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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Smiles.............

Today has been another delightful day.

We slept in till 8:30 and then my 2 friends , Kris and Gina, and I walked up town and had breakfast together. yummy banana Pancakes at the San Sebas cafe.
then a leisurely stroll that took us thru a lovely neighbourhood that I haven't been in yet. I am going to have to break down and replace my camera..............

I was just looking at the calender and was shocked to see that we have only been here here for 9 weeks. It feels so natural to call Cuenca home.

I am taking Spanish classes. OMG! My brain is so rusty...........but, I am surprised that I am starting to get an "ear" for the language and can actually pick out some words in conversations that I hear.
The classes we have chosen to take are being taught by instructors that are English speakers with Spanish as a second language. I think this was a good choice for us to start with.
I have 2 more weeks in the class I am taking, and then Doug and I are going to take a Spanish immersion class, taught by local instructors.

We have found a dentist that we like a lot.
His office is very modern and I feel very confident in his abilities.
On Monday, in less than 10 days from his first visit, Doug will have new dentures. The cost was 1/3 of what we would have paid in Canada.
.............................................and, I am going to get the smile that I have been waiting 30 years for
 It is going to be a bit of a drawn out process, but I am so looking forward to the final results.
I am getting 4 implants, 9 crowns, and 7 veneers...........but, first, I have to wear a torture device for the next three months to realign the joints in my jaw and open up my profile. I was born without many of my permanent teeth, and have been working with baby teeth and missing teeth  all my life. I guess a year to correct what has been  going wrong for 40 years, isn't to bad........
This entire process is going to cost less then what the 4 implants would have cost in Canada.

We continue our daily explorations of the city.
We have our favorite markets and grocery stores.
We found a local supermarket called Mega Tienda de Sur that is very much an Ecuadorian supermarket.
You definately save money buying local.
The Super Maxi grocery stores offer more imported items and are more like the stores at home.
There are a few items we splurge on just because they are familiar to us............Kraft mayonaise...Hunts ketchup.....Heinze BBQ......
There are a few things I miss, sweet pickles and cottage cheese, to name a couple.
The availabilty of fresh food kind of makes up for the things we can't find, but I am compiling a list of things that I want from home.
I am getting antsy to start trying to bake with local products, using a propane stove, but that will have to wait untill we get moved into our new apartment. The place we are in now is adequate, but the kitchen is not stocked for baking or cooking more then basic meals. We have two trunks packed and waiting for shipment to us from Canada, and I am glad that I packed the kitchen stuff I did.
We came here with four suitcases, and if I had it to do over, I would have come with less clothes and more kitchen items..........

The internet connection in the place we are in continues to be a pain. It spends more time down then up and running. It is a very basic connection, and you get what you pay for.
We have been investigating the different options available to us when we move into the new place. We will spend more then we thought we would have to, but the internet is our connection to family and friends back home, so it is important to have a good connection.

The climate continues to be quite agreeable. We have had  a bit of overcast skies, but the sun comes out everyday. Locals find it cold, but we find it very agreeable. We have had temps as low as 60, but most days we are in short sleeves.

I am staring to ramble............. it must be siesta time.

Adios para ahora.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz





















Sunday, 17 June 2012

Gone in 60 seconds...............

For several days, I have been taking pictures of odd and different things, and documenting a day in our life with pictures.
The last picture I took was of the fireworks at the Festival in Calderon Park. I took the pictures, put my the camera in my pocket, took four steps thru the crowd to Doug, reached back in my pocket for the camera and it was gone! In less then 60 seconds!  I remember being bumped into as I turned towards Doug, and now I realize that that was most likely a pickpocket.
New lesson learned...............attach items to my body! We thought we were being careful by leaving our packs at home and just putting a few essentials into our pockets, but apparently more dilligence is required. This isn't something that happens only  in Cuenca, it happens all over the world.

I am now taking Spanish lessons. My brain is very rusty, and I cannot seem to absorb anything! hopefully I will be able to retrain my brain to learn............

We are settled into our temporay apartment and continue to venture out each day to explore the city.

We have found a dentist, and both had appointments Friday. Doug is going to get his dentures replaced. It is only going to cost a third of what it would cost in Canada, and by next Friday, he will have his new set.
I go back Monday to see what options the dentist has come up with for me. My last dentist at home, came up with a plan that was to cost 12 thousand dollars to do implants and replace what needed to be fixed.................

Today is Fathers Day and Doug and I set out to enjoy a walk about town an what is one of the nicest days we have had yet.
Here a few pictures to share with you. I borrowed these, since I don't currently have a camera............


Imbabura Volcanoe

                                              Beautiful blue skies.
                                              Mercado 9 de Octubre. My favorite market
                                                       The flower market.


                                            Sweets for sale at the Festival.      

My favorite building on the Tomebamba waetrfront.


                                          Local women on the streets in El Centro.

These Iinca ruins are located right in the city.



                A typical Ecuatorian dinner.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Routine life is good.............

It's been two weeks since I last posted, so I figured it was time to pop in and say we are alive and well.
The well part feels good, as both Doug and I were down and out for a few days with a tummy bug.
We were able to get some medicine from the local Farmacia and were up and about in 3 days.

We are getting settled and life is starting to become normal.
Doug has finished his first round of Spanish lessons and I have just started a 5 week course.
We have been able to get by with the little bit of Spanish we know, along with a whole lot of pantomine and hand signals, but life will certainly be better when we can converse in,  and understand the language.

We are now happily ensconced in our temporay penthouse apartment untill our permanent rental is finished. We are on the 5th floor with no elevator. By the end of our 3 month stay, we should be very fit!
Right now I can barely make it to the top without stopping.

We have started looking for furniture and household goods and I am quite happy with what we are seeing.
We stop in to check on the progress of our new place once a week . Here are some pics I took this week:


                                        The kitchen has marble floors and black granite counters.

                                          One of the bathrooms.
                                               The balcony.
The apartment should be finished on schedule.

I'm not sure where the time goes. We seem to fill our days without really trying.
Once a week we go to Banos for a soak in he volcanic pools. My back pain has all but disappeared.
We head out by foot and bus on a daily basis and explore a different part of the city. Sundays we take Pete to Paradise Park so he can run off leash play with other dogs.
All in all, we are just enjoying life. No alarm clocks to wake up to. I don't even wear a watch anymore.
The weather has been awesome. Some cool evenings. Some short periods of rain. We always have an umbrella in our back packs, just in case. I have not been cold in the month and half we have been here.

Life is good......................

Here are a few more pictures of our wonderfule city.............


Entertainment set up at 10 de Agusto Mercado


My anniversary flowers

Doug at Parque Calderon

                                                         Doug at a neighborhood Market
                                              I like to think about all of us being under the same moon........
                                             My friend Kris and I....and a cow in someones front yard.
                                                Doug and Kris studying Spanish.
                                                     Kris and Doug in El Centro
                                                 Parque Calderon
                                                  Pete at the River
                                         Pete's favorite morning nap place ...........
                                                  Tomebamba River
                                             Stuffed toy ponies at the park
                                                     My attempt of photogaphy art...........