Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Building of a Park

Just about every day, Fred & Princess go to our neighbourhood park for a romp.  Fred sits on a bench and benignly watches while Princess makes friends with toddlers & other dogs & families and generally roars around.  This almost daily outing has resulting in Fred & Princess making several friends in the neighbourhood and this of course, makes us feel more a part of our new country Ecuador.

Wanting to give something back and noticing that the benches in the park were pretty disreputable, Fred arranged with a local man to repair and repaint the benches.  The man was happy to do this as he made a bit of extra money and Fred was happy to do this because the Park had provided so much to him & Princess.  The project took several months and Fred paid for it in bits in pieces so there was nothing too onerous for us or the man doing the repairs.

Word got out and several of the neighbours made a point of coming out and shaking Fred's hand.  This of course too made him feel good, and in the end the park had 5 brightly-coloured, newly repaired benches. 

Scroll ahead about 6 or 7 months and Fred & Princess are out for their usual romp to the park.  There, in the back of truck bed, are 2 of the benches.  They're being hauled away!  Of course, Fred stopped the worker and asked what was going on.  The worker advised the park was being extensively revamped and would now have rock walls, flowering plants growing in planters, new benches and a brick path meandering through it.  Previously, it had been simply a patch of grass with a few broken down benches & a climbing toy for small children. 

It was hard for Fred not to be a tad disappointed.  Of course he was thrilled for the neighbourhood but felt like what he'd done was a waste of time.

"You shamed them into it!" Sigred consoled Fred.  "Some Gringo fixing up their park!"

Now, it's likely the park was due to be revamped and Fred's timing just a bit early, but it made him feel a bit better and got him interested in the ongoing project. Over the course of several months, while still attending the park everyday with Princess, Fred took pictures to chronicle "The Building of a Park".    These days, when Sigred accompanies Fred on their romp to the Park he'll point out improvements that he had suggested to the workers.  "I told them it'd be nice to have a couple of benches in the shade over there.  I don't know if they did that because I suggested or not" he'll tell her rather modestly "But isn't it nice!"

And it is.