Family to the Rescue


While we were at Bob and Renate’s house, Felipe, our nephew called and said they were coming to pick us up later, to have us stay at the house of Chino and Pierina, where every family member was, who did not have electricity. It was a statement not a question. This is how Ecuadorian family members are, help those that need it, that is just the way it is. We went home to pack for a few days (optimistic about getting electricity). I cleaned out the cupboards of food I could share with the family and packed it up. They said to bring a mattress so we got that. Chino and Felipe came about 7:00 PM to get us. Just before they came I made us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.  They came in a pick-up truck. Leo, and I sat in the front while our belongings, Felipe and the two dogs went in the truck bed.  Felipe had to hold on to the dogs the whole way. They were a bit scared.  My fear was going over a bridge that connected Portoviejo to Crucita over the Portoviejo River. The bridge had been damaged, but they had fixed one side allowing two lanes of traffic, one going each way. I prayed the whole way over because it was dark and I could see very little and I wondered how that quick fix job was doing. We arrived safely and most of the family was there. Some of the family slept on mattresses in the water factory which is attached to the house of Chino and Pierina. The rest of the family slept on mattresses in the living room. We slept in a bedroom. They all really wanted to sleep together, so they could run out easily during an aftershock. Actually, we did not have any aftershocks there. They live on the outskirts of Portoviejo and that area was one of the few places with electricity. Most of the family lived in El Centro, which was the center of all the damage in the city. Their house stood and had little damage, but all around it fell. Most of the people were hurt on the streets by falling buildings. The death total was little compared to earthquakes of that size because it was Saturday and after 5:00, so most businesses and government buildings were closed. Felipe was our only family member who was hurt. He was at the airport stringing computer wires for a new office area, when a wall fell on him. He went to the hospital and had stitches in his head and his back was scraped, and he had a piece the size of my fist that was very gouged out and raw, and below that, a piece about 5 inches wide was black minus the blue, which continued to his waist.

Airport where Felipe was hurt.

Airport where Felipe was hurt.

Later that night when we talked with Colon, who owns the water plant, he said they had 1,000 people lined up that day for water. They make about 2,000 bottles. They do not usually sell to individuals, just distributers, but of course, they did now. They said that the military was going to take over the plant the next day to help in the distribution, but when they came the next day, the person from Portoviejo who knows them said that he knows they will give out the water and not price gouge, so the military people went to another place. The next day there were about 600 people. I went out to see what was going on and it was orderly.


The time at the house seemed to be getting ready for a meal, cleaning up afterwards and getting ready for the next meal, especially for that big group. They did have a housekeeper there that they employ. She did most of the work, but Felipe’s girlfriend, Maria Laura, was right beside the housekeeper helping a lot. She is like that at my house, too. She is a good houseguest. I am not a good anticipator like Maria Laura. She just jumps up and does that stuff. I tried to help by doing dishes. I washed and Leo dried. The third night we were there, everyone played Bingo after dinner. We paid 10 cents a game and the winner got the pot of probably $1.50. Well the funniest thing about the game was that one couple won every game. Caesar won maybe 4 games and Gaby won about 2 or 3. Not one other person won a game. I told them they should go out and buy a lottery ticket with that lucky streak. Too funny! Then the electricity went off and killed the game. It did not stay off for too long, but it was time to go to bed anyway.

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We were there with our dogs which we had tied up outside where we usually sat most of the day. They were very good, but barked at each new person that showed up, scaring the newcomer to death. We pet the dogs a lot to keep them happy. Leo found an enclosed park nearby, that he took them to a couple of times a day after their meals, to run off their energy.


  1. That was quite an experience, but you were so lucky to have relatives to care for you, and to have other people around you. It was good that you could take the dogs with you also, that family were great to host so many people, but under those circumstances, everyone gives to the max, that’s when you learn how wonderful people are. I noticed how the Ecuadorians lined up for water, very patient, not like in the USA

  2. I forgot to say how sorry I was to hear of Felipe’s injuries, but he was lucky he wasn’t killed, that was a close call. Loved seeing all the pictures 🙂

  3. Joyce, we are thankful you and Leo made it through this ordeal unhurt. The rest of the inconveniences you had to endure are secondary. Stay well and keep posting. We enjoy your posts and pictures. Warmest regards to Leo

    • Thanks, Tom,for your good thoughts.We are doing better every day.Leo and I send our best to you and Donna.It is nice to see you on Facebook and get your comments on the blog. I feel as though I am able to check in with you and the other readers this way. It is just not a one way street.We have been busy with workmen every day lately getting gardening done,painting done, screens made, furniture made.I must get posting again.Thanks for reading the blog.

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