Saturday, July 4, 2009

Canada Day in Ecuador

Shelley was lying on the couch reading a book and Brian was in the study working on the computer and the earth shook. Just for a minute. This was the second earth quake we've felt since we've been here. Neither one of them amounted to much but were definitely felt. Talking later to some friends whose apartment is on the ground floor, they told us they didn't feel anything at all, but the power for their building got tripped.

Although we do manage to have a lovely time, we don't seem to be having much luck gathering together all the people we intended these days. We were supposed to meet 2 couples, friends of ours, at the Mediterraneo downtown but it turned out one of the couples was indisposed and couldn't make it. We ended up having a wonderful time nevertheless and talked about respective trips out of country that each of us are planning, the joys of children, how much costs in the U.S. and Canada are going to shock us after being in Ecuador for awhile and our favourite haunts around Cuenca. Please note Shelley had her usual at the Mediterraneo, which is a vegetarian pizza sin cebolla. They make this up for her even though it isn't on the menu. It's wonderful!

Around her incision Fredi had one spot that was turning red & you could feel a bit of a lump & it was getting somewhat crusty so we whisked her off to the Vet keeping our fingers crossed everything was OK. The Vet advised us it was fine and then gave Fredi a pain shot and told us to keep the spot clean but not to put antibiotic cream on it. Fredi seems fine. She's frisky & runs around and it doesn't seem to pain her any, so we suppose we just have to accept it as one of those things. Two days after visiting the Vet the spot was completely gone!

Canada Day arrived and Shelley put on her Canada cap & Brian waved the flag a bit and then we went downtown to Sankt Florian and met a couple of friends who helped us celebrate our day by having lunch with us. The special was trout with an apple fritter for dessert. As always it was a very nice meal for lunch and we enjoyed our friends very much. They're shopping for furniture these days and have just managed to populate their front room but haven't decided on dining room furniture yet. We talked about Brian's impending trip and perhaps them making a foray into the jungle or out to the coast. They're waiting for their permanent residency papers and are thinking of taking a trip to the Galapagos as well. We had a very nice lunch and left feeling pleased and full. However, after eating out two days in a row, it's time to diet for a bit.

We've been chastised a couple of times because apparently there are several places in town where you can get a perfectly good haircut for $2, but we like to go to Decontracte on Calle Larga y Luis Cordero (across the street from the Sank Florian) where Brian gets a cut for $7 and Shelley gets a cut and style for $10. The fellow that runs it is originally from Columbia and Brian and he talk about culture and life in our fractured Spanish while Brian gets a haircut better than any he received in Canada. Shelley (not one to fuss with hair & makeup) gets a trim & then they blow dry her hair so she looks like a lady for the 3 hours before she brushes it down and looks like herself again. "It's the novelty of it all" she tells Brian. "You look great!" he tells her back. Fredi comes with us and sits as good as gold while the ladies make a fuss over her and tease she should get a hair cut too. We leaving feeling trim and confident without the least bit of consternation over paying that extra five bucks.

We went down to the CB Carolina Bookstore and stocked up on books once again. With Brian going out of town, Shelley thought she might be doing some extra reading. Arriving at the bookstore there was a significant crowd of ex-pats from Canada, the U.S. & Australia. Several people zeroed in on Fredi and then remembered to say hi to us as an after thought. Fredi accepted the attention with aplomb. We'd brought 9 books to trade in and picked up 10 to read, so with our trade-in value & our discount for buying 10 books, we paid about $60. Brian's going to be bringing some books back from Canada. Shelley is kind of excited because her daughter e-mailed a list of the books she's saving for us and some of them look pretty good!

Brian's watch quit working so off we went downtown and got him a new one ($17) as well as a battery ($2). We're paying more in Ecuador for watches for Brian than we did in Canada. In the malls in Vancouver they had cheap watch kiosks where you could get one for about $10. When you're paying that price you pretty much have to get a new watch annually but you certainly don't worry about damaging it or loosing it. We sat in the park for awhile and watched the people go by and had our usual Fredi admirers and ran into a friend who we chatted with for a few.

It's been quite cool the last few days. Blankets over us in the evening when we're watching TV and light coats or sweaters when we go out during the day, but today was beautiful; back to capri pants & no sweater. It's Cuenca's winter right now; July & August are noted for being the coldest months primarily because it's windier. All things are relative though; we came here to stay originally at the end of July 2008 and thought the weather was wonderful!

One of the cactus in our pot garden bloomed the other day. It does have a rather spectacular bloom, doesn't it!? They grow outside on our balcony and under instructions from the indigenous ladies, we never water them.

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