Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Marcos Lobos

Marcos Lobos sells popcorn and cotton candy at all the rodeos in Coto Brus. His wife makes tamales. Marcos rides an old, beat-up motorcycle and has a green helmet. Once I tried to say in Spanish that he is "quite a character", but I made the mistake of calling him a cartoon character (characatura instead of personaje). My mistake was more approriate. His gray hair is alost completley white. He is a small man with a big belly. He smokes cigarettes, and shouts instead of talking. Marcos owns the farm next to us. He doesnt live there; he lives in town.

Today it started raining at 12:23 pm. As soon as it started, I heard the familiar shout/grunt announcing someones presence at the door. I should have realized it was Marcos. Marcos talks fast, and if you dont understand him, instead of slowing down, he just shouts louder. He wanted a break from the rain. We sat on the front porch. I made coffee, and we sat there for an hour and a half playing dominoes. He knew how to play, but I tought him the California way of making points in multiples of 5. He caught on fast. I was surprised at how fast he could count. I still won all the games though.

After playing for a while, we started talking about reforestation. If you havent read or dont remember, Marcos is the man who cut down our one old growth tree. I dont know if it was a joke, or maybe I misunderstood him, but he told me if I wanted to cut down any of his trees because they were too ugly, I could. I didnt really understand. He shouted it at me again. Maybe it was a way of making ammends for what he did, an eye for an eye a tree for a tree. I told him the only thing I was worried about was a porĂ³ tree that is close to falling on our house. He told me I could cut it down. Thanks Marcos.

We kept talking. He liked the idea that we would be rich one day after he died when we harvested the trees we planted. I started to explain that we arent going to harvest them, that we are trying to grow trees to help the environment of the region and the world. I explained the importance of tropical rainforests. He said he understood. But he was concerned about how to make money. He told me he thinks the cooperative is going to fail here, he has no faith in it. He sells popcorn and cotton candy. He said he maid $400 at the last rodeo. That is alot of money here. His rents his farm out to other farmers. The rest of it he lets go to weeds. He wants to sell it. He is asking way too much.

I am starting to like him. Julietta asked me if we smoked "la pipa de paz". "Tal vez," I said, Maybe. When he got up to go, I asked him if he minds riding his motorcylce in the rain. He said he has been doing it his entire life.

Pictures and more "characaturas" to come.


1 comment:

Portia said...

thanks Eliot. I enjoy reading about your experiences. It sounds like you are a good friend to Marcos.