Soy aprendiendo Español para necesito mucho practicar.
Translation: I’m learning Spanish but need a lot of practice. (At least I think that’s what it means.)
Here’s some shots of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that we took on Monday.
And here’s a few of Parque Calderon on Monday:
We’ve been here a week now, and have been busy every day trying to find our way around on the bus. There is a bus stop just outside our apartment and we’ve been using it quite a bit. We took a bus into El Centro (the equivalent to downtown, I guess — we’ve been doing a LOT of guessing!) a few days this week. Everything was closed on Tuesday for the celebration of Cuenca’s independence with parades, concerts and vendors lined up along the river. But we decided to skip the crowds and go to a nearby small shopping area with a Coral (think Target). That was an adventure in itself.
We loaded up our cart with milk, cereal, coffee, cookies, flour, sugar, a toaster and some plastic containers. (Nothing healthy — we can get that at the local Mercado.) When we got to the checkout and the clerk asked us a question, we just stared. OK, so she called a guy that spoke English and he asked if we wanted to check out the toaster before we left the store. They had an area near the door where someone unpacked the toaster and plugged it in so that we could see it was working. It worked. We had five large bags which we maneuvered back to the apartment on the bus which was another adventure.
On Wednesday, we took the bus to check in with our facilitator who is working on getting our Visas. The bus was crowded with people standing from front to back. You get on the front of the bus and exit through the back door. But we were sitting at the front of the bus and would have had to push through people jammed like sardines all the way to the back door. We saw one other woman get off from the front of the bus at an earlier stop, so we stood to do the same. The bus driver yelled at us! (In Spanish so we had no idea what he said, but he let us get off). Needless to say, we will not do that again — we’ll just push through to the back.
The place to apply for Visas in Cuenca was moving to another town on Nov. 5th and it was Nov 4th, so the facilitator said that it would be best to apply for the visas in Guayachil. Since no one was certain how efficient the new office would be and we didn’t want to be the first guinea pigs, we booked Angel, our driver, for Thursday to take us back to Guayachil! It was a long day, but we got the process going and now we wait.
The drive back from Guayachil and where we stopped for lunch ( I should mention that we left Cuenca at 7AM when we were still half-asleep):
(my finger in the photo)
We spent Friday looking for another apartment where we can finally unpack and live for 3-6 months while we wait for our visas and try to figure out whether we want to stay in Cuenca or go to the beach.
But we’re managing to amuse ourselves:
We live on a street called Gonzales Suarez. Bob had trouble remembering the first part, so he did a word association with Speedy Gonzalez. I had trouble pronouncing the second part so I would walk around going Sua-sua-suarez. We decided that if we took a cab to get back we would get in and tell the driver we needed to go to “Speedy Gonzalez Sua-sua-suarez”. We never did, but we still laughed our heads off about it — (we’re easily amused).
It was a rather uneventful week, all things considered, and we’ll write again — sometime!