This morning, I decided to walk to Maxi Pali (grocery store) and back. Normally I take a return taxi because I'll have bags of groceries. Today I just wanted to use the ATM and pick up a couple of items so figured I could walk back home.
Maxi Pali is 2.6 km from our house and it's downhill all the way. That means, of course, that it is 2.6 km back to our house and uphill all the way so I knew what I was getting into.
Donned my beautiful backpack, a present from my friend and neighbor, Sharon, and away I went.
|This is all hand embroidered.|
It was a beautiful morning - sunny and with a breeze blowing. I don't know how long the walk took me. I don't go very fast because the sidewalks are uneven. Lots of people were out and about.
Used the ATM and bought the few items I wanted, including a cold bottle of water for the trek back. My backpack was perfect for this ... it held all that I bought and it was comfortable to wear. About a third of the way home, I was starting to feel the uphill strain. Stopped to rest a couple of times in the shade. The sun this close to the equator can feel very hot even if the ambient temperature is quite comfortable. I hate wearing hats but never go out without sunglasses.
Coming my way was a gentleman I have met and seen many times in Atenas, so I guess he was on his way there from his home. We talked about the weather and, as usual, he had things to sell. Today he had bottles of miel (honey) but they were too big for what we need. Instead I bought a bag of jocotes. The bag even included a smaller bag of salt.
The jocote is a flowering plant in the cashew family. It's widely cultivated in tropical regions throughout the world. The fruits are eaten ripe, with or without the skin. They can be dipped in salt, vinegar or lime juice - hence the little bag of included salt.
One time I was sitting in the Atenas medical clinic and this same gentleman walked by and patted me on the head! What made me feel so good about today's encounter was the fact I was able to understand a lot of what he was saying and respond in kind. I can now hear separate words, know what they mean, and have my answer almost immediately .... at least today. This doesn't happen all the time. When we first moved here, it was just long strings of sounds and, believe me, this still happens.
I find the hardest part of my walk back home is the last push on the last hill. Finally made it and headed right to the shower for a welcome cold water cool down.
I took an Aleve ..... just in case!