Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ladder Climbing Dog

For those of you who wonder what my "normal," "day-to-day" life is like in Iquitos, here's a glimpse into my morning so far:

The municipality contacted me to tell me that the trees growing inside El Jardin are hanging over the wall on the street side, making a nice, shady canopy for those traversing the sidewalk. The problem is, they are also sitting on power lines. Obviously, because the trees originate on the Jardin property, it is our responsibility to cut them. And if we don't do so immediately we will be facing a fine and still have the responsibility to cut them. Now, that all makes perfect sense and I don't disagree - except for the fact that the previous time this happened, the municipality took care of the tree trimming because of the danger in working around the power lines. (Thus the reason I have not arranged for them to be cut; naturally I assumed it would be taken care of once again.) When I tried to explain that to the man he assured me that such a thing had NEVER happened because they do not operate that way (so now I'm crazy - which might be a legit point - and I imagined the trees being cut along with the conversation that lead to them being cut by someone that I did not hire to do so).

Anyway, rather than argue with the guy over the municipality's 'rules' (subject to change depending on who you talk to), Villa and I started scrambling to find a tree trimmer. So we find one, negotiate a price with him, and get him started working, because I sure don't want to pay a fine (which would be some ridiculous, arbitrary amount based on what someone thinks this white girl is worth). Now the tree guy is busy hacking away at branches with his machete, Villa is supervising (of course), and I sit down in front of my computer to begin catching up on the emails I was not able to send/answer yesterday due to a 5 hour power outage (a regular occurrence these days).

I'm reading and typing when something in my peripheral vision gets my attention; I turn my head to the left to see Dolly's front legs stretched out so that her paws just reach the fourth step of the tree cutter's ladder, one hind leg is extended, barely touching the first rung, and the other hind leg is firmly planted on the second step as she continues to climb in pursuit of the man and his falling branches. With visions of a broken spine and imminent euthanasia resulting from less than adequate ladder scaling skills, rather than run for my camera, I ran for the dog. With all four of her feet planted safely on solid ground again, I almost wish I'd grabbed the camera first so that you skeptics would believe this actually happened (anyone who has met Dolly does not doubt the veracity of this story).

Just another "typical" day in the jungle. Now back to work...

Recommended Reading

  • The Bible
  • Serving with Eyes Wide Open - Doing Short Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence - David A. Livermore
  • Cross-Cultural Servanthood - Serving the World in Christlike Humility - Duane Elmer
  • Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) - Robert D. Lupton
  • When Helping Hurts-Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself - Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
  • Shadow of the Almighty - Elizabeth Elliot
  • Messy Spirituality - Michael Yaconelli
  • The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne
  • Peace Child - Don Richardson
  • If God Should Choose - Kristen Stagg
  • In the Presence of My Enemies - Gracia Burnham
  • Inside Afghanistan - John Weaver
  • Same Kind of Different as Me - Ron Hall and Denver Moore
  • Through Gates of Splendor - Elizabeth Elliot
  • End of the Spear - Steve Saint