In The Jungle
Somehow, even with all of that, we managed to wrap up for the season and make our way down to Mexico.
Our little village was hit hard by a hurricane about three weeks ago. The torrential rains sent a flood of water down from the mountains and inundated the town, the homes, the farmlands, the military base.
"Well, I have good news and bad news," announced Mayor Dave, our resident gringo pal who was offering the second floor of his new residence for our stay this time. He had come to pick us up at the airport.
"What's the bad news?"
"You know how everything was flooded, right? All the cars, too. I got the van cleaned out but something's wrong with the transmission and I only have first and second gear."
"That's okay. We'll just baby her along back to town."
"I don't know," Mayor Dave said slowly. "She may not make it. I do have a call into my buddy who's on standby to tow us back if necessary..."
"So, what's the good news?"
"You're in Mexico, man!"
Dave's residence is in the jungle behind the military base. A 2-story castle amidst little palm-thatched huts. His friend built the house but he's only in Mexico a few times a year, so Dave has the whole place to himself the rest of the time.
"This is sort of a slum area," he told us as we coaxed his van through the swampy streets to his house. "The ones who can't afford to live in or near town are here. I guess Eric was able to buy his property dirt cheap. When the floods came, I invited all the neighbors to stay here and I had 19 people living upstairs.....and no running water!"
"Eeeewww." Big Dog and I imagined 20 people and a Rottweiler trapped without flushing toilets. We remembered the Philippines where everyone had a giant plastic bin filled with water. There, too, water was pumped up by electricity so they needed to be prepared for their many blackouts. No one does that here in Mexico. Are they that much more optimistic?
Neighbor cleaning up
The roads are swamps that invite herons and other birds in the afternoon. Frog songs, punctuated by gecko cries, lull me to sleep at night. In the morning, steam rises from the coconut groves outside my bedroom window, as goatherds walk their goats through the greenery. The sewage smell that was overpowering the first night has gotten better day by day. I'm beginning to like this life in the jungle.