Here, in a few snapshots (verbal, not visual. Still haven't dared to bust out my camera in public yet. I'll get around to it, I promise) are the things that have kept life fun, interesting, and dramatic over the past few days down here.
Snapshot number one: El Panadero Rumbero.
Every evening around 5pm the bread guy comes down the street blasting salsa music at top volume so we can hear him even in the back garden. The señora here at the house calls him "El Panadero Rumbero," which means "The Rumba-Dancing Bread Guy" and she loves it. Every time he comes by she smiles and does a little dance. It's incredibly cute.
Snapshot number two: I've Got Friends In High Places.
I've been working over at the archives for the past few days. And first of all, though this is not at all related to the story I'm about to tell, it is FREEZING COLD in there. Wouldn't you know it. I end up working in the only air-conditioned archive in Latin America, and they keep it around 66 degrees. No, I'm not exaggerating, Mom. I checked the thermometer on the A/C box. And this after I sweat my brains out walking over there in the first place. Brrrrrrrr. Back to the original story, now. So over the past few days of work, I've found a lot of cool resources there, and I wanted to make some photocopies. Simple, right?
I spoke with the Director of the Institute, and she explained to me that while there are a few limited items that I'm allowed to make photocopies of for about 5 cents a page, the majority of things I'm going to have to request digital pictures at $3.00 an image. THREE DOLLARS. AN IMAGE. It seemed so ludicrous that at first I kind of laughed like she'd told me a joke. It was not a joke. $3 an image. So I explained to her that I'm a poor student, and I needed hundreds of pages copied, and I have my own camera, couldn't I just pay a donation to the archive and then take my own pictures? In no way was she moved by my plea, and I began to give up hope. Then Yolanda came to my rescue.
Yolanda is great. Yolanda works at the reception desk where all copy requests are routed either to Xerox or Digital Imaging. Yolanda loves crossword puzzles. Coincidentally, I happen to love crossword puzzles. On my first day there, I came across Yolanda struggling with some answers to an entertainment-themed puzzle. US actress ___ Hatcher? Why that's Teri! British actress ____ Thompson? Why, that's Emma! I solved about 5 or 6 questions for her, and now Yolanda loves me. So when I came up this afternoon with my piles of books and papers and a tale of woe, Yolanda quietly filled out Xerox on the forms and sent them on their way. Tomorrow I'm bringing her chocolate.
Snapshot number three: Pitaya.
I've discovered the most beautiful fruit in the world. It's called pitaya, and it's purple. I'll take a picture and post it up later. Mmmmm, purple fruit, how I love thee...