The other day I had to open an office door with a broken lock.  It would not open, so it looked like I would have to take the door apart.  Then one of the other guys had the idea of removing the ceiling tiles of an adjoining room, and shoving someone over the wall who could then open the door.  Made sense.  So we removed the tiles and sure enough, it looked like it would work, provided that someone was small enough.  It was then, My Friend Chequeno came to mind.

I tracked him down and after the usual pleasantries, I told him we needed someone who was not very big to shove over a wall to open a door.  (remember, he is diminutive)

He looked at me, and said, Yes.

This told me he didn’t understand what I was asking.  So, I repeated the request.  Again, he repeated the answer, Yes.

So I said, My Friend, follow me.

I led him to the next building and up the stairs to the adjoining room.  I pointed to the removed ceiling tile and said, My Friend, we need to shove your butt over that wall to unlock the door on the other side.

He hesitantly smiled and said, Ok.

He climbed up a nearby ladder, and before he realized it, several of the other guys pushed his diminutive butt over the wall.  I heard a thud.  After about 5 seconds or so I heard him moving about, and shortly afterwards he opened the locked door.  He seemed to be a little dizzy, but smiling.

After he regained his senses, I thanked him profusely like I always do, and he went on his way.

I love that little guy.

The other day, I had to have a tire repaired on my truck, so I told him I would pay him $Br50 (about $16) if he would take the tire and get it fixed for me.  He came back and told me the charge was $Br180. (about $60)  Well, I became quite angry telling him that in the States it was much less.  I know it scared him.  After I collected my senses, I realized that was not bad for a truck tire.  In Brazil the gas stations do not repair tires; only places that sell tires do, which explained the high price.  So, I apologized to My Friend and told him the price was okay.

When he returned with the tire, he wouldn’t take any money.  I think it was because the fuss I made about the price.  So, I have to find some way to repay him without him realizing it.  He is such an innocent, gentle friend, and I hate to see him get cheated.

This week I had two good men from other consulates help me.  One is a ballistic door expert (Hernan) from Montevideo, Uruguay, and the other was a local tech (Lucio) from Brasilia.  Both good guys.  The tech from Brasilia is new to the job so he was still learning everything.

I had him and Bulldog replace a camera for me.  Several mistakes were made, but I assured him I did the same mistakes over the years, and all is simply a learning experience.

I took a couple of pictures as I stood around watching them work.  See below.

Lucio working on the camera.  I realized a few years ago, to let the younger guys do this work now.This is Bulldog, but not a very good picture of him.  He was looking at me, but didn’t realize I was taking his picture because his glasses were on his head.  I will get a better picture of him when he can pose appropriately.

I love this guy, too.  Both he and Chequeno makes my job so much easier.  I love being around them and I need to find some way to thank them.

While I stood by watching these two work, I got to taking pictures of the incredible trees nearby.  They do not see winter as we know, as it is just Spring followed by Summer followed by Spring again. As you undoubtedly know, I have become a Master Beaner.  I am convinced I could make a good living from cooking beans, if it was not for the side effects. (think flatulence)

I now have decided to direct my culinary endeavors to pickles.  I love pickles and the grocery store down the block and around the corner only has two different pickles to choose from.  Very disappointing.  So I decided to become a Master Pickler, too.

I ordered several pickle mixes from Amazon.  When they arrived, I read the instructions and went down the block and around the corner to the grocery store to find things to pickle.  I purchased cucumbers, carrots, garlic, little red hot peppers, yellow bell peppers and those big green peppers that are used to make chili rellenos.   See below:The ingredients.The preparations.The finished produce.  I will let them sit in the refrigerator for a few weeks then test them.  I will let you know.

At the very least, this next adventure should produce no side effects.

Until next time, kick butt.   D.