Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rats, begone!

This morning Higinia - my landlord's sister and stand-in - arrived with Rene and Francisco and her son Jonathan in tow to tackle the back door. This has been a door in name only, at the back of the kitchen, locked on our side and up against a plywood wall on the other side. There was a little opening at the top, and we've seen rats escaping through it. I asked Higinia if the opening could be closed up, thinking of something simple like another plywood covering.

Instead they took down the door and the plywood wall on the other side - revealing the rat's nest, which looked just like a rat's nest should, messy. Three rats escaped, but Francisco got one. I hope they're moving to another neighborhood altogether, though that's perhaps just wishful thinking on my part. Meanwhile, I got to see what's on the other side - a long, narrowing corridor that's been usefully converted into two long, narrowing bathrooms. On the other side of the bathrooms is a little restaurant and a beauty salon, and a family lives there as well.

Rene and Francisco and Jonathan built a new wall of concrete block filled with concrete (mixed in the patio), closed up the wall, leveled the floor which used to have a 8-inch dropoff in front of the door, cleaned up and left, promising to return to give the new wall a finish coat and paint in January.

While all this was going on, two of Rene's daughters and an almost-a-year-old grandson came by and talked and checked out the work - like everything else here, building this wall was a family affair. It's one of the things I love about El Salvador.

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