Family Visits- June/July 2017

Greetings All!
It’s been a while since we updated you on our Ecuadorian living and a lot has been going on. We’ll start with the election:
“We are all made of the same clay, we all share the same air, and our similarities far outnumber our differences,” Moreno told a crowd of 1,600 in the National Assembly hall in Quito. “We all love Ecuador and must work together to make her even greater.”

This is Ecuador’s new president, a far cry from the US new president. It remains to be seen if he can lead Ecuador through the financial difficulties brought about by the low oil prices and the rebuilding from the earthquake of 2016, but right now, he’s working hard to make things happen.
That’s it for the political side of this news.

Now to the more interesting tidbits:
CRICKETS, CRICKETS, CRICKETS — for some reason, the coastal cities of Ballenita, La Libertad and Salinas had an infestation of crickets (not the sport, the little noisy bugs!) This started about a month ago and is almost over now, but I want to tell you, they were everywhere. One night, as I lay in bed with Bob sleeping deeply beside me, I felt something crawling up my back. It felt big, real BIG. I didn’t want to move afraid whatever it was would bite me, so I lay still as a rock while I felt this thing move slowly up my back. When it reached my neck and jumped onto my head, I sat up and yelled and swatted at my head. By this time, Bob woke up mumbling “Wha…” as the thing jumped from my head to my shoes which were against the wall at the bottom of the bed. So, when I told Bob that something crawled up my back onto my head, he finally got up and stomped on it. It turned out to be a cricket, of course. Now these crickets are not the little green things we see back in the States. These crickets are at least two inches long and black. They don’t hurt you, but they are scary! And loud!
One day, Bob killed at least ten in the house and after that we bought some bug spray and sprayed it in front of the doors which is where we imagined they came in. It seemed to work since we didn’t have too many crickets inside after we sprayed around the doors every night for about a week.

That’s it for the buggy part of the news, now on to the fun part.

Cole, Rebecca, Grace and Tessa arrived on June 24th and we were delighted to see them. We tried to show them as much as possible in the ten days they were here.

On Monday, Bob went with them to Isla de la Plata which is known as the “poor man’s Galapagos”. You may wonder why I did not go, but I had read about the hike to the top of the island and knew I would not make it. —(Bob almost didn’t make it and his legs ached for two days after). As much as I wanted to see the blue-footed boobies, I am happy with the pictures supplied by Cole.

 

It’s the beginning of whale season, so they saw many whales on the boat ride to the island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, two breached at the same time.

 

The hour-long boat ride took a bit longer as the guides detoured for a close up of the whales, but when they finally arrived they were faced with a 805Meter long uphill climb with steep steps at the end. Bob had to stop so many times he felt bad holding up the whole group but the guides were great and encouraged him to keep going. It was worth it when the reached the top and I would have loved to have been dropped off in a helicopter, but then that would ruin the natural habitat which Ecuador tries very hard to maintain.

Bob starting the long uphill hike

Here’s some shots of the island to put it in perspective.

The long hike was worth it when they got to the top.

Bob and Gracie took a rest while Rebecca and the girls were ready to keep on…

They saw blue-footed boobies in their natural habitat. The birds watched them closely but did not move out of the way for them. At times, they had to leave the path to avoid the birds. Here are some shots that Cole and Rebecca took:

       

Bob wasn’t concerned about watching his back around the boobies!

There were also a lot of frigate birds. The males puff out a big red chest trying to attract females. It’s hard to see in the photos but I understand it was amazing.

 

 

 

After a day of rest at the beach, we all went to Monanita where we checked out the street vendors for some great gifts. We had a good meal at the Tiki Bar and I found some nice artwork to hang on our walls, too.

 

It’s hard to see, but that’s Cole by the umbrella and Gracie and Tessa in the water. They had the beach to themselves.

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Here’s some of our artwork from Montanita — a frigate bird and a hummingbird for our wall.

 

On Friday, we went sailing — amazing that we didn’t get sick!

          

We saw whales again, this time they even did back flips out of the water but none of us were fast enough to catch them on camera.

After the four hour boat ride, we had dinner at Farillon Dillon — the one fancy restaurant and museum in Ballenita.

 

There happened to be a 6.2 earthquake in the same area as the big one last year. Many felt it, but we didn’t. After dinner, the girls and Rebecca were busy checking on it. Turns out it was classified as an aftershock from the one last April. I guess aftershocks can come along at any time.

 

We all had an enjoyable dinner anyway and no one seemed too concerned.

On Saturday, we took them all up to meet our landlady. Bruni brought us six empanadas on her trip from Guayachil. She brings them for us every time she comes and they are the best around! (Too busy eating them to get a picture — next time…)

Rebecca and the girls tried out the swing chairs on the balcony leading to Bruni’s place.

On Sunday, Cole and Gracie went horseback riding. They had a great time. Unfortunately, Rebecca had a stomach bug and Tessa did not want to go.

 

The two hour ride ended at a waterfall before they turned around and came back.

Finally, on Monday, we took them over to see the house we’re considering renting next year when our lease runs out. Although we will miss Bruni, the house has a full size stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer and an infinity pool. If all goes as planned we will be moving sometime between December and February. We’re not counting on it, but we’ve got our fingers crossed.

Here’s Gracie enjoying the view from the infinity pool:

 

Well, that’s about all for now. We had a fabulous time showing Cole, Rebecca and the girls around the coast of Ecuador. We miss them already.

We’re looking forward to seeing Jessica, Chris and the kids in August. But since we’re going back to NYC with them in September, it will be a while before we fill you in on that trip.
We’re also stopping in Bogota on our way back to the States with Jess and we’re all anxious to see Colombia!

More to come after our trip…

Hasta luego,

Bob and Edana

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