Wanted to share some interesting (to us!) information we've garnered lately.
First, welcome to our new readers! It's always a surprise and delight when folks find our blog and send us a note. We're always happy to answer your questions as you decide what to do... visit Ecuador, visit Cuenca, retire here, move here, etc. Thanks for liking our silly little blog!
Hope you find some helpful info as you do your research.
Today we got some rain, complete with lightening and thunder and hail and howling winds. So much for the just-washed windows and ceiling on the p0rch! We finally figured out how to wash the windows... Rich hooked up a hose to the hot water from the washer and he found an extra-long brush at a hardware store... and it all worked just fine. The glass ceiling over the porch really needed a good bath and we enjoyed the stars through the glass last night. Now, with the rains today, we think we'll see streaks, but not a huge deal.
We made it to ex-pat night last Friday and had fun visiting with friends and meeting new ones. Have to admit... sometimes we just need to speak English! And, many of the ex-pats and visitors do. Walked to downtown and ran into a couple friends for coffee... went to a jazz concert ... life is good! You can tell there's lots to do (or not) in this great City.
We've learned a few tips from our Ecuadorian friends...
Fabian tells us there are special highland chickens that are even more tasty than the ones at SuperMaxi... His Mom raises them, mostly for the eggs, which are delicious! The eggs are pinkish/brown, with bright orange yolks and a very fresh, eggy taste. We love them! We think the eggs at SuperMaxi taste pretty good, too.......must be the freshness (or free-range chickens?)
When I asked Fabian where to buy the chicken, he told me you can find them in the people's markets... LIVE! Oh. He offered to bring me one of these special chickens, but I said.......PLEASE do not bring me a LIVE one! Goodness, it will have to become a pet, not dinner! Fabian thought that was funny, all senoras he knows just deal with it. No big deal.
Miriam has educated me about the value of the blue ratty rag she's attached to... each time I think I'll just give her a better rag to clean with, and dump the ratty one, she frets. This rag, old terrycloth towel, has a hole in the middle of it.
Finally, I got it! She slips the broom handle through the hole, does a quick twist of the wrist and broom and voila! A 'swifter'! The rag covers the broom bristles. I could have used this info at the ranch! And, it's not just a Miriam thing.....we have seen rags/towels with the center hole for sale, too.
Miriam also has a neat alternative to arranging flowers. You know the 'frogs' we use in the states to arrange flowers when the vase is too big? Well, she cuts off the ends of the flower stems, puts the ends in the bottom of the vase and then arranges through the criss-cross of stems. Flowers stand up just fine. News to me.
Spanish is coming along... I had heard that making oneself understood by phone is harder than 'in person'. Yep. I recently made a phone call downstairs to make a hair appt at Lucy's. I thought, how hard can this be? Well, hard... I had my words all ready to schedule the appt 'manana' but then I heard a bunch of words I didn't have a clue about! But, I was determined... asked the gal to hold on, got my dictionary and finally figured out that she was telling me that Joanna was on vacation...
Oh. Then I managed to ask for anyone available, got the time right and then had to take a nap, totally exhausted! Fortunately, the gals at Lucy's are soooo patient and nice. I'm hoping the next time is easier (or I might just go downstairs in person -- with the dictionary -- and do my usual sign-language thing which is a whole lot easier!)
Our day counter on the computer tells us that we've now been in Ecuador for 197 days. We're so happy we have resident status now, with the all-important cedulas (id cards). Some folks have asked 'why Ecuador?' Well..... it's mostly economics (and family -- Rich's brother Bob and wife Roxanne are at the Coast). We're still amazed at the low prices for just about everything. Our grocery bill is just a fraction of what we'd pay in the states. The jazz concert was terrific and only $5. We can eat set-lunches in the restaurants like the Ecuadorians do, for about $2... for alot of food! We don't need a car here in Cuenca......taxis are about $2 to downtown, but the town is compact and we can easily walk, too.
We're learning all about construction here... We'll tell you more in another post later.
Love to all,
N (and R)