updates are forthcoming. This is a portion of the email that was delivered up yesterday. It reads:
"Alvaro collected enough handouts to hold out until your arrival, whenever that might be possible, I will tell him that this Monday, the 15th he should go for his deposit at the Telegraph. He knows well that you have the family contingency and he is understanding of it....he cares for and (really) works upon the Quinta (this is an emphatic statement). AT THESE TIMES THINGS HAVE IMPROVED GREATLY THERE AND THE LITTLE COMMUNITY IS NOW IN NORMALCY." (emphasis by El Gringo Viejo)
Alvaro surtio despensa suficiente para aguardar tu llegada hasta cuando sea posible, yo le comunicare que este lunes 15 vaya por su deposito al telegrafo, sabe bien que estas atendiendo la contingencia familiar y conciente de eso, cuida y trabaja en la quinta. Ya las cosas han mejorado mucho por alla, y el pueblito esta en normalidad.
These are times to be celebrated. In a way one would prefer not to celebrate the return of normalcy. But, when it does begin to fully re-establish after many months of literally hard-fought military and police sacrifice, it should be recognized and celcbrated.
This little segment of our private communication is shared because, in a way, the OROGs are also part of a private, extended family who should share a little of our little setbacks and triumphs.
Back to my diet and cumudgeoning. Thanks for sitting up with me. I think I'll be alright now.
El Gringo Viejo