I have expected the men who were so interested in my veggie oil truck to show up as I filter. And maybe my friend Elsa, as it should be my last day here.
But instead, four or five young womyn approach the truck from the puebla road at the same time an older womyn comes towards me from the opposite side of the beach. They both arrive at the truck at the same time.
The older womon is rapidly rattling off something to me and motioning down to the far ends of the beach. The girls are laughing out loud and I can’t understand what anyone is saying.
The older womon doesn’t stop screeching really, except momentarily looking surprised when I say to her in Spanish “despacio por favor; tal vez puedo comprendar si ud. hables lentamente.” which I think is please slow down, maybe I can understand you if you speak slowly.
She continues what I now think is some kind of diatribe, as the girls are holding their sides laughing.
I tell the girls – and the womon – that I am filtering veggie oil for my truck. They want to know where I am from, why veggie oil, and who is this senora talking with me? We can barely hear each other.
The girls point back toward the town and ask me something in Spanish that I agree to, and they happily leave. I think they’ve asked me to come eat with them at a restaurant they’ve pointed to. The old womon continues to talk randomly as far as I can tell, and then she leaves.
I open the 2 big-mouthed containers that I picked up from Pati, Sandra’s friend. I figure if I empty these, I can just easily dump the containers that are too small for the nozzle into these buckets.
I change the filter and start pumping again. I haven’t filtered these buckets at all. Almost immediately, the new filter clogs. I open it up and this time, there are globs of fat stuck to the filter, and at the other end, the nozzle.
I switch nozzles and use the flat nozzle to suck off the oil from the top of the bucket. About ½ of the way down, the thick globs of fat become visible so I stop filtering that bucket and move on to the next one. This one I can filter down about 2/3’s of the way before thick grease becomes noticeable.
I probably have gotten maybe 3 gallons from these containers – disappointing. And I have to change the filter yet again and for the last time.
I filter the last of the other containers of oil through the paper filter first so I can make the last big filter last. I have 2 more full containers that look pretty good and filter easily.
I tackle the last of the oils left, putting everything usable into one container but I can only pump about half a container before the filter clogs again.
Time to clean up. Just as I’m almost done putting things away, the girls come back. I tell them what I hope is ‘almost finished’ – casi fino, casi termandando. They take pictures and talk with me about the truck and what it means.
I ask them to speak slowly so I can almost understand. They want to know about monsanto and they love womyn growing peace and arriba mujeres. They take many pictures of those sides.
And of course they want to know if I am sola, no esposo, and am I a tourist on vacation, where I sleep, what I eat. They are from Guasave, the city I skipped going thru to avoid the tolls.
They ask about my hair and we continue to talk about war. They say they are for peace. I give them each CodePINK buttons and they seem really happy. They keep taking pictures and smiling. I am filthy from filtering all day but what the hell, I’m working.
I tell them I’m sorry I didn’t join them but I wasn’t finished filtering. They are happy with their buttons and pictures so off they go – and I realize I’m not going to leave today but first thing in the morning!
I finish putting everything away, wash up, make myself lunch of avocado, lime, garlic, and jalpenas, and study a little Spanish.
Then it’s off to the internet ‘café’ to blog!