Remember that Seinfeld episode where one of their cars gets stolen and they phone the car phone and talk to the theif?
Yesterday while I was taking photos of the construction site of a new school and medical clinic, my cell phone slipped off my belt. I discovered two hours later after taking Blaise to the doctor in a neighbouring town that my phone was gone, but figured I left it at the office.
This morning after searching the house, car, office and the medical storage facility I remembered that I had jumped off mounds of dirt at the construction site late in the afternoon. Armed with Amber's phone, I walked around the site, dialing and listening. The good news was that it hadn't rained too much and that my phone was still ringing (it still worked). I covered the whole territory while kids from a neighbouring school covered the same territory during their recess.
Then someone answered my phone.
I hurriedly explained that I had lost my phone yesterday and that the phone they were talking on was mine and how could we meet so that I could get it back. What I could hear were girls laughing and someone speaking way too loud in Poqomchí. This went on for 10 minutes. The two words I did understand were "fifty quetzales" ($7). I pressed them for location details. I pressed them to find someone who could speak Spanish. Then I gave up and hung up.
I phone back 2 minutes later and a girl spoke to me in Spanish and called me by name! She told me that they were in Pansalché, a community on a the side of a steep mountain neighbouring where I was searching for my phone. She told me they would be on the path.
I drove up the road a bit and parked. I tried phoning again, but no answer. Over and over again, no answer. I began to worry that this might be a wild goose chase and I dreaded having to climb this mountain only to descend with out my phone.
But, why not? I dialed four times and on the last dial, half way up the mountain, I heard the familiar shrill ringtone of my phone. I walked up to the store window and said "that's my phone that is ringing."
I got a detailed account of how my phone was found and ended up here. But it was in Poqomchí. You can see the Q50 bill in her hand.
I was more than thrilled about the whole experience. If I had lost my phone though, I would have lost the number everyone has for me, 350 minutes of airtime, and a $30 phone. Oh, and a crummy belt case.