In the morning on Thursday we walked downtown and hit several shoe stores shopping for shoes for Shelley. She found a couple of pair she likes for $50 but not any of the wonderful shoes she found before for $8. She bought 3 pairs of those $8 shoes and the last pair is wearing out as we speak. "For fifty bucks" she told Brian, "I can shop any day and get a pair." Thus, in the end, we didn't pick up any shoes for her. We had arranged to meet a new "blog person" at Raymipampa for lunch. We all got there at relatively the same time and sat down to enjoy potato soap, breaded fish & a shrimp crepe. Everybody seemed to enjoy their choice. Raymipampa was very busy and towards the end we could hardly hear each other talking. After we finished our meal and paid the bill we went to the park and chattered for a while longer in the relative peace of the outdoors. Our blog friend was having some trouble with his computer so Brian suggested he bring it over to our house in the late afternoon and Shelley would have a go at it. Shelley was somewhat taken aback and not sure she could help but went along with the situation anyway. In any case, we split up for a couple of hours and headed home. On the way, just because, Shelley managed to get herself a new blouse. Funny how that happened!
OK....here's one...somebody please explain spice cupboards. On the boat we had a fairly large hanging basket that we kept our spices in. Whatever spice we needed was invariably on the bottom of the basket, so we'd have to labouriously pull out all the spices and put them on the counter to find the one we wanted. Now...we're in an apartment with mucho many cupboards in the kitchen. Our spice cupboard is the lower half of a one door set-up. We have a plastic shelf in that cupboard to split it into 2 (sweet & savory). Now...whenever we want a spice, we have to labouriously pull out bottles & jars and put them on the counter until we find the one we want. Why do we suspect if our cupboard was twice the size the same thing would happen?
It was a glorious day on Friday. The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze in the air and we decided to take the bus to Parque Paraiso. Half way there, Brian commented that since the kids were out of school the park might be quite crowded. That was an understatement. There were hundreds and hundreds of kids from pre-schoolers to teens in various groups, some flying kites, some playing games standing in a circle, some playing soccer, others playing line games and still others partaking in sing-alongs. We were at first trepidatious about letting Fredi off her leash but after a bit did so and watched her gleefully running back in forth in the park. She was very polite and didn't bother anyone except a poodle dog also off the leash; they had a energetic play time together running around and tumbling after each other. We walked around the park and sat from time to time and watched the kids and Fredi play. It was a glorious morning. On the way home on the bus, Fredi fell asleep in Shelley's arms a completely tired out little blond girl dog.
On Saturday morning we did household chores, took Fredi for a walk, Brian talked with his friend Jan on Skype and Shelley managed to find more Christmas songs to download. (We eventually got up to 3 hours worth of music on 58 songs. We figure that's enough!) That evening we met friends at Tiestos which incidentally has now gotten so popular you should have a reservation for Friday or Saturday evening. We've been to Tiestos 3 or 4 times and every visit has been an experience! We had a wonderful time with good friends, much camaraderie & way too much excellent food (and maybe a little too much wine).
Sunday we went down to Parque Calderon and met up with several people. As it started to rain, we ducked into Tutto Freddo, the ice cream place, and had a cappuccino, 2 teas, agua con gas, a delicious looking chicken salad sandwich & an ice cream drink. Eventually, of course, we ventured onward to buy Brian's roast pig. Monday we went shopping and Shelley made a variation of Greek Salad (1 skin removed, cubed cucumber; 3 or 4 cubed tomatoes, half a can of pitless black olives; a layer of cubed feta cheese (usually), we used brie this time instead of feta because feta couldn't be found and it turned out just fine; Italian salad dressing).
Just recently we passed our (wheels down in Quito) 2 year anniversary in Ecuador. The flurry of the first few months here is a distant memory, we've adjusted to just about anything that took adjustment, Shelley's homesickness seems to have abated, we've made and lost friends, made more friends, our hearts have been stolen by a tiny shih tzu puppy, we've coped with visitors & holes in our ceiling & uneven sidewalks, we've gone on vacation & returned to Canada & suffered loss & ill health. Simply put, we've lived our lives here for 2 years now and have managed to survive and have come to call Ecuador home. Will we stay forever? Who knows? Forever is such a long time, but we're happy & content where we are now and pleased with our decision. Our lives may seem routine but we're always discovering new things and continue to take delight in the old. We're not bored, tense or frenzied, we're content, pleased & relaxed...for the most part. Both of us, both Brian & Shelley, continue to be more than just a bit amazed we managed to find this place in our lives. You never know for sure and that's a blessing & a curse but it's the way life is. These days we're grateful and look forward to new experiences, new friends & all things good.