Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's a Latin Thing?

Fredi was invited over for a doggy play date, so off we went for crullers & coffee while the "girls" sniffed each other out. The other dog was somewhat larger & a couple of months older than Fredi, so there was some concern that she might over dominate our little girl. The concern was unfounded. Tumbled a couple of times, Fredi continued to come back for more fun, her tail wagging valiantly in joy the whole time. All of us felt that the play date was quite successful. For more (!) see our friend's blog. "Bill day" took us away from the fun as we set out on our circuit but we managed to get everything paid for before siesta. Quite a morning for Fredi, she was more than willing to take her nap later on in the afternoon. We've promised to show up at ExPat night as well, so it's going to be one of those "busy" days Shelley fruitlessly whines about from time to time.

ExPat night turned out to be a lot of fun. Several of us pushed tables together and had a meal which we're sure made Zoe's happy. Quite a few were eating at Zoe's for the first time and everyone gave the food an excellent review. It occurred to us that after 7 months of living in Ecuador we have developed some wonderful friendships and always look forward to getting together with them. This ExPat night was almost all resident ExPats; very often visitors to Ecuador outnumber permanent visa folks. There's a little girl whose Mom works at Zoe's who has become totally infatuated with Fredi. In the 3 hours we were there, she had Fredi cuddled on her lap for at least 2 of them. Fredi liked it too! There is a consensus amongst the ExPats that their decisions to move to Ecuador were correct. We're pretty much unanimously agreed that it's a great place to be! Did we mention it snowed in Vancouver again yesterday?

Off we went to Coral Centro to get yet another table for the patio so Shelley could fill it up with even more plants. Brian sighed. Fredi & Brian ended up sitting on the benches outside Coral Centro as Fredi was banned from the store. There was a steady succession of 10 year old girls who fawned over Fredi to keep them occupied while Shelley wandered the store looking for Miracle Whip (fruitlessly).

In the evening we had an absolutely magnificent dinner at a friend's place with 2 other couples. It was Canada night once again where the Canucks dominated the room. One gentleman, born in Ecuador, emigrated to Canada when he was 8 and has only just recently returned. We had a very open and candid exchange with him about the differences in cultural attitudes which was really insightful for us. Again, the 2 puppies fed on each other's energy until after 4 hours they both basically collapsed on the spot. It's very neat that the two get along so well! The next morning Fredi slept in and was very content to laze around the house all morning nursing her little puppy enthusiasm hangover.

When we moved into our apartment last August, there was a one foot square hole in the ceiling in the kitchen where, when it rained a lot, it would leak from time to time. The leak was small & we lived with it without much bother. Come Christmas time, the leak started to gush more water. Apparently the people above us hadn't been occupying their apartment and then they came for Christmas and started using their sink. The sink drain was tied into their balcony rainwater drain. Anyway, workmen came and enlarged the space to a 3 foot square and fixed the leak but the black hole has been sitting there every since. Today the builder of the apartment came, examined the hole and advised he would have workmen come on 2 separate days to fix the hole and repaint the ceiling and the wall. We've been advised that this 7 month saga is not unusual in Ecuador. It's not that we've really been bothered by the (w)hole thing it's just that we're Canadians and don't always understand the rhythm of these circumstances. One wonders if it will ever really be fixed, or delivered, or installed, or whatever....and then one day when you least expect, it is.

Brian's been cooking again all day; coq au vin. Shelley made cream cheese brownies (see Recipes) last night & it was absolutely necessary we test them out. They were f-i-n-e. We're having company for dinner. We invited a Canadian friend at the last minute because one of the people we'd originally invited had to fly back to the States unexpectedly for a family emergency. Our hearts are with them and trust in the end everything will be OK.

Coquita & Fredi romped themselves almost comatose. They have become the very best buddies. Our friends complained last time they got together they had to give Coquita a bath because she was covered in dog drool. This is a sure sign that the girls like each other. Dinner was wonderful, our company delightful & the conversation stimulating; teenagers, politics & fast cars dominated. Shelley however, must remember to not combine rich food with more than one glass of wine.

The appointment for the "hole man" was at 9:00 a.m. Nine o'clock sharp we got a knock on the door and were advised the appointment would be rescheduled to 3:00 that afternoon. We await.


  1. well, at least they told you one time that they would not be there. LOL.

  2. Hello, we are also from Vancouver, BC. Been enjoying your posts. My husband Peter also lived aboard a sailboat. Boating really gets into your blood!
    I must say it is rather odd that I know so much about life in Ecuador. I read Rox and Bob's blog and Nancy and Chuck's and yours. It's is rather funny to read about all the canadians at Rox's and the dogs playing before I read it at your site. You guys really have alot of fun.
    On a sadder note I hope Nancy and Chuck's son will be ok. Sounds like the time it takes to get back to Washington must be unbearable.
    We hope to be in Cuenca within the year.
    IL just had a big event in Quito so the interest is even greater now. Hope prices don't soar too fast.

    Have fun and keep posting,
    Shelagh and Peter
    Snow due this weekend in Langley!!!!!!!!!

  3. I'm not a big fan of Miracle Whip, but I enjoy your blog so much, I decided to try to find a recipe for a homemade version. If it makes you more inclined to try it, it gets five stars from (8 reviews). I saw other recipes made with mayonnaise, but the reviews were not nearly so good.

    Homemade Miracle Whip Recipe

    2 egg yolks
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon powdered sugar
    3 tablespoons lemon juice or vinegar
    1 1/2 cups oil
    1 1/2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/2 cup boiling water
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    Using a blender or electric mixer, blend egg yolks, salt, sugar and 1 tablespoons of the lemon juice.
    Slowly pour in 1 cup oil, a few drops at a time, mixing thoroughly.

    Add remaining 1/2 cup oil a little faster, carefully blending in each bit before adding the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
    Mix the flour, mustard, boiling water and vinegar together until smooth.
    Pour into a small saucepan and cook until smooth and paste-like (but not too thick).
    Slowly add this hot mixture to the mayonnaise and blend well.
    Pour in a container and cool in the refrigerator.

    That's it!

    I'm planning to move to Ecuador within a year, though not to Cuenca, so I really enjoy reading of your joys and trials in Ecuador. Best wishes, Tracy

  4. At least they showed up on time to tell you they wouldn't be there on time.