Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm taking 20,000 because I might buy a diet Coke.

October 15, 2006   Sunday

I'm taking 20,000 because I might buy a diet Coke.

That is what Judy caught herself saying recently when she left the boat to walk up to the mini-market.  And she didn't even think a thing about saying it.  Just shows how little this money is worth.

Last night we attended a dinner benefiting Fundamigos, an international volunteer organization providing surgeries for cleft palate, facial birth defect, burns, etc.  The cruising community has heavily supported this organization for years.  If you are a cruiser and you don’t do something to support this organization then you would probably be totally ostracized by the rest of the cruisers.  It is just expected that you will donate your time and/or your money to benefit this worthy cause. 

People are making blankets to be used in post-op (and usually taken home by the children).  These children come from families that are so poor that they literally have absolutely nothing, not even a blanket.  There was a bake sale and marine flea market last Saturday with all proceeds going to Fundamigos.  There was a talent night just before we arrived here.  Last night was the annual dinner held at the restaurant here in Bahia Redonda Marina; it raised more than 1,800,000 bolivars (about $700 USD).  There has been a drive to collect toy stuffed animals; so that each surgery patient will be able to have a toy to take home from the hospital. 

Many of the cruisers are also volunteering to work in the operating room, recovery room, janitorial, kitchen, and even entertaining the children pre-op.  The surgeries will take place October 19 through 22.  They do not require any medical training of those people volunteering to work in the operating room or recovery room.  The doctor in charge of this project does insist that those volunteering to work in both the operating room and recovery room must attend several days training at the hospital prior to the surgeries.  Can you imagine this every happening in litigious US!!!!  This year there is supposed to be only one doctor volunteering from the US.  Chavez has said that he does not welcome any US doctors into the country for this project this year; but one doctor is coming anyway.  Usually there are 15-20 doctors from the US for these annual surgeries.  What an idiot to prevent his own countrymen from benefiting from free medical care that they cannot obtain without the benevolence of international volunteer doctors, including those from the US.

We still hope to leave as soon as our boat parts arrive (assuming they EVER arrive), so Judy has not volunteered her time for the surgeries.  But we did participate in the bake sale, dinner and toy drive.  Fundamigos is getting our money rather than our time this year.

Several people have requested that we post some photos of the interior of our boat, so we are uploading a few when we enter this posting to the website.  An explanation or description will accompany each photo rather than explain here.

Yesterday morning we took a taxi to half-dozen chandleries and specialty stores looking for various boat related items.  Found about half of what we wanted.  Tony on S/V World Citizen tagged along with us, and he also found only about half of what he wanted.  Yesterday afternoon we took the dinghy to the mall at the back of the lagoon/canals; Tony and Heidi went with us.  The Guardacosta was stopping dinghies and checking for proper paperwork near the mall.  We had everything properly with us, but we lucked out anyway.  A couple of rich local kids were zooming around on the canals in large dinghies with 100 hp outboard motors.  They were zigging and zagging at high speeds all over the place and criss-crossed right in front of us, causing water to swamp up into our dinghy by their large wakes.  The Guardacosta was really nice.  They waved us on without checking us, but they stopped the rich kids in their go-fast large dinghies.  These kids looked to be maybe 12-13 years old.  Guess rich kids are the same world-wide.  On our way back a few hours later, these same kids were doing the same thing in another location away from the Guardacosta stop point.  Just taking delight in rocking other people in smaller dinghies and getting them all wet.  Wasn’t that big a deal to us; getting wet feels good and cools you off.

Judy wanted to play dominoes again at the marina bar (regular Sunday afternoon activity here), but instead we were treated to lunch by Tony and Heidi.  We walked to a nearby new restaurant on the lagoon.  We were the only customers in the place at 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon.  The food was excellent.  We plan to spread the word around this marina and maybe help them get a little business.

We were digging around in the storage lockers of the boat again and found another treasure – several yards of both patterns of fabric used for the curtains and throw pillows in the aft cabin and saloon.  Had Judy known we had this fabric, she would have had a reversible duvet made for our bed.  She has been looking for either a duvet or coverlet or some fabric that would coordinate with the colors in our cabin to have a duvet or coverlet custom made, but she hasn’t found any that would work.  There was a woman in Trinidad who made custom bed linens.  Had we found this matching fabric a couple of months ago, we could have had a duvet made.  Too late to do that now.  Maybe eventually Judy will get her old sewing machine aboard and she can make it herself.

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