Dec 16, 2013

Special Saturday and happy hearts

It all started with the observation of a family, walking back and forth along the beach several times a day usually carrying heavy bags of food and sometimes water.  This family lives a long way down the beach, over a mile or more.  It is the furthest point on our daily walk and that is enough for me to walk never mind carrying my groceries.  We were chatting with some neighbors here at the RV Park and discussing their difficult life.  They had found a place to live on the beach, an old deserted restaurant, away from the crowded and noisy conditions in the colonia but were very far from everything.  Bob suddenly said “what they need is some transportation, maybe a bike” !

Suddenly the solution became clear. We had 2 bikes just sitting in our storage area here on the Isla. Colin and I discussed it and decided that we would unlikely ride them down here. I just don't want to chance falling and damaging my hips. So Colin & Bob brought the bikes back here to the RV Park.

Bob spend hours taking everything apart and re greasing, re lubricating and checking both bikes over in great detail.

Our neighbor John also helped and provided 2 bikes locks. He and Bob went into town to buy new bike seats and new baskets. I can't say how many hours went into the project but it was done with love.

When the bikes were ready ( including a coat of clear lacquer to prevent rusting ) I contacted the family to arrange a visit to their casa ( home ).  This was no easy feat as I had to wait and watch for one of them to be walking down the beach.  Finally arrangements were made.  All the family knew is that we wanted to come to their casa to bring them a gift.  They are simple folks and we didn’t want to insult or offend them but we really wanted to help this family.  It took weeks before they would look at us as we walked the beach and simply nod their heads to us.  I finally made a breakthrough with the matriach one day when she stopped to admire my flowers.  For the delivery of the bikes we asked a couple who live on the Isla to come with us.  Alexis speaks better Spanish then we do and we just wanted to be sure everything went smoothly.

Ernie & Alexis led the way down the farm road with our bikes in the back of their trailer.

All 7 of the family members were gathered waiting for us. We were not invited into their casa area but made the presentation next to our 2 vehicles. They did offer us coconut water to drink but we declined.

Bob did his best to explain the gears and some of them seemed to grab the concept. Alexis did a great job translating words like gears, etc.

Marjorie and I just stood back and watched. She and Bob came up with the idea to color coordinate each lock with the respective keys and put them on a lanyard to wear around their necks. A second set of keys is to left in the casa just in case. We tried to think of everything to make this gift a long lasting one.

Mamma was very happy for her family. The bikes will make a huge difference in their daily lives.

The entire family is here from the patriarch to the tiny 4 year who was too shy to face the camera.

We all felt so good to have been able to do this. Nice to have a home for our bikes.

Later just before sunset the one who is the fisherman peddled past on his way to work.  He works all night fishing for Sierra from one of the tiny pangas.  We see him  walking back about 7:30AM.  He says it is very cold out there at night.  What a long shift!  He always comes back carrying fish for the family.  He was smiling and waving.  We just made his life that much easier.

Later the next morning we saw 2 of the girls on the beach coming back from the tienda ( store ) with packages in the baskets. It wasn't an easy peddle as the tide was in and the sand was soft but they were doing it and they smiled an waved to us.

Sunday afternoon we saw our fisherman go back up the beach with a bundle in the basket, his 4 year daughter sitting on the bar in front of him and his tiny wife sitting on the back rack on top of the back fender.  You can’t see the smile on his face in the photo but it was huge.  Those of us involved in this project had reciprocating smiles and full hearts.  How great it is to see this family so happy and to know we made a difference.  Of course now we all all taking about bringing more bikes next year.

There was more to our Saturday. We had guests over for sunset.

We had Evelyn and Lynne for dinner, in the end it was pot luck and very good.

Evelyn is married but her husband is working at home in Colorado so she and her dog Molly hit the road seeking sun and heat.  She writes a blog and her and Steve have shipped their RV to Europe and travelled extensively there as well as Mexico.  This is Lynne’s first trip to Mexico and so far she loves it.  She travels with her dog Millie and loves to boondock.  You can find her blog here.  Of course they are here on the Isla because of my blog.

We have a lot of catching up to do. Initially they were coming here for a week or so, now they plan to stay a month. Perhaps they will stay longer!

We listened to Colin play for a while but got back to talking while he played for us. Thanks for the photo Evelyn.

Caeli was inside in bed but Carmeh is a true camper at heart.

Sunday was supposed to be a quiet day but it ended rather busy with visitors and such.  One of the fun things was giving Lynne & Evelyn a tour of the Isla.  We saw lots of neat things and you will have to check their blogs for the photos as I had not brought my camera.  It was also a very sad day for me as Mom would have turned 82 on Sunday.  Her birthday was always the start of Christmas for our family.  We all miss her so much.




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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Special Saturday and happy hearts”

  1. Janet Ashworth says:

    A wonderful post.
    Christmas, as it should be.

  2. Sandie says:

    How exciting. I love hearing what a wonderful thing you did for those folks. I have a bike here that I wish I could give you to take down. But I’m sure I can find someone here who can use it also. Good idea.

    our girls are both scared of the campfires so both would be inside.

  3. It is so rewarding to help some of the local people there. A job well done.

  4. Mariln says:

    Great job helping out the local people that work so hard just to exist!!!!

  5. Rod Williams says:

    What a wonderful gift. Good for you!

  6. Evelyn says:

    So many of us have old unused bikes in our garage and sheds and have never thought of how useful they can be to someone who needs them for more than recreation. Great gift!

  7. Connie in PA says:

    What a heart warming blog today, Contessa! Thanks to all who helped in this project! Reading it brought tears to my eyes! Bless you all! I am proud of what what you and your friends did for this family!!!!!!!! Hugs!!!!!

  8. Linda & Russell says:

    Great job from all Santa’s elves…and a heartwarming story! So glad you were able to help the family and they seem thrilled.

  9. chris says:

    Helping people to help themselves. My kind of giving. Good job you guys!

  10. Sandi, Tony and ivy says:

    Such a wonderful idea and perfect act of giving from the heart (many hearts) for this Holiday season.
    Well done, everyone! Great pic’s and follow up info too…

  11. longdog2 says:

    Great way to celebrate the meaning of Christmas!ye5e

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