On Tuesday our painters returned to work, so we gave them the food we had purchased. That afternoon we felt almost back to normal when we played the card game, Spades, with Illa and Kent, our neighbors.
Another time we felt normal was when we went to a wedding reception at the home of Deb and Terry, a couple who had just gotten married on Skype. They were both in Ecuador and the minister was in the US performing the ceremony. They had wanted to do it at their house, but they did not have internet because of the quake, so they went to Louise and Gary’s house and had their ceremony alone together with the minister. Saturday night they had the reception. It was a bit subdued due to the circumstances, but it was nice to see the happy couple and the expats that were able to attend. They live in the Pyramid house which they rent out when they are not here. We were enjoying the view from high atop La Loma.
Today is the 11th day since the earthquake and Leo and I worked around the house. There is still a lot to do since we have not completely unpacked due to the fact that the painters are here and they will have to do another round to fix the new cracks. Right now I want to get settled. The aftershocks have been few and far between lately, much to our delight. If you want to see the house we moved into, the video is below: The inside is decorated differently and it has been painted inside and out. I will post pictures when the painters finish and I can get a few pictures up on the walls. We have added a lot of plants to the outside, too. We also have a few projects in mind to add to the house. We really want to put a ramada (thatched hut) over the whole backyard, because the sun is so intense that I need shade.
Later, Bob and Renate called to say they were going to Porto to shop and invited us to go along. I went to pick up a few things, but mostly wanted to get out of the house. Leo stayed because the painters were there. When we crossed the bridge to Porto it was now 4 lanes, messy, but crossable. When we passed the airport, we saw a tent city had emerged, complete with porta potties. It was good to know that the homeless had a place to get out of the sun and set up a place for their families away from the rubble.
We had left our laptop at the family house, so Felipe came to Supermaxi to give it to me. We gave him a ride home. I was very surprised when he said he was living in the house in El Centro. He said they had electricity. He said that Colon and Olayita were still living at the water plant, because Olayita was too afraid to go back home. We threaded our way to his house, because many roads were closed. As we went here and there, we saw the major destruction for the first time, it was overwhelming. The good part was we saw back hoes clearing the rubble. It was good to know that the government was seeing to it that work began right away. Very hopeful! I am extremely surprised by the way the government has tackled this problem. The electricity was on in record time, much to everyone’s surprise. The clean-up in Portoviejo got underway within a few days. Food is going out to various cities and towns. Tents are being given to the homeless and the camp set up in Portoviejo was fast. It was not business as usual, it was business BETTER than usual. And we are thankful!!