Ruben told me his story. He was working for the municipality and cutting the grass. And not in the way you might think. He is a gardener and there is some really nice grass here.
He was waiting for the truck to pick up the grass. It never came.
So he told me about his job and his family. 22 years ago, his wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer soon after the birth of their first child. They went to a healing service at a local church and she was healed - now they have four kids. He invited me to the church and gave me his phone number just in case I had any prayer concerns. Nice guy. I asked if I could take a picture and he hopped on the bike. Perfect.
While we talked, I looked at the ground and saw fresh water crab parts. Ruben told me that sometimes the water floods the area and the crabs are pretty common. I never knew.
He showed me a path into the marshes and we parted. I went out as far as I could and found this.
Maybe it was pulled into the swamp by an alligator. Or something more sinister. I really wanted the skull for my collection but I just didn't know where I'd put it or how I'd get it home on the plane without getting caught.
The water was connected, I was told later by my family, to the Lago Ypoa. It was peaceful.
I went back to the bike and was joined by another friend. He sniffed around for a bit and continued on.
So I moved on toward the big house.
It was surrounded by a barbed wire fence and it looked almost abandoned. Actually it felt
abandoned, but there was a cow out front and I could hear chickens out back.
So I jumped the fence, all the time thinking I was crazy. Whatever. This was my last good ride here and most people are friendly.
The first floor was almost totally open so I entered far enough that I could see tools - a huge machete, of course - and a few steps farther were two dogs. Gotta go. I quietly turned tail and walked off until, half way to the gate, someone called to me from the upper floor. ...