Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And still those voices are calling from far away

Shelley was pleased because she got to have a long Skype call on Saturday with one of her daughters. We got back a small refund from Revenue Canada recently and had spent the morning eyeing and pricing stereos. Brian was busy setting everything up and playing music much too loud, while Shelley chatted. We've missed having a stereo and are looking forward to playing our CDs. As we've mentioned before, we came to Ecuador with 4 suitcases (one of which was filled with books). In one of the 3 other suitcases we'd brought our CD collection. We'd reduced it to just discs (tossing all the packaging) and brought them in a sort of large album book. We spent the afternoon listening to our favourite music and learning how to operate our new equipment. Fortunately, the instructions were in both Spanish & English and the captions on the stereo itself are in English.

"What should be the first CD we play on our new stereo?" Brian asked of Shelley.
Shelley replied without thought: "The Eagles, Hotel California."

Once again we wandered down town to see what the Sunday entertainment would be in the main square gazebo. This week we got a wonderful 5 or 6 piece band playing rousing dance music and making everybody in the park smile & shift their feet. We ran into a friend and went for cappuccinos and gabbed for awhile about the best retirement places in the world. Our friend had been to Panama, Uruguay & Costa Rica in her search for her retirement nest and settled (of course) on Cuenca. She gave her reason for her choice and we all agreed Cuenca is wonderful. We also talked about Vilcabamba and the impact of the influx of Gringos into that small community, real estate prices in general & renovation costs in a place where minimum wage is just over a dollar. We were pleased to have run into each other and promised to get together for dinner soon.

Fredi woke us up at 2:30 a.m. throwing up delicately on the bed spread. We got up and cleaned up the mess and cleaned her up and got settled into bed again and went back to sleep. Half a hour later the same thing happened. "Poor Fredi looks guilty" Brian said.

"She can't help it, tell her it's OK" Shelley instructed him.

She's in the habit of picking up bits of paper and kleenex and we run after her and pluck them out of her mouth before she has a chance to swallow them. Shelley told her she's not a goat and she doesn't have the capacity to digest such things, but Fredi just doesn't listen.

In the morning, once again, Fredi threw up on the living room floor and once again we cleaned her & the mess up and reassured her she wasn't a bad a dog. We've lived with cats and they're always throwing up but can't remember if a dog throwing up is relatively normal or something to get alarmed about. Checking with Google it could be anything from hunger, to the kleenex she's snacking on, to irritable bowel syndrome to basically nothing.

As it turned out, we had to take Fredi to the vet for a booster anti-parasite pill and we talked to the vet about her throwing up then. The Vet was pretty much unconcerned since it was yellow vomit. Usually this type of vomit is "stress" induced she told us. We commented that Fredi threw up in the middle of the night and the Vet shrugged her shoulders and suggested perhaps Fredi had eaten something like a kleenex. "Eureka!" we thought and let the whole subject drop. While we were there we also made an appointment for Fredi to go in and be spayed. We were somewhat concerned that the Vet may try to talk us into waiting a few more months, but she was satisfied Fredi had had her first heat and was very willing to set up the appointment. Shelley immediately began to feel sorry for poor little Fredi but she knows that having her spayed is the kindest act in the end. When the big day comes, she'll have spend the night at the Vet Hospital. We'll miss her!

Eyeing the sky and predicting a downpour, we donned our rain jackets and took the bus downtown instead of walking. We had a bunch of small chores to take care of; filling up our bus pass cards, buying a monthly supply of coffee and stopping at the post office to mail a card back to Canada. It cost us $54 or $63 a month (we forget but it was a lot) each for a one-zone, one month bus pass in Vancouver. We put $10 each on our bus passes here 2 1/2 months ago and filled them up again today with $3 left on the pass (i.e. we now have a $13 credit which should last us 2 or 3 months). Four pounds of coffee cost us $10 and mailing the card to Canada was $4.75. It had started to rain shortly after we left home and poor Fredi was doing her shivering act, so Shelley tucked her inside her coat with just her head sticking out. Several people commented on the perra fria. We hopped back on the bus and arrived home just prior to a horrendous biblical deluge so patted ourselves on the back regarding our good timing. Fredi & Brian went down for a nap & Shelley Twittered.

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