I walked out into the spongy yard outside the house to get some logs for the fire. Ten days now? Fifteen? Rain. And more rain. Then I walked up to the road to get a bottle of wine we left in the truck on Friday. On Friday, I thought it was June 28th, but then found out it was July 3rd? So that means yesterday was July 4th, but maybe I'm wrong and today it the 4th.
The house stays warm now, except for the spare bedroom...I finished painting the ceiling yesterday, and once again, the paint labeled latex is actually oil-based and stunk so badly I had to paint in five-minute intervals. We set up the rustic bed Ismael made for us, and I tried out the electric drill to make a coat/clothes rack for the wall, set a small table against the opposite wall, and threw a sheep skin on the floor. An old weather-gray ladder leaned against the wall holds the extra blankets for the bed. After I varnish the window panes and door, I'll have one room finished. That's all. One room. I like it so much that if the fumes weren't so bad, I'd be in there writing this, watching the rain out of the window into the forest.
A young sage of the Azul Valley stopped by yesterday to check on the hydro. He had ridden his horse into town the week before instead of driving his truck, and it was a great ride, he said. "The ride made me think...People are so busy these days, hurrying to get everywhere and do so much, they don't have time to think anymore." Yes. Even here. We rush to town, race around trying to catch stores open, pull our money out of an ATM machine, drive around to the post office, the internet. Race home. To be sure, things are slower here...the time it takes for bread to rise, or yogurt to set, or the fire to catch. Stacking wood, clothes drying above the wood stove. But still, we have now filled our lives with movies, music, electric tools. Definitely less time for the mind to contemplate the quietness and roaring sounds of here. With the glorious addition of electricity, I have music on CD's now, instead of the eerie river songs we used to hear.
The ships aren't running from Puerto Montt to Chaiten now. The only way to the north is through Argentina, and even then, the pass is threatened with closure due to snow and bad weather. The only way to get out of Chile from this area now is Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chile and Argentina are in a usual tit-for-tat about Swine Flu...Futa now sporting a flu epidemic and one reported case of Infuenza Porcina. All epidemics and disasters go only one way across the border, depending on which country you ask. A bus coming from Chile to Argentina was attacked a month or so ago by Argentinians who were angry that the bus was carrying a man who reportedly had symptoms of Swine Flu. Argentina claims Chile has more cases than Argentina, and Chile claims that Argentina is under-reporting cases. A young English backpacker succumbed to Hanta Virus several months ago, and each country claims the other was the source.
So while health and natural disaster officials in both countries trade barbs, zingers go back and forth about who has better lifestyles, and countries, we sit happily in our rain-drenched valley, trying to find some balance between old ways, and new ways.