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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Dear Family and Friends,

Today, Christmas Eve, we once again went to see the Paseo del Nino.  This is the biggest parade in Cuenca and most likely all of Ecuador.

Enjoy the children...

We wish you a peaceful and joyful Christmas.  

Nancy and Chuck

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Family and Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

We have spent the past week with our family and friends in Richland, Washington.

We moved to Ecuador from Richland almost six years ago.  We look forward to returning back to give hugs and kisses on an annual basis.

Here are a few pictures of family and friends.

Bring it on Bryce.

Dear Family and Friends,

I arrived in California a little over a week ago.  I traveled here to stay with our grandson, Bryce.  His momma is away for six weeks training for her job.

I had a couple of days with Kylie before she flew out last Tuesday.  Since then Bryce and I have been taking care of each other.

Here he is on our first night alone...celebration dinner.

First day on the job:  Bryce comes home from school with homework - MATH.
Math is math, right?  NO...they have changed math since I was in school.  Yes, can you believe?  Now you have to make boxes, write paragraphs and show multiple ways to get a simple problem done.  Everything seems to be done the most confusing way possible. This, my friends, is called common core math.  I am wondering what happened to common sense math?

Second day on the job: Bryce tells me, as he is about to leave for school Wednesday morning, that he has a project due on Friday.  It needs to include a diorama.  I asked him what he had to report on and he said Pre Colombian Northwest Indians.

I quickly got a pad and pencil and started asking him what he would need to make this diorama.  We made a list of things needed...popcicle sticks, glue, glue gun, fake grass, weapons, etc.  Then off he went to school.

I went shopping. Thank god for Hobby Lobby.  They had everything on the list.

Wednesday night Bryce started on his diorama.  There was research to do also so he could explain the climate, type of government, what they ate, what they wore, how they adapted to their surrondings, etc.

Here is Bryce hard at work.

Starting on the research and getting the long house finished was enough for Wednesday evening.  He still had his regular homework to do before calling it a night.

Third day on the job: Finish the diorama, finish the research, make index cards with his talking points.  Practice his talk a couple of times. This was in addition to his regular homework.

BUT...he got everything done.

Fourth day on the job:

Here he is Friday morning with his finished project.

Chuck arrived in the early afternoon and now we are a team to help this kid.

Bryce is a great kid and we are enjoying him so much.

He goes to Fifth Grade Camp this Wednesday morning and will not be home until Friday afternoon.

Chuck and I are going to drive to Reno for a couple of days while Bryce is away.


The Galapagos Big Boys

Dear Family and Friends,

I have saved the best until last.  We were in the Galapagos in 2009. A highlight of that trip was visiting the Darwin Center and seeing the giant tortoises.  We did it independently before but on this trip we were on a tour.

Maybe because it was the first time, but I think our independent tour of the center was the best.   Click here to see our other trip.

The magnificent Giant Tortoises...

They were almost extinct, but with the help of the Darwin research center, their numbers are increasing.  As the numbers increase, they are being reintroduced to their native island.  Different tortoises were on different islands.

Here is Chuck out in front of the research station.

Beautiful up close of an iguana who watched us eat lunch in an outdoor restaurant.

This fellow is the same one I photographed in 2009 at the research facility.

Here is a close up view.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

I think this sea lion is always at the fish stand for handouts.  So cute.

That about sums up our trip.

We feel fortunate to live close to the Galapagos.  We hope to return and visit islands that we have not seen yet.

Now to get off the computer and get ready for Christmas.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Bit of Galapagos Geology

Dear Family and Friends,

The Galapagos islands were formed by volcanic action, much the same as the Hawaiian islands.

I photographed this island as we were flying over it to land at the Galapagos airport.

Here is the same island from the boat.

The volcanic action and the weathering of the ocean have created some very unique formations.

The last eruption was only a few hundred years ago.  Walking on the now cooled lava bed is awesome.  It is like walking on another planet.

Here, the nature guide is pointing out the ropes made by the cooling lava.

Huge rocks stick straight up out of the ocean.

Here is the same rock from the other side as we left it at the end of the day.

We only visited some of the Galapagos islands.  I am sure there are many wonders we have yet to discover.

The next post will be about the most popular attraction in the Galapagos, the Giant Tortoises.