Today we got a call from Jane and Michael to see if we wanted to go into Portoviejo to see the Portoviejo Museum. Being up for anything that we haven’t done before, we were ready by 10:30 to get the bus.
Jane and Michael are another wonderful couple we have met. Jane is in the Craft Club. Anyway, when we got on the bus, we called Jane to let her know we were on our way, so she and Michael could head for their bus stop to join us on the bus near their house in downtown Crucita. See that look on Jane’s face. That in a nutshell shows you Jane’s vibrant personality.
We got off the bus in El Centro. Leo asked where the Museum was, so we walked in that direction. We came to Chile Street where all the little shops and vendors are, and Michael bought a change purse( $.75), since his had worn out. I impulsively bought a set of 6 glass bowls with lids ($6.00) to store left-overs in. It was about lunch time, so we took pot luck and stopped at a place that served almuerzo ($2.50 each) for lunch. We had to go upstairs and we were surprised at how modern the place was. We are used to the places that are open-air and on the street, with plastic tables and chair. See below:
After lunch, we headed for the Museum. We passed an interesting church and a park that is just beside the museum.
Jane had gone online to check out the hours and days the Museum was open, but imagine that, the website was incorrect. We were there on Monday and Monday is a day it was closed. They were setting up the Museum for Christmas. There was one young man there that said he’d show us one of the rooms that was finished. He had a great personality and could speak English which helped us. He told us some of the traditions of the Ecuadorian Christmas. Like in North America the baby Jesus is not put in the manger scene until Dec. 24th at midnight. Christmas Eve is the big celebration in homes. They have a tradition that for the 9 nights before Christmas, people visit 9 different houses, one each night, and the host provides sweets for their guests. It is customary to sing Christmas songs, especially children’s Christmas songs. Our guide, Carlos, sang some for us.
Inside the room were also vignettes to show Ecuador in general like the hat making, a traditional stove and utensils, a hammock, weaving of blankets, etc. We enjoyed it so much that we want to go back to see it when it is really open.
We took a cab to the bus terminal, rode the bus back to Crucita and got off at Jane and Michael’s house. They live about a couple of blocks from the ocean and live in an all Ecuadorian neighborhood. They love it and have made friends with their neighbors. They are making a big effort to learn and speak Spanish, which I think is great. Michael likes to be around Leo so he can practice his Spanish. Their house is very nice and large. They have a huge patio with a grill and furniture at ground level. You walk up stairs to their actual house. They have a fully furnished house and I like it a lot. We had snacks on the patio downstairs. Beside their house and part of the property is a lot with fruit trees. We tried some of the fruit, which was good. One was like a tart orange and the other is hard to describe. Both were tasty. About 6:30 Michael and Jane walked us to the bus stop. While waiting, we ran into Frank, a newcomer here. We talked while we waited. When we got on the bus we saw Marianna, Olayita’s mom. She was going to her Crucita house, because she was having her cistern cleaned out. We had another long day, but an extremely enjoyable one.