Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blog, Santiago is a Cabecar Indigenous man who stays with our caretaker family. I asked him if he spoke Cabecar and he said just the basic language. You are required to speak Spanish to attend school, so his parents insisted they speak Spanish only.

We first met Santiago when he would hike up through our farm to teach the Cabecar children. You must be Cabecar to teach the Cabecar by law. Which brings us to the question of how many educated Cabecar teachers are there? Good question, I have never met one. Santiago has a hard time getting paid for teaching. It is often 3 and 4 months with no pay and it is of course low pay. Santiago teaches with few or no supplies, his salary does not support him, when and if he gets it. He uses a machete to chop pasture when work is available. Santiago always stays busy here. Today he was working in the green house garden pulling weeks and staking tomatoes.

Santiago has taken on the job of making the dog food and feeding the 8 or 9 dogs that claim us. Thankfully we have not had any new volunteer dogs in a while. We bake and then boil soup bones with veggies and rice to make dog soup or Sopa de Perro. Our dogs have a good life, they are safe, fed, free range the farm, swim in the streams and rivers, go to work with our men and play, romp and rest while the men work. Perla is head dog, Thank God all of the others submit to her. We were worried about blood shed, but she did her thing and they all smartly rolled over. Jack, being a guy, has no problems with Perla. Chika has amnesty for some reason. Bubba is Perla’s dog child and she puts up with him no matter what. He is so sweet, with high energy he will run right over the top of her and not get bit. It’s a miracle.

Perla has taken a shine to Santiago, perhaps because he is the keeper of the bones. She was extremely abused and has bad reflective moments. We are kind to her, talk soft and lovingly, and only touch her head when she presents it. Never yell at Perla, no no, not good, she has very big white teeth and she is not smiling at that moment. Perla does smile when she is happy.

Our dogs have the best life. They free range the farm, swim and play in the stream at will during the day. The chickens are protected by an electric chicken fence, the dogs learned that lesson quickly.

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