Sunday took us down to the main square where we met several of our friends, sat on a bench, basked in the sun, watched puppies play and generally enjoyed our outing. We had walked downtown, climbing up one set of stairs that we'd avoided last time & made it! Cuenca has several sets of stairs leading up from the river when you're headed for downtown. Most are "advanced", some are "intermediate" and there are 1 or 2 sets that are for "beginners". This set was more of a "beginners". We took a cab home when Brian started to feel a bit tired and overall it was a great jaunt.
As is typical with us, Monday was chore/shopping day. Poor Fredi gets locked in the bedroom with her toys and chew stick and presumably suffers the entire time we're gone. (This is what we think; she may be lying back on the bed, examining her nails & enjoying the quiet time, only to get frantic [you know; for our sake] when we arrive.) In any case, we met a friend at the SuperMaxi and as friends will do, we were teased as to why Fredi wasn't with us. We explained that SuperMaxi (and the Malls) didn't allow dogs and that these days Fredi seems to know when it is Monday; "she starts to tremble and look sad" as soon as Shelley begins to gather her toys to put them in the bedroom. Our friend laughed (at us?) and told us we'd better "hurry home then". We did. Fredi was gratifyingly OVERJOYED to see us.
We walked downtown on Tuesday to El Tostador and got several weeks' worth of coffee. Loaded up, we took the bus home. Brian commented he felt he was in about the same shape he'd been in when we first arrived in Ecuador. What with all our walking etc., he was in much better shape after awhile. So...all things considered, he's not doing too bad. That evening we had been scheduled to have dinner at the Otabe Restaurant with some friends of ours. Unfortunately they had to cancel. Their house had been broken into the day before and they were still involved with insurance & police & general chaos matters. We told them (of course) we understood and pulled out some frozen salmon patties for our dinner. They were relatively lucky; no one was home when they were robbed and they'd gotten off relatively easy in that only a few things had been taken such as their computers, a digital camera & some (sad to say) sentimental jewelry. They're not discouraged with Ecuador and that's good (!) but there's no quick way to get over something like that. You just have to work your way through the feelings.
Most of the morning & early afternoon Wednesday we spent trying to phone Brian's Doctor (the specialist) to make an appointment to come in to see him. This is what the Doctor had instructed Brian to do. In the middle of our several calls, we took a walk in the neighbourhood and picked up a hanging plant to present to our hostess that evening. We'd been invited out for roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Finally, at around 4 o'clock in the afternoon the Doctor phoned back; could Brian come then?
He arranged an appointment for 9 am the next morning. (Just because we're in South America doesn't mean that we're required to take up all their customs.)
Aside: Here we are; smack dab in the middle of an exotic South American country; on the equator; far away from children & family, familiar & comforting, rain & sleet; cozy, snug, happy, healthy (these days) and somewhat amazed(!) You look back at the sequence of events that brought you to where you are and yet still; there is amazement(!) One would like to pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves on their foresight & planning; yet... Is it a sequence of events or chaos leading to where we are now? Who knows? We don't; yet... it's good...it's very good.
As it turned out, we had curried chicken & shrimp, rice, salad & an absolutely wonderful dessert whose name we can neither pronounce nor spell. We asked about the roast beef & Yorkshire pudding we'd been promised and were duly shushed, so we changed the subject. We spent the evening in the company of a pair of really nice people & came home happy, over stuffed & contended.
Brian set off at 8:30 in the morning on Thursday for his Doctor's appointment at 9 and was home about an hour and a half later, all smiles and enthusiastic about his last post-op visit. Apparently he's almost a "poster child" for this type of procedure; getting back on his feet, post-op complications to a minimum, his scarring is healing well and the Doctor's very pleased with his walking every day. He's on a 3 month repeat visit routine for PSA tests (CT scans every 6 months) for the next while and then it changes to 4 months & then 6 months and after 5 years he's considered "cured". He was quite exuberant when he arrived home and as with each "good news" milestone we once again realized how much emotion we'd been keeping under wraps.
"You know" Shelley told him later on in the day "I hate to tell you this...but it's time to make a dentist appointment".
And we trudge (sometimes gaily skipping) on...