Sunday, 25 May 2014

Work and Play

Well ... really Larry and the workers in the Baja Naval yard here are doing all the work ... and I get to play!

In the class with new pink shoes
I joined the Gym on first arrival here two weeks ago. I thought I'd just be using the treadmill. However, the treadmill looked over at the Zumba class (see photo). This elicited an unusual response ... a response which has been rarely catered to ... I felt like dancing! Dancing was not a feature of the Mennonite culture with which I grew up. So it's been a LOT of fun to venture into this new area. It's a struggle to domesticate my two left feet and get them to co-ordinate with the arms to get something that approximates what the teacher is doing. Having a sense of rhythm and a desire to learn helps.

Soledad, myself, Miravel, Olivia, Sylvia and our teacher Annette
'Chola' - Soledad
Dolores at work with her dog 'Baby Stevens'
The other women in the class befriended me ... Soledad has driven me around, I was invited to the home of one, and out for desayuno (breakfast) with the 'gang'. I've seen many family photos and been given free rust remover (vital for a yacht with lots of stainless steel) by a woman who runs a chemicals factory with her husband and dog! Some women in the class (along with our teacher, Annette) form a dance troupe and sport outrageous costumes for the local Carnival. If I can get a photo you'll see it in the next Blog. They speak in rapid Spanish and I usually have a vague idea of what is going on  but not enough to actually write any of their life secrets here.

Yahaira Nava Moràn
I've been encouraged to take further Spanish lessons by Larry (who is quite fluent). No immersion course was available so I ended up at the Instituto Mendoza. Señor Mendoza suggested that his assistant, Señorita Yahaira take me on as a private student for 5 hours a week. She is an unusually beautiful young woman (aged 22) who has training as an interpreter for Spanish, French, German and English. It was her first attempt at teaching, but she is terrific at it and I fancy it to be an opportunity which we both cherish. At the moment I am making my way through the Preterito Simple  and the Preterito Imperfecto. I have  some hope that THIS time I will actually master them.

Metal repair on the bottom 
Spraying primer paint
After an entire week when it was too hot and windy to get any work done, the weather has turned into what the 'locals' consider to be 'typical' weather. It's no longer hot and dusty,  there are nice chill breezes at night and there's no rain so the work has been going smoothly. We haven't had to move off the boat as yet because the paint used as 'primer' dries quickly so is not vulnerable. The workers are pleasant, committed and hard-working ... hours are 6 days a week, leaving at 2pm on Saturdays. There is a good concern here with worker health and the Yard is kept very clean.

However, we are aching to get back on the water. We've discovered that you can actually get tired of eating out and we even miss doing dishes!

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