Dear Family and Friends,
Last week when we went to Guayaquil to get visas for China we were told it would take one week to process them. So, last Thursday Chuck took the bus to Guayaquil to get them. When he got to the Chinese consulate, they were closed. It seems that day was a Chinese holiday.
Yesterday Chuck took the bus to Guayaquil again. This time his trip was a success! We now have our visas for China.
When we walk around Cuenca we never know what we may come across. This little boy was walking out of a store. I do not know anymore but it sure looked odd to see a kid carrying a stuffed cow head on his shoulder.
Last Friday a man from the U.S. embassy in Guayaquil came to Cuenca to give a presentation to US ex-pats. We do not have an embassy in Cuenca so they come here about once a year to let us know what they can provide for us. It was an interesting presentation. The only thing I got out of it was that they are there for emergencies. Also, he told us to be careful in Guayaquil because they are having problems with people being robbed. The robbers disguise themselves as taxi drivers. Once you are in the taxi they take you to an ATM machine and make you withdraw money. He suggested not to take a taxi off the street but to call a taxi company and order a taxi.
After the meeting, we went to lunch with some new friends who are moving here from Florida. We had the set menu which was very good. About $3.00 apiece. After lunch we went to the ceramic factory to show them the beautiful dishes that are made here in Cuenca. I couldn't resist, I added some bowls to our collection.
On Saturday, we went to San Sabastian plaza for a jazz concert. This was a free concert sponsored by the German embassy. It was really good. We got there early and had front row seats.
This little princess was seated next to us. She was so cute with her tiara and sunglasses.
We have been fighting bees on our patio. They discovered one of the humming bird feeders. We had one feeder that they could get the sugar water from. There must have been a hundred of them collecting sugar water. The humming birds were very distressed that there feeder was being taken over.
Chuck took that feeder down, washed it out and put it away. The other feeders have not attracted the bees so far. The humming birds are now happy and back to putting up their regular territorial battles over the feeders.
A couple of weeks ago I ruined my espresso maker. This was quite a tragedy for me because I love to have my cappacino first thing every morning. I left the machine on and it burned out. When we went to Guayaquil we looked for a new one but couldn't find one. I found some at the Super Stock, but they were the big $300 to $500 espresso machines.
Finally, last week we went to Su Kasa and found this mid size espresso maker. It makes wonderful cappacinos. I love it. But the funny thing is that Chuck took my burned out espresso maker to a small repair shop. They repaired it for only $7.00. Now a have my old one as a back-up. Here is my new one.
Last Sunday we and two other couples took our friends, Henry, Sue and their boys to a farewell brunch at the Oro Verde hotel. Henry and Sue are going back to the U.S. at the end of June. The came down a couple of years ago just for the adventure. They put their two boys into Ecuadorian schools. The boys did not know Spanish when they first came here, but now they are very fluent.
We had a great brunch and it was so much fun visiting with everyone. We will miss the Skaggs when they are gone.
Here is Henry, Sue and the boys.
Recycling Ecuador style. Every garbage pick-up day there are people who scout the neighborhoods and go through the garbage to find anything that can be recycled. It must be worth their time because it is done all over Cuenca. After they have collected all the recyclable items a truck comes around and picks it up. These ladies were collecting material this morning.
As you can see, they have collected quite a bit.
I have been lax on my Spanish lessons lately. One reason, I think, it that I have discovered Facebook. It has consumed my time trying to keep up with what is happening to all the people I have become friends with. I posted some Cuenca pictures and some pictures from my childhood. It is so much fun, but man, it can consume your life.
That's about it for now.