Thursday, June 18, 2009

Off To Find The Seamstress

Yesterday morning my pal, Debi, asked if I would like to join her on an adventure. She needed to find a certain seamstress in Coxen Hole and have a fitting of an outfit being made for her. The challenge would be in finding the right seamstress. The island-style directions were rather vague and Debi had never been to her shop before. The seamstress had come to the church and measured all the women for the outfits she would be making (without a pattern!). Now it was time to see if it fit. The directions were as follows: "go down Back Street to the alley just before the Carrion store and look for the woman sewing." Intrigued, I agreed to go along. Fortunately, we had just discovered the Back Road the week before when we went to the photo "studio".

That's Debi's car parked in front of the peach building across from the pink building on Back Street. They could have just said "turn by the Pepto Bismol pink building" - it sort of stands out. We got this far and parked, deciding to walk down the alley. Debi consulted her Spanish dictionary for "seamstress" so we could ask for help. As you can see in the first two photos, the alley was full of puddles from all the rain we've had. We carefully picked our way through, avoiding stepping in the water. With my sensitive nose, I was immediately aware that this was a smelly alley. Many areas are smelly here after a rain. But the farther we walked, the worse the odor got. We were fortunate to run into a young woman walking towards us, and she greeted us in English. Debi quickly asked her if she knew where we could find the seamstress and she did. She told us to go down that other little alley, around that house and it was the house right behind there. We never would have found it on our own.

Not only, that, it doesn't even look like a shop until you look in the window. Here's Debi standing in front of the shop.

One of the seamstresses.

Debi checking the fit. Good job! Not only were the women making all these suits for Debi's choir, they were also making a number of identical dresses for a quinceanero party (in Latin America, a girl's 15th birthday is a kind of "coming-out" party - a really big deal). The seamstress told us via hand gestures and in Spanish that the dresses would also have blue sashes, be worn with long gloves and the girls would carry bouquets. These ladies do very nice work. They needed about 30 mins. to make some minor adjustment to the suit jacket and to add the buttons, then Debi needed to come back in, so we left to go wander about in the market for half an hour.

As we were walking back toward the Pepto building, I noticed a stream of oddly colored water in the grassy area in the above photo. Very stinky water.

Here's Debi picking her way through the alley. At the end of the alley, some men were shoveling up the "mud" that had washed down. Ugh. We decided that we would take Debi's car back to the shop when we returned. The smell was just too much for me.

We passed a number of houses just like this one.

As I was sitting in the car in front of the seamstress's shop waiting on Debi, I noticed this little building off to the side. I noticed it because a young girl of around 10 years of age came downstairs from the apartment above the shop, wearing only a large towel and entered this building through the door marked "coco". As I studied the building and the water tanks with the hose running from one tank then under the "coco" door, I realized that this must be a community shower. A short time later, the girl reappeared, looking rather damp and wrapped in her towel.

Debi's standing in front of one of the markets desperately wanting to take a photo of a lovely old woman in a fabulous hat who was shopping inside. It was too dark inside to allow a decent photo and Debi kept hoping the woman would finish and come outside, but she didn't.

We passed these men working under this tent next to the market. They are cobblers in an outdoor shoe repair shop! Neat, huh?

We were lucky enough to find a big hunk of meat hanging outside the meat shop. Don't see that everyday. We love browsing through the markets, there are always interesting people and interesting things for sale.

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