(This is a post I thought I had posted but I just realized it was in draft form-so it is posted out of order)
As you may recall, on our last visit to Guayaquil we had to leave our paperwork until another day. Well, this is the day. We chose a Thursday instead of a Tuesday-potluck of course. We did arrive earlier than previously because there were no other steps beforehand like we had before. We were there about 9:00. Both Wendy and we were finished by 10:00. Wendy’s pension info was too old, so that means another trip for her. We got what is called an Empadronameinto. If I am not mistaken, that is the registry of your visa that one must make within one month of coming here. They keep your passports and stamp them. We can go pick them up on Monday at 2:00 in Guayaquil of course. At that time, we can try to get our Residency Visa (Pensioner Visa). At that hour, we will not be able to go to the next building to get our cedula (id card). So….another trip to Guayaquil is in our futures. I do not mind going to Guayaquil, but it ends up costing us between $75.00 and $100. each trip. We go with Wendy and Neil and we split the cost of Josue’s taxi time, $100. for the day, Josue’s lunch, tolls and parking. Then there are our own meals out. I am not saying that he charges too much, that is the going rate, but we need to start using the bus system, which we will be doing next Monday. The bus will cost us $4.00 for two. We need a cedula to get ½ price for being a senior, I think. We’ll see. Also, we will have to take a cab to and from the bus terminal to the gov’t building. Again, seniors are supposed to get ½ price. At most it will be just a few dollars and no tipping. I like that.
After leaving that building early, we went to the place where you get your cedula for Wendy. She was in there for hours. Leo and I had nothing to do so we went to the nearby park and saw McDonalds. They had an upstairs area, so we sat there and I took pictures of the people in the park. It was fun to people watch! While there, I had to use the lady’s room and as I opened the door, I did not notice the step up, so my foot hit the step and I fell forward into the door which was now moving in and it hit a lady, but that stopped me from actually falling down. Way to make an entrance!! Then I start saying sorry and explaining myself as about 3 women stared blankly at me. Then I realized I’d better shut up. An older woman (like myself) went into a stall, she came out and told ME to go in, I looked at the others waiting, and motioned to them with a questioned look. They motioned for me to go and then I realized, Oh, yes, old lady goes first.
It was Thursday and the city was gearing up for the city’s Independence Day celebration, which would start on Friday. There were lots of men in blue jumpsuits cleaning up the area to make it nice. Guayaquil is like most cities, beautiful buildings, dumpy buildings, pretty parks, stores all over selling just about anything. While walking down one of the streets and airconditioner was dripping on the tile sidewalk and I slipped, but luckily Leo caught me before I fell. (The stars must be crooked over my head). Tile, (when wet), is like ice. Don’t they make non-slip tile?
While looking at stores, window shopping, I saw 2 things I want to go back and get or find elsewhere. I didn’t want more to move. I saw a beautiful authentic Panama Hat, but not sure how it will look on me. It was behind glass, so I did not try it on. The straw looked crocheted. The brim was round, stiff and flat. Very old fashioned, but beautiful. Panama Hats are made in Ecuador. There are a few stories about why that happened. One story says that they exported them at the time of the opening of the Panama Canal, so the media dubbed them Panama Hats.Then I was a picture frame with beautiful butterflies that I want to get. It is my hope to create a butterfly garden at some point, like I did at my school, Brentwood Elementary, in Carol City, FL. about 30 years ago.
After our paperwork maze on Monday, we will get a bus to Crucita, where we are going to look at a house on the beach for rent. That bus ride will cost us $8.00 each for a 3.5 hour ride. We are going to stay a few days to check out the area. Wendy is going to feed Smokey and clean litter for us while we are gone. Last night we, Skyped with Mario, Leo nephew, who used to live in that area. His mother-in-law was in Miami with him, but his father-in-law is at home in Ecuador. We are supposed to call Mario’s father-in-law today to see if we can get together to check out the area. That will be most helpful. They know people there and maybe by word of mouth they can find us contacts. Wish us luck!