Friday, October 1, 2010

Political Unrest -- Status this morning

First, to family and friends, we are fine and we are safe.  Thanks for checking on us.
We tried to post some status last night, but the Internet was sketchy...nothing new.

Today, all the excitement seems to have died down...our neighborhood seems totally normal.  Workers are working on the nearby construction, traffic looks the usual crazy, dogs and roosters are doing their noisy thing.  Schools are still closed, and the government buildings and stores might also be closed.  We haven't checked yet. 

We'll be checking to see if Pizza Hut is open today...we've had a hankering for good ol' US-style pizza.  If no pizza delivery tonight, then Rich is ready to make lasagna for friends tonight.  Plan B.


Here's what we tried to share late last night:

Yesterday, we started off the day at the Cattle Market with Fabian, Barbara and Howard.  Afterwards, about mid-morning, we stopped at the Kookaburra Cafe for a bite and a good cup of coffee.......... Yes!  We left our shoes at the door!  Shoes were pretty funky from the market.

And, then we heard the news...

We heard that protesters had stormed the Presidential Palace in Quito.  Airports were closed.  Highways were closed.  Borders were closed.  Banks and businesses were closed.  The President was injured in the hospital.  Police were on strike.  Military was involved. We heard the word 'coup'. ..(Not cuy...Koo-wee.)
Yes, we were concerned.
But, we went ahead and ate our breakfast and visited with friends (all the usual 'suspects')  We sat and visited with Randy and Karen for awhile, chatted with Jenny and Chris...And, then Linda got a call from Larry and she took off quickly for home. 

The news just kept coming and we weren't sure what was really happening at that point.  We called Fabian who came back to pick us up.  Brenda left for home on foot, walking quickly (she lives just a couple blocks away).  Donna thought she'd take the bus home, but, at this point, we all thought the bus could be Barbara and Nancy went for the taxi ride to drop her off across town.  We talked about the animal market, telling the stories, and then we passed the demonstration on Calle Largo...a large group, quiet and peaceful, with red flags.  Fabian told us the flags showed the demonstrators were supporters of the President. 

Traffic was light, streets were almost empty like a Sunday.  Many businesses were closed.  Not many folks on the street.  A few little tiendas were open, business as usual.

Fabian had gotten a call that  the schools were holding the kids for parent pick-up.  His teeenage son was just fine with friends and he'd pick him up later. His family was all fine, too.

After dropping Donna off safely at home, we returned to the Kook to get Rich and Howard and headed for home.  The drive along the river was spooky quiet...almost no traffic.  We had heard that Supermaxi (not sure where, Quito?) had been emptied out by frantic shoppers and was not safe.  We didn't chance it, so all 4 of us went directly home.

When we got home we turned on the computers, called friends and family here in Ecuador,
sent/answered emails to the US,  checked the news.  Turned on the TV, flipped channels between English and Spanish.  The stories were all over the place.  We guessed that most folks were doing the same thing...

Rich went out to the ATM and Supermaxi late in the afternoon (still light).  Still quiet.  He was half expecting the ATM to be empty or a long line for money.  But, the machine was working with money! and only 1 other customer was waiting.  Supermaxi was just fine, too, but several families seeemed to be double-shopping with 2 carts. 

Right now, the neighborhood is so quiet.  Not even a barking dog or a rooster.  No music, no fireworks.  Occasional traffic noise.  We heard church bells this evening...startling at 6pm..  The bells usually toll each early morning, like clockwork at 6:15am, but almost never in the evening .

We're not sure what tomorrow will bring,  but our Cuencano friend thinks everything will be back to normal. 

We'll report on our animal market adventure soon.

Thanks again for checking on us.  We're glued to the news, like everyone else.

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