Sunday, January 22, 2012

milk pick up

my father and two sister-in-laws live in the campo. basically, they don't live in the city. i mean, it's more complicated than that, but the campo is rural - which, for me, is anything not in a big, dominican city. 
my sister-in-law has a butcher shop in her house. and a colmado, a kind of everything you need corner-store, where the neighbors hang out and dance merengue. 

it's a nice place to visit, but i wouldn't want to live there. i mean, there's running water and electricity (i know, tecnologia que se entro, mariposa! wao!) but it's cold-as-ice water straight from the river except at 3pm when it's  kind of bearable. and well, the cooking on a fire thing scares me (because there is a gas-stove, but fire-food is so much better.)

my father-in-law works a lot. life in the campo is tougher, and agriculture is just plain not easy. there are a number of cows in the family and my father-in-law is their keeper. every morning he wakes up, gets them from their pasture, brings them to a little shed, milks them and then spends the day caring for them. he's got a little conuco, a garden of sorts for root vegetables like yuca and potatoes and there are chickens running around like they own the place (they kind of do).

i worry about how much work he does - and that he hesitates to share his responsibilities with others. and i get pissed off about it often (he's been to visit us in the city four times in my seven years in  the country), and he knows that. so, i asked him about the milk he's been selling - you know, the basics, how many calves are there, how many bulls, how many bottles of milk is he getting a day and, being nosy, who's been picking it up since the old pick-up-guy moved to the capital.

he tells me, oh, don't worry - the new guy is great, he brings a jeepeta, around every morning (referring to an SUV or pickup truck). i was excited. it would make life easier for everyone. 

imagine my surprise when the milk is measured out and a donkey comes strolling up the path, laden with two huge milk containers. i call my FIL, "ey, papi! i thought you  said a jeepeta was coming?"

he looks at me, then looks at the burro and tells me, oh! his name is jeepeta!


Erin said...


Mariposa said...

ahi ombe que lindo, "the burros name is jeepeta"


Jennifer said...

adm that's hilrious! I wouldn't have been able to stop laughing if I was there!