Awilda called while we were watching the Veep debates last night which was fine with me because it turned out to be much more boring than I was hoping. She sounded just kind of lonely and talked with me in Spanish for about a half an hour. She is such a nice lady and it’s always good practice to speak Spanish. Puerto Rican Spanish is sometimes much different than Mexican Spanish which is what I know best.
Sounds like she is optimistic about this new friend she has there at the Dept of Natural Resources. She did say, however, that we need a “padrinaje” and that that would make it go much easier. I am not exactly sure what a “padrinaje” is but I think it is related to a ”bribe” which I understand. Padrino is like a sponsor, or someone who helps smooth the way with a little money…aka grease for the palms. Sounds like without this “padrinaje” things move slowly and it goes to the bottom of the pile of things to do whereas with a “padrinaje” they magically move to the top….
I know that bribery is at play everywhere, and not just Puerto Rico, but it’s interesting to think of it being so blatant and just the way of the land, the way things get done. Here, I think it is usually the top officials getting some type of perk or the connections that lead to something, but not with random people because that would make it obvious. I don’t know, what do you think? Have you had to give out bribes just to get basic services? Britton and I were talking about it and if that is just the way it is, well, maybe we need to play their system, but we don’t even know how much this would be, or if there is any guarantee it would work. Also, doesn’t that just perpetuate the activity more? Or does the phrase “when in Rome, do as the Romans” fit better. Or how about the Spanish version, “A donde fueras, haz lo que vieras” which means literally, Wherever you go, do as you see. I think we will wait a while longer. If Awilda wants to be/do the padrinaje, she would know how to do it much better than we would!