Monday, February 22, 2010

Falcor the Polar Dog

After all of the car trouble, we managed to arrive at Desert Monastery in the afternoon on February 7th. We were greeted by our host's, Donna & Kevin, and a man named Gary, who had been working there for about 8 months already. Donna is a 50-something year old lady, married to Kevin, who seemed very nice at first but slowly became very unwelcoming. Kevin is a 40-something year old man who was incredibly nice, hospitable and all-around cool person. Gary is around 60 and as calm as could be, has really cool artwork, and loves to play the keyboards. Donna served us some tea, talked for a little bit and Kevin started to show us around their property. Kevin showed us all of their completed projects: the cabins, bath house, greenhouse, garden,"classroom" (a big platform, blessed by Tibetan monks, with an inversion table in the middle) and then talked about what we would be doing there. Once that was over with, he left us to get settled in to our cabins. Bobby and I were in the one insulated cabin and Guy chose a shed converted into a cabin. So we unpacked our things, hung around, and then went into the host's house to have our first dinner with them. Dinner was fairly uneventful although it was our first introduction to their neighbors, Al & Laura. Al is an 80 year old Navy veteran who had many catchphrases, "outstanding" was my favorite, and he would give you Dove chocolates all the time. Laura is a very wonderful lady, she used to be a school teacher and she definitely cares about people.

Monday started our first day working. Donna and Kevin wanted rocks put into a square, dirt area so we decided to start that project first. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of rocks, we managed to finish it the same day, which apparently, really impressed our hosts. After working for however long, usually between 4-6 hours, we were left to do whatever we pleased. Our time off was usually spent wandering around, making fires or just hanging out. The area around Desert Monastery was mostly a desert landscape with small but wide trees spread about and after living in Las Vegas for 21 years, desert landscapes will never be anything but boring. I still had a lot of fun wandering around and looking for geodes & other cool rocks with Bobby.

Our other days working we spent filling sandbags, fixing their garden gate, and weeding & turning the soil in their garden beds.Two days we were there, we went to help out Al & Laura with building a fence for a garden and chopping & organizing their firewood. They cooked us the most amazing meals for lunch and dinner and Laura baked the best brownies ever. The first night we worked for them we had a nice fire in their fire pit. It was probably one of my favorite nights because we spent hours talking and it was nice to get to know them better.

A few days before we left, Bobby and I took Charlie to Holbrook to another mechanic. We ended up staying the night and the mechanic replaced the catalytic converter, muffler and also fixed one the fans that was not working. Since then, Charlie has been running very well & has yet to break down!

Saturday the 20th we decided to leave Desert Monastery, mostly because we were tired of being uncomfortable whenever Donna was around. We left and made it to Silver City, New Mexico that night just in time due to the weather.

I am going to miss all the cool people that I met while at Desert Monastery as well as Kevin & Donna's dog Falcor, who looked like a mini polar bear.

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