What's he been up to lately? Quite a lot as it happens. He has worked very hard this winter in the garden, rebuilding walls, erecting chickenwire fences, making a driveway for the car at the side of the house, as well as being by my side, and on his own, feeding and caring for the dogs.
As you know he did 4 days casual labouring work last month, for which he wasn't paid. He has tried to find the man who employed him and many others in this and the next village, but without success. He is owed 180 lira for 4 days work, but we feel so sorry for all these other men who had worked for a couple of months. They are owed so much more. It seems that the man has disappeared off the face of the earth. No doubt he is travelling around the country doing the same thing. Karma will catch up with him...I hope.
Mr A has been over to Mugla a couple of times with the Muhtar to push the powers that be to hurry up and get the roads done in this village. We are assured that work will start on our stretch of road before the end of the month, but as this has been said quite often during the past 5 years, I am not holding my breath.
The state of the roads has taken a dreadful toll on our car, and the previous truck, costing us money in repairs that we can ill afford. You may recall from an earlier post that the truck was in fact stolen, and the present car was a replacement, but left Mr A owing 2,000 lira to the oto galeri, to be paid by the beginning of May. Mr A sold his phone last month to help cover the cost of repairs, and has since been using a very old mobile with a cracked screen.
So after several weeks of to-ing and fro-ing to the oto galeri in Milas, yesterday he found a buyer for the car. He now has a small motorbike which is less than a year old and in good condition, and the balance owed to the oto galeri has been paid. Debt free at last. He offered to sell the CD player in the car separately (a good move on his part as it was already in the car when he bought it!). The new owner didn't pay cash, but exchanged his very nice, nearly new phone for the CD player, so Mr A is happy.
He has also been looking for work, and two weeks ago he went to see the owner of a small carpet centre which is not far from the industrial estate. He has been promised a job to start mid to end of March. He has an interview at the airport today for another job. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it seems that it is recording the flow of passengers, and it would be shift work. Even though this job will pay less than the carpet centre it's an all-year job, rather than seasonal, which is more secure.
Even when jobs are offered here, you can't take them for granted. I never believe it will happen until he actually starts work, but fingers crossed that one of them will materialise.
He went on his own to the industrial estate yesterday to feed the dogs as he was going straight to Milas afterwards to deal with the sale of the car. More than 30 dogs turned up. He has instructed the men working where the two pups were living to bleach and hose down the area to prevent any further spread of the parvo virus. He also used disposable latex gloves when feeding the dogs, and washed his shoes in bleach and water on leaving the estate.
The two dogs who were spayed this week at the Belediye shelter are fine, and Mr A has explained that he can now not collect them to return them to the estate, so one of the shelter workers agreed to do this yesterday. Mr A will now have to go alone each morning to the estate, as it's not possible to carry me and dog food on the motorbike. I will carry on feeding the dogs in the village. The Belediye manager did in fact speak to the vet after Mr A's phone call two days ago, and he does seem a little more accommodating. When it is possible for more dogs to be neutered, they will attempt to arrange transport for them.
He is however reluctant to take any more immediately because of the risk of parvovirus to the shelter dogs, which is understandable, but he doesn't have time (or inclination) to try to solve this problem. The Muhtar tells Mr A that he knows someone in one of the government departments who can source the parvo vaccine cheaper than that charged by vets. I'm not sure if this is just talk, but Mr A will follow it through. If that doesn't happen, the only way we can protect the dogs is to buy the vaccine from our vet. But we are talking about a considerable number of dogs, and even if we get it cheaper, we still don't have enough money to do this at the moment.
The regular monthly donations we receive from 5 people almost cover the cost of the sacks of dog food. We are subsidising this and everything else, and the cost of petrol for all these journeys to the estate and the shelter. It's a struggle and I'm not sure how long we can continue, so as usual I'm asking for help from any of you who can manage it. Every amount helps, no matter how small.
It's been a busy week, with highs and lows and a great deal of sadness at the plight of the dogs in this country. I try hard to start every day with a positive attitude, but it's not always easy. At least the sun is shining and it feels like summer is just around the corner. The sun and clear blue skies always help lift our spirits.