Monday-This was the day to rest, say good-bye to Joanna, and rest some more. Before Joanna left, she went online to help me get Unblock Us, so I can watch American TV. There are just some things I cannot give up. We went through all the directions and got to the last one and got hung up. We tried a couple of times but just couldn’t do it. We told Joanna that we would try later after she left. She had to get the bus to Portoviejo and then on the Guayaquil, and stayed with a friend there, and went to get her cedula the next day in Guayaquil, which she was able to do lucky for her because it could go bad just as easily.
Tuesday we had in invitation to have lunch with JoAnn and Wally a couple who have lived in various places in the States. They have a son,daughter-in-law and granddaughter, who live in San Clemente, a town just North of here, so they are one of the lucky few who have children here. JoAnn is a lady I met at the basket weaving that I liked a lot, so I was happy to reconnect with her. She has been in education and psychology. She still takes graduate courses online, which is good to keep your mind working at our ages. She told me that her elevator was not working and she lived on the 5th floor and gave me an option for a raincheck. I figured we could climb 5 flights of stairs once. Going down I figured would be easy. I did not envy her going up and down those stairs a few times a day for almost a week until the elevator was fixed. Welcome to Ecuador. Manana.
Leo and I took a taxi to Crucita. We were standing outside of our gate waiting for the bus. After a half hour we saw a taxi, which we rarely see here, so we flagged it down. Usually the bus comes by every 15 minutes, but maybe they were on lunch break. We took the cab to the far end of Crucita, even past where the Malecon ends. A bumping rocky road continued. We saw the big condos she lived in. She did not tell me there were two buildings, so I was not climbing either until I knew which was theirs. We looked up from the bottom but we could see no sign of her. The gate to the complex was open so we went in, and the door to the stairs was open (great security), but again didn’t know which building we wanted. Then a dog started barking an an Ecuadorian man came out onto his balcony and we asked him if he knew JoAnn and Wally and he did know they were in the building we were casing. He was in the other one. Just about that time, JoAnn hollered over the balcony to us, so we headed up the stairs. After the first flight, we on Floor 1. Oh, no, really 6 flights to climb. We stopped about 2 times to catch our breath. Finally we saw the 5th floor!! And none too soon!!
They have a lovely condo facing the ocean. They are very close to it, and they have a beautiful view from on high. We toured the condo and I was especially taken with JoAnn’s artwork. I made crafts for my house and she used the same stuff and made art. She found pieces of driftwood that looked like a bird, a mermaid, an angel, etc. Sometimes she put a few pieces together to get her effect, but good grief it was spectacular. We enjoyed talking with her and Wally. We had a wonderful lunch of lots of different vegetables and chicken and hot dogs. We were there from 12:00 to 3:30. It is so wonderful to get some of the expats here.
After we left there we decided to walk to the opposite end of the Malecon where the restaurant is that catered our party dinner. We had to pay the balance on our bill. We walked for a long time and I told Leo that I was ready to get a tuk tuk. He pointed to a blue sign a somewhat reasonable distance ahead and said that we only had to walk to there. Oh,ok, I guess I can make it. In a short while, we saw Brian and Jimmy, the two bachelors. They said they were going to get a Pilsner and did we want to join them. We said no, because we had just eaten and we were on a mission, so they left. We continued to walk. After a while we saw a gated community and the gate was iron, so we looked in at the houses. In front by a pool, we saw Marlene and Michael. We said hi, and they invited us in. We decided to stop and rest a while. We chatted with them. They are also very nice. We had just met them at the party. We left and continued our walk. After that we ran into Brian and Jimmy at the restaurant they were having a beer at. They introduced us to the owner and told us it had great food, too. We continued on and when we got closer to that blue sign, we realized we still had a few blocks to go. Lord, I was tired. The owners were not at their house behind the restaurant. Leo called them and told them we’d come another day. We got the bus on that corner and headed home. I liked the fact that we are getting to know people and see them along the way to talk to. I beginning to feel more a part of the town.
Wednesday Audrey and I caught the bus to go to Portoviejo shopping without the husbands. We were meeting Jane in Crucita who was going with us. She and Audrey have gone together a few times previously. We took the bus to “shopping” as they call it or the El Paceo Shopping Center. We went inside and Jane had some pictures printed in the Photograph Shop. While we there there, we ran into Jill and Sonya, who were buying craft supplies. Next, we went up to buy some craft supplies. Well actually I didn’t. I bought a spiral notebook. I have been through 2 notebooks so far in Ecuador in 6 weeks. Then we left the Shopping Center, went across the street to get me a haircut at the place they go. They got their haircut on a Monday, but the salon is not open on Mon., but a neighboring store keeper called up to him and he stuck his head out and after much begging, he said he’d cut their hair if all they wanted was a haircut. This day it was open and he was sick. He came up to us to tell us he was sick and to come back next Tuesday. I am going back with Leo on Tuesday and we both will get haircuts. Near the salon is a chifflie factory. I went up and bought a bag of each kind they made. Chifflies are like potato chips, but made from plantains, yucca, and something red-maybe beets. Some are salty, some not, some are sweet, some cut in circles, and some cut in long thin strips. My new junk food. I usually buy bags at the bus station, but I wanted to try the different types. I still prefer the ones at the bus station-salty, thin strips. So nutritious-NOT!
Then we went for almuerzo, soup, a meal, and juice for $2.50. I had a chicken soup with a mystery substance and yucca. My meal was a fish, rice, and a salad. Very good, as usual. Jane and Audrey are like us, they eat street food.
Next we got a cab to Super Maxi. I got a few items-more than I realized-heavy. We all bought food. Audrey buys things Bill will say, why do you need that? You know how husbands can be at times. We got another cab and headed for the bus station. What was great is this guy took us around back to where the buses load, not out front where we usually get off. He pulled up right behind our bus. We bought tickets, but Audrey asked for a ticket to Crucita for Jane and he gave us 3 tickets to Crucita, so we said oh well, we’ll just stay on to our stop further on. When we got to Arenales, a town sort of near our stop, they made us get out, because he said he was not going to Los Gilses, our stop. We got off and said now what. We went across the street to the store that makes the best bread and I bought 2 of each thing I saw. We waited a while for another bus, but none came, so we took a tuk tuk from there home. We made it. I think we left at 8:00 am and came home a 4:30. As always, a whole day to shop. Audrey was going back on Thursday and I knew I’d be back on Friday. Our lives are spent on a bus, but I don’t really mind. It is what it is.
Thursday was quiet-in fact I have no idea at this point what we did. One thing we did was figure out how to get Unblock Us. I was so happy. We got onto Hulu and we watched shows like Nashville, Bones, NCSI, NCSI Los Angeles, Bluebloods, and just a whole bunch of shows we haven’t seen for 3 months. We only watch TV after dinner until 10:00 when I usually go to bed. During the day, I clean, wash clothes, etc. or go shopping of course, go to the beach to comb the beach for craft items.
Friday Leo and I went to Portoviejo shopping. We ate at KFC, a place we never ate at in the States. We get chicken sandwiches, FF, and a coke. KFC is the only place to eat at the Supermaxie. Since we were going to Supermaxie, Leo said he knew where to get off the bus so we could WALK a few blocks to Supermaxie. We used to take a cab. I said OK. From riding the bus and seeing the area, Leo does get the lay of the land unlike me who has no clue about directions. As usual, he was off a few blocks, so the walk was longer. (I get it, he’s shaving a few blocks to get me out of the bus). The walk was especially interesting, because we were passing some houses I had never seen and they were all owned by people with some money, because the houses were big and beautiful. The walk wasn’t all that bad. We shopped and had a ton of stuff even though I had been there a few days ago. We took a cab to the bus station and asked him to go around back and he did and he pulled up right behind the bus. We bought tickets and got the right ones to get us home.
We had made arrangements with Audrey and Bill to go to Pizza Night, but when I got home, Audrey was not feeling well, so they did not go. I called Jill and Sy, but they did not want to go, so Leo and I went by ourselves. We don’t want to miss Pizza Night, because it is our opportunity to see people we know and meet new people. Every week, the group changes. This week was no exception. There were many we did know and we talked with new people.
(I am forgetting to take my camera places or I take it and don’t take pics.)