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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Be Careful with those Fireworks

Dear Family and Friends,

I was in the park the other day and saw this fantastic balloon dog.

Walking on, I ran into him again, but in costume.

His helpers were passing out pamphlets to everyone.

These are safety pamphlets reminding everyone to be very careful with fireworks and burning the dummies.

Translations below:

Remember fireworks can be more costly than you think!

1.  Do not tamper with or remove the contents of explosives.  Do not pick up fireworks that failed to detonate.

2. Never light fireworks while holding them in your hand or inside cans, bottles and more.

3.  If the fireworks do not explode they should never be touched.  If the fireworks does not work, you need to douse it with plenty of water and stay away.

4.  Although explosives are off,  do not store them at home, or on clothing close to your body.

5.  Do not combine explosives with other explosives and liquids such as gasoline to generate more reaction.  In case of burns, cover with a towel, and go to the nearest hospital or clinic.

6.  If you burn dummies, do it in the open, away from trees, poles and vehicles. Make sure children stay away from the flames. Make sure the fire is completely extinguished. Avoid close contact with pyrotechnic explosives, as they give off toxic gases that can cause permanent damage.



Monday, December 30, 2013

Checking Out the Dummies

Dear Family and Friends,

Ecuadorians have several wonderful traditions on New Year's Eve.  One tradition is to make or buy a dummy that represents some person or event from the past year that you would like to put behind you.  They take the dummy into the street and burn it on New Year's Eve and then put the person or event behind them.  Let it go.

It is all done in fun and on New Year's Eve about midnight the city of Cuenca looks like a war zone because of arial fire works going off and dummies burning on the streets everywhere you look.

In the week before New Year's Eve there are many vendors selling dummies to be burned.  All you have to do is get a dummy body and buy a mask and you are all set.

There are thousands of dummy bodies to choose.  All shapes and sizes.

Thousands of masks.  I found one of Rafeal Correa, President of Ecuador and maybe a mask of Obama right below him.

So, as you can see, you can buy a body of a doctor, put on a mask and fire away.  Don't worry Dr. Martinez we didn't buy it.

Or the dentist.....

Maybe a policeman....


We got so caught up in the fun that one of us decided to try on a mask and see how she looks as a blonde.

And one of us got attached to one of the paper mache animals.

I asked him what he was going to do with it and he showed me when we got home.

Oh my goodness!

Hope he remembers to take it off his scooter before he sets it on fire.

To get an idea of the craziness around here on New Year's Eve click on the Burning Bush story.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Christmas Present

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck was scooting around on his new Vespa several days before Christmas day.  I, on the other hand, had to wait until the right time to get my gift.

Chuck promised that the gift would have a good motor and get me revved up.  You can imagine my excitement when he told me it was the same color as his Vespa.

So on Christmas morning I excitedly opened the box to find my RED baby. to operate it? that is how it works...

Oh well, we did need the darn thing.  But somehow I don't see myself having as much fun as Chuck.


Friday, December 27, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 12/27/13

Dear Family and Friends,

These Friday Fotos was taken in downtown Cuenca, Ecuador.

I did a double take when I saw a man walking his geese.

Just one more reason why we love living here.

This concludes one full year of Friday Fotos.  I am so proud.  I didn't miss one Friday.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

Our Christmas gift to you is the following photos.

Every Christmas Eve in Cuenca thousands and thousands of children parade through the street.  It is the highlight of the year for Chuck and me.

As in the past, I took my camera along and had a wonderful time photographing these adorable children.  I am especially sending these pictures to my friend, Robin, who was not able to make it to Cuenca this year.

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy...knowing that God's spirit is in every corner of this universe.

Peace and love to you!

Nancy and Chuck