About 3 days ago I played guitar for about 20 minutes with a guy who opened with a group for CSN about 30 years ago. By my calculations I played indirectly with CSN for about .0055 seconds (20 minutes ÷ 3 Days ÷ 20 years ÷ 4 Band members = .0055 Seconds), so that makes me kind of a big deal. We switched off playing songs for the group and then the giant Dominican speakers came out blasting Merengue Tipico for the next couple hours and my moment of glory was over. I was up in a campo for the past week working at a free clinic that a group of doctors from the states puts on every few months, it was a very rural area but people were coming from miles around to get the free medical coverage. I was translating in pediatrics and the doctor was so friendly that she let me tag along and explained everything she was doing. She let me hang out for the lab stuff too; we looked at poop from a diaper under a microscope to look for worms. Even though there were no worms to be found it was still pretty cool, though stinky. The campo was beautiful and I felt bad being a Peace Corps volunteer that was getting the nicest place to stay of everyone, but not that bad. I had one hot shower (and several cold ones), a toilet and Internet access while the Doctors and translators where using latrines in houses without electricity. I was essentially living the campo life of a millionaire.
The night before the clinic started I stayed with a couple volunteers in Santiago at a cheap hotel that over the past few months has become considerably cheaper, and not in price. I had never really seen a transvestite hooker up close before and last Saturday night I saw enough to last me a lifetime. I am not sure if the bar across the street from the hotel was having a special Transvestite hooker night or if it was just becoming a fad in Santiago that I had not known about, either way there was a lot of them coming outside and standing around. I am not usually quick to call every transvestite I see a prostitute but in this case it was clear because they were going up to cars and entering the hotel accompanied by men with poor vision. The female volunteer who was with me noted that she was probably the only girl in the hotel who was paying to sleep instead of being paid. I wondered if she was the only girl in the hotel who wasn’t a boy. Transvestite hookers or not, the hotel had free wi-fi in the lobby so I can’t complain, especially because it was only four dollars per person for the night.
I was out of my site for four days, which would normally stress me out because I would have to leave Lobo and my house to the punk kid who always takes my things and doesn’t really take care of Lobo, but this time, thanks to Chris, Charlotte and my mom I had some bargaining tools to arrange something better. They all gave me their old cell phones from the states that are pretty much worthless up there, but down here are worth hundreds (of pesos). So I traded my mom’s old cell phone with my neighbor in exchange for him watching Lobo. He lives tucked away from the street so we could set up Lobo and his cage outside (He promised to take care of Lobo as he would his own son and if it rained he would bring him in and feed him rice and beans, after all, it was a Motorola Razor Phone). It’s funny because he uses my mom’s old phone (which don’t worry I deleted all the contacts) but hasn’t changed the background picture of Tye and Newton (our old Dogs). I think he has mistaken them for small lions or bears. Having him watch Lobo was awesome because when I came home this time there was no pee in the house (sadly, about an hour later Lobo marked the kitchen as his territory all over again) and nobody took any of my stuff. I think the rats are dead, I put the poison out and I think they took the bait.