Wednesday Craft Day

Today Audrey and Bill came over to get us from next door to ride the bus to Jill and Sy’s house for our 1st craft workshop. It was a short ride under 10 minutes to their house. The craft we did before was a special craft day. These craft workshops are once a month on Wednesdays where Jill comes up with a craft for us to do. We bring our lunch and a drink. This month we will go twice since this craft takes 2 days. When we first got there, we talked for about an hour before getting started. Leo and I got a tour of Jill and Sy’s house. They had their house built. It was a 3 bedroom, ranch. Since Jill is the craft person, she had decorated with all sorts of crafts-good ones. I stole one of her ideas after asking if it was ok. She made drapes from hammocks. I loved the idea. Mine were a little more expensive than hers because I had to have longer hammocks. I am decorating in yellow and turquoise blue, so I bought turquoise hammocks for the living room and yellow for the dining room. Anyway, finally Jill began to show us how to make roses from polymer clay. Leo was quite good at it, but not me so much. After the first one, I switched to making hibiscus. The petals are bigger and easier. While making the flowers, many people including Leo were drinking beer. It is so strange the way the people drink beer in the morning. They did it at the basket weaving class, too. When in Rome..

Jilkl giving instruction while Harold watches.

Jill giving instruction while Harold watches.

After the craft, we ate the lunches we brought. We sat out on their back patio and watched the ocean and talked. We had a very good time. The people are nice, so it was very enjoyable. Audrey, Bill, Leo and I hopped the bus back home.

OUr roses

Our roses

Eating lunch

Eating lunch

Great Porch.

Great Porch.

Jill's house taken from the beach.

Jill’s house taken from the beach.

Later that day, Leo went for a swim and we took sunset pictures.


I am behind on my writing, so I am going to include the second craft day where we painted the flowers we made and we put them on something. Jill had a conch shell that she gave us to put our flowers on. It came out so well for knowing so little about it. The day went pretty much like the first craft day, talking and eating. I look forward to craft day. We were given an assignment for the next craft. We have to beachcomb and find “stuff” for the collage project. Today  I went out and found lots of driftwood, rocks, feathers, shells, and rope.  I found 9 brown rocks that I am going to use in a picture frame to put over my bed. I saw it on Pinterest. Leo found a fat piece of bamboo and a rope with what looks like a tassel at the end. Many possibilities.


Joyxe and Joy paianting

Joyce and Joy painting

Audrey with her finished project.

Audrey with her finished project.

Joyce with our finished project.

Joyce with our finished project.

Everyone's finished projects.

Everyone’s finished projects.











  1. Enjoyed all the pics, thank you very much. Your place looks great. Is it a house or apartment? What do the rents go for? Your piece in the craft show was my favorite. Love the colors. Everyone’s piece was very nice also. How far are you from Salinas or other beach areas? Looking up maps but they are hard to read. What about the crime rate, see lots of bars on windows and doors as I skim thru You tube and other websites. Thanks again for the great photos and info. Enjoy!

    • Our place is a house. This rents for $800. In Playas we paid $750 for a 2 bed one bath apt. Somewhere in the blog you can find pics. Or google Casa Iguana, Playas on Flip Key and you can see all the pics. A girl down the beach pays $300 a month-not the one in the pictures at crafts. Less fancy of course. We are 3-4 hours from Salinas. We are very close to Manta, you can find it on a Map it is big. We are on the beach, so we are near some to the North and South. I’d say we are kind of in the middle of the coastline. Above us is San Clemente and below us is Manta. Salinas looks nice in pictures, but friends have said they didn’t like it-the ones living there do like it. We are all different, so what appeals to one does not appeal to another. Some people in Playas said they didn’t want to live on the Malecon because of the noise, but it didn’t bother me. I heard roosters starting at 3 am, fireworks starting at 6 am, music any time, swimming at 4:00 in the morning in the hostel next door. I hear it and roll over and go back to sleep. I liked seeing action, which I miss here. Violent crimes are rare, but theft is more common. People do have bars, but I think that is the way it is here. We have bars on one glass door and a locked gate on the stairs to our bedroom. Nothing else has bars. We have 3 sliding glass doors not barred, and 3 large windows on the first floor with no bars. There is an alarm system on the house and we do put on perimeter lights. The lady next door has 2 dogs that patrol the area and bark at the people on the beach and any one on the property that they don’t know-visitors or workmen. Ecuadorians don’t like barking dogs, so it is a deterrent. Remember just listen to the news at home and know it is better here. Hope this helps.

    • Thanks, Joan. I never thought I’s see Leo doing crafts, but hey it is something to do and a way to meet others.

  2. I love your blog and the straight forward approach to prices and married life! (By this time I was getting a bit cranky)
    Would you see if you could get a better camera ? I love the pics but some of the fuzzy ones hurt my eyes !

    • Thanks Andrew, glad you like the blog. Are you thinking about moving to a new country or just browsing. Sorry about the fuzzy pictures. It is not the camera, it’s the photographer (me) usually or my husband (come to think about it, it must have been Leo.) Just kidding. Hope you keep reading. If I can answer any questions about being an expat or living in Ecuador, I will try to share my perspective.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. Yes thinking of retiring to Ecuador and obviously making the SS stretch further.
        Is there a divide between Americans and Ecuadorians ? I noticed when I did business in Costa Rica the receptionist would hang up when she defected you were American. Had Nicaraguan lady sitting with me to translate. She called and got through first time. Seemed like you had some of that with cab driver at Hotel?
        Noise ? I had romantic vision of going to sleep listening to waves not bongo drums? Thoughts?

        • Hi Andrew, Yes, SS does stretch further here thank, God. Yes, you might be right about the cab drivers. I just don’t know, really. We can’t truly tell about the divide between the Ecuadorians and the Americans in general. We have only been in Ecuador less than 2 months. We don’t see the divide much and others have found that their Ecuadorian neighbors have been kind and friendly, if you are kind and friendly. We have “relatives” that are Ecuadorian-our nephew’s in laws. Our nephew and their daughter are not here now they’re in Miami to live, but their family has taken us on like family. They ask what we need and it is usually where to get good deals on items and help to transport the heavy stuff back to Crucita where we live. They are always willing and ready to take us any where in their truck. Each time we go out they take us to a nearby town we haven’t seen, just to sight see. These people have lived here all their lives in Portoviejo and they all have a second home in Crucita for their beach getaway. So our experience is different than most.We are very lucky.

          Noise depends on where you live. In the middle of town on the Malecon-noisy. In Playas Villamil, our first month, was on the Malecon. It was noisy, roosters, fireworks, hostel next door had pool noise at 2 am, but I can block out noise and go back to sleep-not everyone can do that. I loved it there, being in the middle of it all-convenient to walk everywhere. Here, we are a bit out of town. We do go to sleep listening to the waves. We are right on the beach-no road between which is unusual. This is wonderful, too, in a different way. The down side is we cannot get back from town after 8:00 pm, because the buses stop coming here and there are no cabs or tuk tuks then, meaning we miss out on parties and get-to-gethers at restaurants in the evenings that the people in town can walk to. I miss being able to walk to things during the day and running into people I know, so it is a bit isolating. There is not much to do in the center of Crucita but eat. Very few businesses, unlike Playas, which was a bigger town.

          Those are a few thoughts, hope they help. Joyce

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