We slipped so easily into life at Los Frailes that we blinked and realized 3 weeks had gone by. You read that right, three weeks.
The thing about it is, it’s a community. There are people there that do the gross stuff to keep things flowing – things like build and clean the pit toilets. Like remind newcomers to not put toilet paper in the pit toilets. Like take out the trash. They do these things because they love Los Frailes and they love camping there, and they go the extra mile themselves so that all of us can benefit.
They humbled us and made us want to be better people.
There were 3 separate communities in Los Frailes: the trees, the arroyo (- river) and the beach. People would be like, “do you live in the trees?” or, “yeah, that’s Steven, he’s in the arroyo.” It was all very distinct.
Each community had its own rules, too – and Mikey inadvertently broke one right off the bat with the tree people: he brought our dog Pugsley into the tree community and he came back home to the beach with his ears red from the rebukes.
No dogs allowed in the trees!!
We were in the beach community, of course. We were neighbours with a wonderful Polish/Canadian family for a month, we really loved them. Mac-Q developed a very special relationship with the Grandpa in the family which kind of broke my heart and Mikey’s, since our kids are not likely to grow up with strong relationships (if any) with their grandfathers.
Mikey’s Dad lives in the Phillipines and is out of contact most of the time. My Dad.. well, let’s keep this post on the happy side of things, shall we?
Mac-Q probably knew Jacob in a former life or something. It was beautiful, how drawn to him he was, how he’d stop screaming and thrashing and wailing when Jacob was around. Jacob would kindly come up and take him from me when Mac was in the middle of some teething tantrum, go for a walk and soothe him.
I’m tearing up at these pictures right now because I had a pretty hard night with Mac just last night and I miss Jacob. What a wonderful guy. What a wonderful family.
We were also neighbours with an old salty German named Bernie. A lot of people came and went, a lot of couples went when they saw us, a lot of others stayed. It was an amazing mosaic of people, all of them interesting.
It was the people that stayed at Los Frailes the longest that we found the most interesting. Like John (pictured above), the guy who camped out for some 10 months a year, fished like a pro (was he a pro?) and was absolutely one of the most generous people we’ve ever met. He’d pass by, ask if we’d like a fish and right there, hand us a fresh mackeral that he caught. “Fresh”, as in, “still alive”.
Mikey had to figure out how to kill it, and got to teach the kids how to thank the fish for giving us his life.
Yay for homeschooling!
I have so much more to tell you about this place, but I’m typing now over a nursing MacQ’s head, Micah is wanting to paint his rocket ship, Moxie has been tethered to Dora the Explorer for an hour now and Mikey has “had it” to here with me being on the computer, so let’s sign off with some photos. Just photos.