Letterbox dropping

15 12 2011

Well today I got to know Pueblonuevo a far bit better. With ‘Mi Esperanza’ beginning tomorrow, this week we’ve been hitting the streets, pamphleting to town to encourage people to tune in to the programs aired at 9:30 each night from Thursday through Sunday. When Peter originally said he was going to print off 1000 I thought it was ambitious. So the announcement on Monday that he’d requested 4000 seemed ridiculous. But my Tuesday afternoon we’d dropped more than 2000 and the rest we managed today. So now  nearly every house in town and in Fuente Obejuna should have a leaflet. Beyond that – we’re asking for miracles – that they’d all tune into Intereconomía and listen to the message.

Wondering around today I was amazed how many houses there are vacant here in the pueblo. Every 6 or 7, there is one completely empty and many up for sale. What is even more surprising is the number of houses in the middle of major renovations. You hear so much here about the crisis and every second builder is out of work. (That’s what you get when the entire economy an it’s boom rested on construction – everyone is a builder – and no country can sustain so many builders!) So it’s a bit confounding to walk down street after street with the machinery blaring, dust flying and the shells of gutted houses being reconstructed. It certainly doesn’t feel like a state of ‘crisis’. Quite the opposite!
Often I’ll be chatting to people here who tell me that they are really struggling, that they don’t make it to the end of the month, that there is no money and no work – yet they have two or three houses. They aren’t joking, their situation is tough, and realistically they’ll get very little for trying to sell a house or property so the second house in the pueblo is really of little consequence – but to me – it’s gobsmacking. Because I’ve always thought of ownership is the mark of wealth. And if you have a house – you can’t possibly be broke. How incredibly Australian of me. Here you can have a house that you may as well let fall into disrepair, because no one is going to pay you near decent money for it – and renting it requires maintaining it. So, like the old bunk bed frame you don’t use tucked away in the shed. the second house just sits there waiting for better days.



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