For years, we would stop by their psuedo village along the highway -- ramshackle dwellings stretching into the distance, each cobbled together from found wood and whatever. We called them The Snake People, because one way they hoped to bring in tourists, and money, was to sell snakeskins. Each shack boasted a rack of dried skins waving in the wind. They also sold live birds and little mammals in home-made cages.
The people themselves were clad in outfits cobbled together from found cloth and whatever... if they had shoes, they were rarely the right size, and broken down, and covered in dust. The people would surround our car, pointing at a half'eaten sandwich by my feet, the waterbottle in my hand -- they wanted anything, everything. Each visit, we unloaded a box or two, or three, filled with yard'sale dresses, shirts, pants, baby clothes, kids clothes, shoes of all sizes... There was no fighting among them to get to the things in the boxes. Together, they would haul them off... to somewhere... presumably to divide up among the rest of their kin.
But now, there is no sign of them. The roadside is completely cleared of all trace. Where did they go?
Coincidentally --or not-- we had to quit bringing down these boxes of goods. The last time we did we were halted at the border, and told by the gentlemen wearing badges that we must pay an (exhorbitant) fee for these goods. Same goes for the bikes we used to haul down.
Meanwhile, there are "other" snake people blending in wherever.
And as for us? Life is so sweet in the village. Yesterday was stellar. The children who once were small brought their little siblings and relatives over, in order to introduce them to our storehouse of toys. They themselves have outgrown all but scrabble and large jigsaw puzzles...
Thus our toyroom, our porch, and our ramada were once again filled with laughter and hijinks as kids built, destroyed, and redesigned towering (to them) edifices of plastic blocks and wood blocks, and drove toy tractors, cars, and wild toy animals all in and about them.
The rain clattering on the roof and splashing all along the edges where they played -- they paid it no mind. And they did not leave til dark -- til their mamacitas called them in for cena.