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Saturday, 23 March 2013

11 months and counting....

It has been two months since I've posted...........and 11 months since we arrived in Cuenca!
Once Carnival was over, life in Cuenca started to settle into a new norm............... going to Spanish classes twice a week.....exploring small towns on the outskirts of Cuenca......a trip  to the coast.........
We heard fireworks last night and realized that it has been quite a while since we had heard them.

Just as we started to get accustomed to things, I had a small accident and have been laid up with a fractured ankle. I have a cast until April 2nd. This was my first experience with the emergency medical care here, and I have to say that the care was excellent.
 I went by cab, from where I had my fall, to the x-ray clinic, saw an orthopedic  doc in the same building, then met the Doc at the Hospital emergency the next day to get a cast put on. The total bill, for x-rays, doctor, and emergency room care was 149.28. This includes a follow up visit to the emergency room to get my cast adjusted because it was too tight, and the follow up visit to get my cast removed....... 
Living on the third floor, with no elevator, has been a bit of a challenge. Crutches and stairs do not go together very well......other than school and dentist I stay home. The weather has been great and I spend a lot of time out on the deck.


Learning Spanish has not been easy. This old brain cannot retain much of what I learn......but, some of it is sticking. The best part of the learning is realizing that I can understand a lot more of what is being said to me. I will never be fluent, but my goal is to be able to communicate with the locals. The people here are friendly,patient and helpful, when you put forth a little effort to speak the language.

We took a trip to Salinas and Montinita last month. It rained everyday we were there, but it was warm.
It was good to get out of the mountains for a few days. Salinas was okay but I wouldn't want to live there. As much as I love the heat and the ocean beaches, Cuenca still has my vote for best place to live in Ecuador. the number one draw, for me, is the fact that you can drink the tap water.

 Montinita was crazy.......kind of a cross between a Theme Park and a Hollywood movie set....
 Salinas...........


 Montinita.............................










Our friend Bob has purchased a pick up truck and we have had some great trips exploring the outer areas of Cuenca. 
These are pictures of a trip to the mountains to Cajas National Park.........we live at 8300 feet, but we go up to the mountains....The park is about 30 minutes away and is at 11,500 feet.


















So....as you can see.......Life is good!


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Out with the old and in with the new...............

We are more than  halfway thu the 1st month of the New Year.
I'm sure that any day now things will slow down............. or not!

We pretty much covered the "out with the old" when we sold our home and belongings in Canada and the "in with the new" when we moved to Cuenca, Ecuador.
The past 9 months have been a whirl wind. Settling in to a new life in a new country has been an awesome adventure. We are beginning to realise that "normal life" will never be the same "normal" as we lived before..........and, that's a good thing! Every day life is an adventure.

There is a New Years tradition here of burning an effigy, or monigote on New Years Eve. This is to get rid of bad luck and bring good luck for the New Year. We have had such a good year (knock on wood!) that we did not feel the need to burn off any bad luck.
We did know of someone who had a pretty harsh year, so we thought we would see if we could help her out. We roamed the streets until we found the perfect monigote..............




We bought Miz Kitty home to live with us for a week before the big send off................







 

At midnight Miz joined our neighbours for a send off into the spirit world......................................................





This is definitely one of the strangest customs we have witnessed. All over the city the streets were filled with burning monigotes and the skies were filled with Fireworks. At times it looked like what I can only imagine a city under attack would look like. The first thing the next morning the city workers were out in force and by that afternoon only the burnt marks on the streets were left as testimony. A few afternoon rainstorms washed most of that away.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Parade pictures

This was an amazing thing to witness!We were able to walk amongst the floats while they were waiting to take their place in the parade.To see the entire parade pass by can take up to 8 or more hours. We walked to the front of the parade and then walked to the end.....we were able to see the whole parade in about 3 hours................ we took almost 200 pictures.
Here are some of the pics we took along the way..................
The star of the parade.