Javier called today while I was elbow deep in sauerkraut. I had hoped to spend the rest of the day making apple and pear sauce, and though I could not understand everything he said on the phone, I understood that he was leaving tomorrow. I invited him for dinner, and he understood when I told him I had no cerveza, and I understood when he pleaded for cerveza and another phone calling card so he could call his parents.
So, the applesauce had to wait, and I went to town, before and after looking and looking for the dumb bull who broke out of his pen, and now has crossed the river.
The amazingly, stunning drive to pick up Javier was now dotted with fancy trailers, tents, four-wheelers and barbecues; as hunting season starts tomorrow. They have no idea what it really takes to live and survive where they are camping. Javier knows.
Yesterday the patron came and moved Javier’s trailer back to the sheep pens, as tomorrow all the sheep and the trailer will go to Ridgeway, several hours away. The weather is not as harsh, but still brutal for most of us, as he will be there until mid December, then either to the rancho in Montrose or to Farmington, NM.
I arrived at 6 and he was feeding the little puppy from his livestock dogs. He had told me when we first met that the other puppies she had died because it was too cold for them, and this was the only puppy which survived. Tonight I find out the actual truth about what happens to the puppies.
It is such a darling male, and Javier says he grows so fast because it has all the mama’s milk, and now eats solid food as well. He tells me that Edgar leaves tomorrow for Peru, and there is a new Peruvian taking his place, which will be a shock. The boss describes Estados Unidos as mucho musica, mucho amigos, muchas comida… which actually, all that is muchas caca.
They are in for a shock.
But there are still three sheep herders in a “sort of” close proximity (miles on foot or horseback) to Javier, and one of these friends of his has just had puppies from his herding dogs, 7 puppies. Javier saw them today because he had to ride over there, to call me, as Javier has lost his cell phone.
Cell phones are very sporadic up here in the mountains, and we have no reception at our farm. Javier was trying to tell me what happened to his cell phone, as there was some sort of panic with the sheep last week, and he showed me his back pack which was all torn up, and described his cell phone falling out of his pocket. I never understood what the panic was, but at least he was able to use his friends phone to call me this morning.
His friend was distraught about the puppies, as he knows what will happen tomorrow when el patron comes. El Patron will drown all but one puppy, because he says the food is too expensive. El patron does not want to fix any of the dogs, because the puppies he allows to live will be replacement dogs, as these livestock dogs do face coyotes, bears and lions and don’t always win the fight.
Now I know what really happened to Javier’s puppies, they did not die of cold, Javier said his patron drowned them.
Javier still has not been paid, for several months now. The only nice patron he had, has tragically moved to Denver for two months because his 7 year old daughter has cancer. Now Javier is stuck with the old, malo patron and the other brother to the nice patron, who is pure evil like his father.
Yesterday when the old patron came to move Javier’s trailer to get ready for shipping the sheep tomorrow, he gave more sheep medicine. Javier is alarmed as to how much medicine they have to give the sheep. The patron tubed something down the throat of one ewe, she struggled and choked, he cussed up a storm, and he kicked her to death.
I pretty much hate this man, but Javier won’t let me come tomorrow and rip his head off, as he is afraid of what patron will do.
Javier got scammed almost three years ago, in being told that this job was more of a veterinarian job in the US, and he has to stay the full three years to get his documentation which will help him get his final certificate to be a veterinarian in Peru. He has to stay here another 7 months.
He told me at dinner that he has finished all the University requirements to be a vet, but needs this documentation and then will have to take some more exams when he gets home.
He told me of his heartbreak, that his dear novia (girlfriend) found another novio and moved to Spain, which broke his heart and so he took the opportunity to the US, “no mas novias!” His family looks very forward to his return in 7 months, and he told me of his lovely home he still owns. He says his brothers are engineers and doctors, but his sisters do not have an education, as women are to be wives only.
So now, he will be able to use his friends cell phone tomorrow to call his family again, but after that I don’t know what will happen, as I certainly doubt the patron will get him another cell phone. Javier says that in Ridgeway and in Farmington, there are no sheepherders or friends, but that he did meet another peruvian there who he might be able to contact. He speaks english and can call me to at least let me know where Javier is.
I took a picture of his stove inside his trailer, which he has no refrigerator or bathroom… He showed me his battery lantern, which has been out of battery for a couple of weeks. When it gets dark here, about 6:30, it is mighty dark all night. Hopefully patron will bring him some batteries and some food tomorrow.
Via con dios, Javier.