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Friday, August 31, 2018

Quick trip to U.S. for Family Gatherings

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I returned yesterday from the U.S.  We made a quick trip to visit with family.  My brother came from Texas while we were in Georgia.  It was so great having all us kids together.

Here is some of what we did.

We went to visit Aunt Opal on Thursday.  Aunt Opal came to visit us in Cuenca six years ago.  At that time she was 87 years old.  She has always been a special aunt.  Last May she fell and broke her pelvis and shoulder.  She was on total bed rest for about 6 weeks.  Quite frankly, we did not know if she would be bed ridden the rest of her life.  She is 93 years old.  

Aunt Opal is a miracle.  Not only is she not bed ridden, she is walking about with the help of a walker.  She looks great.  I am sharing these pictures because many of you remember Aunt Opal from her visit with us.




I cannot tell you how happy we were to see her doing so well.

On Friday my cousin, Linda, put together a luncheon for cousins from my mother's side of the family.  Linda is on the right in the picture below.  Sandy is in the middle. She is Aunt Opal's daughter.  


 On Saturday we went to the Powers Family reunion.  This is the family from my father's side.  There were 98 people present at this reunion.  What a joyful time.

Below is a picture of my cousins Sue and Pat.  



Joy is the oldest of us cousins.


Here is my brother, Norman, and our cousin Jim.  


The reunion was catered by Country's Barbecue.  So southern and so wonderful.


On Sunday we flew to Minnesota.  On Monday we went to the Minnesota state fair.  Here are a couple of pictures of our granddaughter, Bethany Paige performing in the 4-H performance.



On Tuesday we drove to visit the other grandchildren and Merri.  We had a nice lunch together and enjoyed playing games. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures.

On Wednesday we flew back to Ecuador.

A whirl wind trip filled with family.

Now we have one month to get ready for our trip to Italy.

Love,
Nancy

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Animal Rescue Center in Tarqui

Dear Family and Friends,

As promised from yesterday I am sharing some pictures that I took at the Yurak Allpa Animal Rescue Center.  

These animals are either former illegally owned pets or rescued injured animals.  I was really surprised at the variety of animals they have.

First, I will show someone we all know and love, getting a back massage from a couple of ostriches.


Below are some of the animals we saw.  We were able to feed them fresh food provided by the rescue center.  Up close and personal experience.  

















Amazing animals.  So glad we had this experience.

Love,
Nancy


Friday, August 17, 2018

Birds of Prey Sanctuary

Dear Family and Friends,

When I looked at the date of my last post I sucked wind!  If anyone thought that I had passed on, I certainly understand.

To be truthful, I have been down.  I have been battling inflammation that was caused from poor eating habits.  A change in my diet and lots of turmeric have me feeling much better. 

Chuck and I went on a tour to Tarqui yesterday.  Tarqui is a town not far from Cuenca.  We went first to the Yurak Allpa Animal Rescue Center and then near by to Cetreria House, a sanctuary for birds of prey.

Today, I am sharing pictures of Chuck at the bird sanctuary.  These are wild birds that have been injured or were illegally kept as pets.  The sanctuary rehabilitates them and then releases them in their natural habitat.  It takes months to years to rehabilitate them so that they can go free.

Chuck, along with many of the other tour participants, volunteered to let the birds sit on their gloved arm.  The one Chuck is holding is their largest bird, an eagle, and the bird will be released into the wild next month.









Below is the professional bird handler showing off another bird.



It was an incredible tour.  This tour was put together by Sole of La Yunta.  She does many tours but this one is the most requested.  If you live in the area and have not taken this tour, I highly recommend it.  She does it from time to time and you can get the details when she posts on Gringo Post.

Tomorrow, I will share pictures of the animals at the rescue center.

Love,
Nancy

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Monday Morning Organic Market

Dear Family and Friends,

When we are in Cuenca, Chuck goes to the organic market located just across the river from us.  He does our produce shopping there along with buying other great items.

The market is very small, but very popular in our neighborhood.  It is set up in a driveway.


The produce is very nice.  You get to shop from what they bring and they bring what they have for that week.  They also have eggs from country chickens, usually they have fryer chickens also.  Other vendors come to sell sauces, cheeses, yogurt, and many other items.


Look at this lettuce and cabbage.


How about these radishes?


Chuck buying yogurt from his favorite vendor, an expat from Iran.  He makes Persian style yogurt.


Here is the sour dough bread we bought for breakfast.  It was still warm from the oven.


We are very grateful to have this resource just a short walk from our condo.

Hope you have a grand day.

Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Catch Up

Dear Family and Friends,

With so much rain lately, the river has been running high. Yesterday was laundry catch up day.  The sun came out and the river had dropped a little.  Many people out doing laundry.



Love,
Nancy

Saturday, May 26, 2018

No Drought Here

Dear Family and Friends,

We drove from Columbus to Atlanta just over a week ago.  The morning we left Columbus rain was in the forecast.  Chuck and I left extra early just in case we got caught in a torrential rain storm.  This has been known to happen in Georgia. Rain so thick and heavy that you cannot see the car in front of you or even the road, for that matter.

Luckily we had a nice ride to the airport in Atlanta without a drop of rain.

However, we got out of Georgia at the right time.  I have been seeing pictures on Facebook of flooded creeks and the Chattahoochee river in Columbus.

Just to let all my friends in Columbus know...we aren't exactly in drought conditions here.

Since we have been back in Cuenca (and who knows how long before we arrived) it has been raining every day.  Some days more than others...but every single day.

This is really no surprise since we are in the rainy season here.

I just wanted to share pictures of the river that is in front of our condo.  It is very full, lots of white water, rumbling and noisy.  So far, where we are, the water is still inside the river banks.  However,  another river in town is out of it's banks.

Traditionally we can watch people washing clothes in the river out our front window.  No so much this week.  Too dangerous.

Here is a picture of Chuck checking out the river.


Another picture, taken from the bridge.


I hope in you folks in Columbus are safe.  I've seen some incredible pictures from there.

Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Our Latest Trip

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I returned home to Cuenca last Thursday.  We have the suitcases unpacked and all the laundry done.  This was no small task.  

Today I downloaded pictures from my camera and cell phone.  It is getting more difficult to gather pictures since they are on more than one device.  To make it even more fun, my cell phone is an android and doesn't communicate directly with my Mac computer.  

We were gone for approximately six weeks.  The purpose of this trip was two fold, to take Matt, our son, on his annual vacation and to visit loved ones. During this time, we hopped around the USA visiting family. The longest time we spent in one location was when we were confined to a cruise ship.  

I flew to Georgia a few days ahead of Chuck to visit with my family there.  I was there over Easter weekend and for only four days, but during that time I visited my sister and brother in law, Mary Anne and Larry.  

I, of course, had to visit with my two aunts.

Here is Aunt Opal.  She is well into her 90's and is doing fine. 



My other aunt, Aunt Betty is also doing well and it was so good to see her.



Aunt Opal's son, Bo Bartlett is an artist.  I made a visit to the newly opened Bo Bartlett Center, connected with Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.

The gallery was created from an old cotton mill warehouse.  





The gallery is large, it needs to be because Bo's paintings are large.



I loved visiting, but it would have been a better visit if Bo had been in town to give me a guided tour.

He was in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with his wife, Betsy Eby. Betsy was asked to go to there by the U.S. State Department.  She shared her art and her life with the people she met.  Bo, of course, joined her on this trip.

When Chuck flew to Atlanta, four days later, I met him in the airport and we flew to Seattle. 

We had dinner with Chuck's brother and his wife, Larry and Carolyn.  We then rented a car and drove across the state of Washington to Richland, Washington.  We had a quick visit with family there.  

Here is our granddaughter, Heidi and our daughter in law, Kathie, playing their trumpets in the church service.  



And here is our son, Michael and family, acting crazy for a family picture.  



After three days, we gathered up Matt and drove back to Seattle.  We returned the rental car at the airport and took the light link train to the train station in Seattle.  We went by Amtrak to Vancouver, BC to board our ship for a cruise to Hawaii.  

We were joined on the cruise by Chuck's two sisters and their husbands so we had a nice family time together.

Matt and his wonderful mother.



Frank and Carol

Audrey and Jim

and Chuck.

We cruised for five days before reaching Hawaii.  That is a lot of sea days.  It was so nice to have a lots of family to spend time with.

Below are several pictures made in Hawaii.

Kauai...





Honolulu...





 Kona....




Hilo....






Our last port of call was the big island of Hawaii.  We left there one week before the volcano erupted.  While we were on the island, Carol and Frank went up to the rim and looked into the core of the volcano.  

We had five days at sea to get back to Vancouver.

We flew back to Richland, WA and delivered Matt to his place.  Hugged our grandkids and drove back to Seattle.  

The next day we flew to Oklahoma City, rented a car and drove to Pottsboro, Texas to visit with my brother Norman and his wife Nancy.  We had a wonderful three day visit before driving back to Oklahoma City to catch another plane.

We flew to Minnesota to visit our daughter Merri, her husband Ken and our grandkids.  We visited there for about three days before catching a flight to Atlanta.

We rented a car in Atlanta and drove to Columbus for three days.  This gave Chuck an opportunity to go see the Bo Bartlett Center and my cousin Linda arranged a family get together at Ezell's Catfish Cabin.  It was so good to see everyone.  



The next morning, we drove to Atlanta and caught a flight to Quito.

This type of travel, (three days here and three days there), is really rough on the body.  We got home to Cuenca and went straight to bed.

What I have shared with you is only a nutshell version of our trip.  We had such a good time visiting with family and enjoying our first trip to Hawaii.  

Take a look at Bo's and Betsy's websites:

www.bobartlett.com

www.betsyeby.com


Love,
Nancy