Up on the rooftop

1 Oct

I accidentally posted this to the wrong blog a week ago and am reposting here to reach the right audience…

We’re a little jumpy tonight. Vicki’s phone lost all her contacts and such and quit working. Upon examination, I found it had no SIM card. It was in her hand most of the afternoon, and we were incredulous that someone could have removed the SIM card without our notice (and furthermore why wouldn’t they just take the phone?) In the middle of this crisis, we heard sounds coming from outside nearby.

There is always some street noise but here at the back of our fourth floor apartment we heard sounds of clanging metal, like a gate opening or… LADDERS! (think The Two Towers) The nearby rooftop dogs were all barking and I was a little worried about someone trying to break into the 3rd floor, which is accessible, albeit with some effort and danger, from a neighboring rooftop. After I listened a bit more, I realized the noise was not coming from below, but from ABOVE, so I set out for the roof with my mega LED flashlight that I brought from the States. The owners’ little dog, who lives up there, started barking at me. I had a look around by moonlight and saw no ladders or other activity around us, but I thought I saw light coming from a door in the little corner shed that belongs to the owners. As I was about to go back down, a man in pajamas walked out. We had seen him before and thought he was a service technician. Quick switch to Spanish. “Vive aquí?” I asked–do you live here? “Sí! Soy el cuñado de Juan.” Lucky for me, I had learned cuñado just today during our practice time. It means brother-in-law, and Juan is our landlord. Thankfully we had indeed seen him there before with Juan, so we were very relieved, although quite surprised to learn of our rooftop tenant!

When I arrived back on the fourth floor, Vicki had stumbled across another identical phone which turned out to be hers. Most likely Daniel put his phone, which does not yet have a SIM, in our room for some reason without telling us. Mystery solved. By the way, Daniel needs a phone. Today I was downtown signing papers at the bank and had to call for a taxi for Vicki to bring her also to sign. This left the kids at home alone just in time for the man delivering the water filter to arrive. He rang the bell but the kids didn’t buzz him in (as instructed) so the man called my phone. I said “un momento” so I could look for an interpreter but he thought I was coming down to open the gate so he hung up. I realized the predicament. The filter is at our apartment, but we have no way to communicate with the kids to let him in. And even if they did, the money for the filter is with me at the bank. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve been in these little panics since our arrival. Thus far, friends have always bailed us out. Here again, in God’s Providence, the store where I bought the filter was only half a block down from the bank. Steve, who was also at the bank, had left to get copies and I couldn’t leave our stuff. Fortunately, just after I got the call from the delivery man, Vicki walked into the bank from the taxi. She sat and watched our stuff while I ran down the street and spoke in frantic, horrible Spanish to the delightful young lady who had sold me the filter. Could she phone the delivery man and I could pay her at the store? Then I called our friend David who lives in the same neighborhood. Fortunately he was available to go meet the delivery man and speak in English to Daniel via the intercom to let them both in. And in perfect Peruvian style, when Vicki and I arrived at the notary to sign the papers, we learned that the notary had left early today for classes so Vicki’s frantic trip to the bank and my frantic arrangements with the delivery man were completely unnecessary. The little hair I have left will soon be gone, no doubt.

Still, it was a great day because we got two things done: bank account and water filter. We were hoping for a miraculous triple, which would have included exchanging Anna’s sheets and comforter for the correct size, but alas, the twin size had not been restocked as we were told it would be. Some people in our family are getting tired of walking up the hill with a comforter every day to hopefully exchange it, but we need the exercise and I’m too cheap to spend money on equally cheap taxis when a 15 min walk will do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: