On Llallanuani Hill, 4,098m above NN
Where in the world is Sra. Carmencita Sardón? We were told she owns Puno’s antennae hill. A contact gave us directions to a street corner, where we could get further information about her. It is Thursday morning and most shops in Puno are still closed. We knock on door after door asking the same questions: “Do you know Sra Sardón? Or do you have her number?” Most people just shrug their shoulder. “Yes she owns the house at the corner!“ That is all the information we can gather.
The ceremony in the town hall lasted 90 minutes. A civil servant told me afterwards: Sra Sardón now lives in Arequipa: a mere six hours from here – not good news.
Bearing 4 Certificates of Honour and two Orders of Merit we return to that ominous street corner, which suddenly turns into a dead end, since suddenly no one can give us any further information about Sra Sardón. Even the house, which we thought belonged to her, might actually not be hers. What should we do?
In an internet shop a man approaches us, says “Ring the doorbell next door” and vanishes from sight. Accordingly we knock and ring. An elderly feminine voice answers briefly; followed by a long silence. Obviously she does not want to open the door. Have we reached the end of the road?
„Can I help you?“ asks a young lady, who has suddenly come up behind us. Unbelievable: she is a relative of Sra Sardón and happens to be coming home at exactly this moment. We lose no time in explaining the whole matter. Three minutes later we are proud owners of Carmencita Sardón’s address and phone number. She really does live in Puno and we are invited to her place for 2 p.m.
That afternoon we give her and her son a private presentation about Diospi Suyana. “Yes, we have heard about Diospi Suyana through TV and the media.” Family Sardón is favourably inclined towards Diospi Suyana. Their neighbour had an operation at the Hospital. “See you tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. on the hill,” says Sra. Sardón, “then you can choose your plot of land!”
Friday morning. An engineer, who we met the day before in the Town Hall, accompanies us. In lightening speed he will draw up the necessary documents for the notary office with an architect friend. We found the suitable plot at a height of 4,098m. Chris Welch performs a couple of measurements on his laptop, nods his head, shuts his laptop and concludes: “Yes, the location is good!” In future we will be able to reach the quarter-of-a-million people living in Puno through this antenna with Diospi Suyana’s radio programme.
We have arranged to meet at the notary’s office at 12:30 p.m. But where on earth are the engineers? News reaches us that they are still drawing the plans and are fighting against a very slow internet connection. A traffic jam delays them further. Tension increases steadily in the bureau. Lunch break starts at 1:30 p.m. and lasts till about 4 p.m. Not to mention the nine hour car journey back home. Suddenly someone throws the door wide open. Within seconds the notary officer is covered by his colleagues beyond all recognition with foam. Today is carnival and everything is permitted.
Back in Curahuasi Stefan Seiler does an express transfer of the agreed sum. Sra Sardón and Doris Manco disappear in order to pay the sales tax. We are constantly connected via telephone. When it is finally their turn in the Banco de Crédito they do not have the correct document. They hurry to the tax office, are given the document and head to the nearest bank branch.
I cannot stop looking at my watch. “Keep cool”, says Udo Klemenz – he was a cool as a cucumber. But I am not 74 years old and I have a right to get very worked up about things.
At 2:30 p.m. everyone and everything appears: the seller of the property, the statement of our funds transfer, the tax-paid form, the location plan and the notary. The rest is a mere formality.
We then negotiate with representatives of two building companies about the foundation works, after which we pick up our suitcases from the hotel and start the journey of 550km from Puno back to Curahuasi. We stop at a petrol station and in turn each of us says a prayer of thanks to God, in German, English and Spanish. With God’s blessing we have reached an excellent result in a record time frame – and that during Carnival! Just before 1 a.m. we reach the world capital of Anis: Curahuasi. /KDJ