And I never lost one minute of sleeping, worrying about the way things might have been"
-Tina Turner, "Proud Mary"
Today was my day off. I didn't get out of bed until noon, and then I made my own lunch because the fam was out, and then I got back into bed. That was sooooo nice.
When the flies started to get riled up by the mid-afternoon heat, I got back out of bed and did some sketching. Then I discovered that my scalp is peeling from my sunburn last week, and decided to go running. I found a path to the ocean, and got to see some cattle.
I 'get' cows, and I miss being around them. They're a lot more straightforward than horses are, I think, and lot more trusting. Horses are sneaky and conniving. They'll do things like fall over while you're riding them.
I'm not sure if I mentioned this already, but this area reminds me of home. There are dirt roads in every direction, except for the highway to the city, and homes only every quarter- or half-mile. Wire and wooden fences line the roads, and every ranch, or chacra, has a cute name like 'Campo Chico' (Little Field) or 'Las Dos Marias' (The Two Marys--not really sure what that's about).
When I got back, I showered quickly and then headed up to the stables. Marcelo had invited me to drink mate with him and the other stable hands, and I figured it would be good for me to take him up on it. We sat there and talked a little (he knows zero English, and I have a tough time understanding his Spanish) and got the horses ready for the family to go down to the beach after the sun had gone down. Juan and Karina showed up and asked me about education in America and things like that. I stayed with them for a couple of hours, until the mate was gone and the sun had long since set.
They know I get bored sometimes, and I think they also recognize that I'm in a tough place here: I'm not one of the family, but I do live right off the house in my own room, which is a step up from their shared quarters to the side of the barn. I really appreciate that they're trying to make me feel at home. It's a great opportunity for me to improve my Spanish and also get to know this culture better. I'm drinking mate, so that's a step forward for me, and I think the next step is to get a pair of alpargatas.
Do I know what my Christmas plans are yet? Nope, not a clue. Will they include the beach? I hope so. I needs to get my tan on. For the fourth day this week. Best possible Christmas gift to myself is a golden glow.