Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Out and About

With our plans to attempt to walk downtown on Sunday, we just did the regular short Fredi walk on Saturday and then puttered around the house the rest of the day. The power outages were 3 - 5 pm on Monday, 11 am - 1 pm on Tuesday and 9 - 11 am on Thursday. Wednesday & Friday were "free" days. Thus, Saturday morning, when there usually haven't been outages, it went out for an unscheduled hour or so. We've gotten so used to the blackouts, we barely even noticed.

Incidentally, the diesel shovel (which we've been told is called a Hy Hoe) has been continuously working in the river across from our apartment building for a couple of weeks now. It's built a rather tremendous rock wall along one side, smaller walls on the other and has re-arranged many of the rocks in the river itself so that it now flows harder against the island rather than against the street side. We suspect it's finished it's job at this point because on Friday it smoothed out the road it had made down the bank, evening out the ruts & generally seemed to be cleaning up after itself. We walked close past it, sitting idle on Saturday, and Shelley took Fredi over to the shovel to show her the "big monster". She was somewhat surprised to find there was someone in the shovel's cab. Brian conjectured that on the weekends and evenings when it wasn't in use, they'd have a security guard watching it the entire time. It's been quite the education watching the delicate work that can be done with such a tremendous shovel and we've commented to each other & visitors that the fellow operating it is a real "artist/craftsman".

Sunday took us to the main square downtown. Brian's stamina was great! The only problem was that the catheter rubs and makes things uncomfortable. Shelley told him he couldn't be making "those kinds of adjustments when we're in the middle of town" and Brian argued that he "could" but "shouldn't". We sat on on a bench in the park and watched the swirl of humanity ebbing and flowing, watched numerous small children in costumes, listened to the music coming from 3 different venues & eventually caught 2 different dance troupes doing their thing. The day was warm & clear & wonderful and it was absolutely the best place in the world to be after being basically cooped up for a couple of weeks. Shelley left Brian & Fredi on a bench and ventured to a bakery to pick up some of Cuenca's deadly but wonderful white buns. We phoned our friends that we often meet in the park on Sunday but they were busy elsewhere and even without the extra company, we had just a fabulous time. There's something about relative freedom after a confinment. Even Fredi seemed to be enjoying her time out more than usual! We got a cab home, not wanting to press things too far & got caught up in several Sunday traffic jams before we managed to make it home. It was a very neat (!) outing; we really enjoyed ourselves and after a hearty lunch of soup & bun & avocado for Brian, he & Fredi went down for a well deserved nap.

The things that frighten us, or more accurately, the things that we'd rather not deal with, are often discounted by other people. One person's irritation is another's joy. In any case, Shelley has gone to great lengths on several occasions not to have to do a large shopping trip without Brian. She'll buy 2 and 3 items of a product to keep her going over several weeks and do without other things if she must. She'll pop into corner stores and tiendas to resupply eggs & bread. Keep in mind she's raised 2 children largely on her own, worked full time at several high stress jobs, moved continents away from her previous homes, hammered out bank & business loans on her own, lived on a boat and at one point was even flown to Ottawa, Ontario to negotiate with the Canadian Federal government over a pension plan item. She's not without resources, however...

...Monday dawned and after much discussion as to specific points where Brian would take himself home if too tired, we both set off to the SuperMaxi to do a large shop. We stopped a couple of times on the walk up there and when we arrived at the Mall, Brian sat on a bench while Shelley explored a few lesser stores.

"You can stay here" Shelley told him arriving back at the bench "And I'll do the shopping and pick you up when I'm finished."

We're not sure if he simply doesn't trust Shelley to pick out the right meat or if he's being particularly stoic...in any case...he picked himself up and not only managed to make it through the store but took Fredi for a walk when we arrived home while Shelley put away the groceries.

"Umphhh" Brian groaned, flopping himself into his easy chair after walking Fredi.

The groceries were bought, exercise was had by all and nothing untoward happened. (OK...Brian complained he did too much for the rest of the day, but he was fine.) It's hard to ask for better than that!

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