Friday, March 15, 2013
Another example of lack of communication took place with Helscheins. After several tries from her family to reach Susi with telegrams, etc. an agent from DHL showed up in his sweaty brown uniform ringing the house bells. He was sent to deliver a telegram and had taken one of the tourist boats at the time from PV (before taxi pongas) which unloaded at the main beach. He walked all the way to the Point, sweating profusely in the heat to the house and proudly delivered his telegram. Completing his job, he returned to the beach and the boat to PV.
So, you see how isolated we were and how transformed life in the digital age has become for places like Yelapa.
I was thinking about how easy it is now to be in contact with anyone in Yelapa. Nearly everyone has access to a phone or internet and news can really travel. Those of you that never lived here before electricity and digital times, have no idea how hard it was to send or get messages from home. Telegrams would arrive, sometimes, in PV...but, we never received them here in Yelapa. They would stack up in PV and you would simply be out of luck. Plus, you had to travel to town and find a phone. Not easy. Usually we went to one of the hotels and paid them to make a call for us. You could not do this yourself at a hotel...they had to dial and place the calls for you.
Here is what happened to me in the late 70's. A friend I had met in Half Moon Bay showed up in Yelapa. He wanted me to go to the states to look at a boat he was interested in buying for fishing. We flew up to CA to check it out and while there, I decided to contact my family back in the Midwest. I couldn't get through to anyone in my family. Finally, out of despiration and knowing they should be home, I got in touch with my x and asked him to contact a cousin and see if he knew where everyone was. It turned out that my younger sister's husband had a relapse of cancer and had been in the hospital for over a month! I had no idea. I finally tracked them down in Ohio. He passed away without me knowing a thing. They were traumatized and said they had been sending me telegram after telegram. Of course, I knew none of this in Yelapa. I tried to fly home immediately from SFO, but United was on strike and it was the only airline that flew to Nebaska then. I had to wait another week to get home. I brought my sister to Yelapa for a month right away. I knew she would heal better here than anywhere. We were walking on the trail one day and Silent Jim approached. My sister's mouth fell open...and she just stared at him. He looked a lot like her young husband that died.
She had been crying a lot and her eyes were generally puffy and red. We ran into Conrad and Sara's boy Nilo who was about 4-5 then on the trail. He stopped her in the path and said: "You look like a clown". My sis and I looked at each other and then back to him and burst into laughter. It was the turning point of her healing.
Since then, my family still does not trust that I will get messages and I try to call them often so they feel more secure.