Saturday, 2 June 2012

Buenos dias, friends and relatives!
        Since I last wrote to you all, we have let our custodian and his family go-Roque, his wife Monica, and their 3 children, Michael,16,Domenica,13, and Vivienne,8. All 5 of them were living in the casita on our property, which was 1 room with a tiny kitchen,tinier bathroom with a shower.  I was shocked when they moved out on April 30th that they were all living in such a tiny space. Roque and family were living there for 14 years-they were working for the previous owner. In Ecuador, if a family has been occupying a property for 15 years, then they are considered owners and anybody else has to move out. So, obviously, we did not want to lose our home, so they had to go. And besides, Roque had ripped us off on the price of 2 a/c units, which we found out after the fact. So, no tears shed for him-besides, the family moved into a home in Muey, a town near Salinas. At least now we have privacy and can swim in our pool naked.  We have hired another custodian through fantastic neighbors of ours, and this one, Anthony,lives in a home across the street with his wife and 2 daughters, and is the custodian for 5 different properties. He is wonderful, waters our many plants, prunes and maintains and sweeps outside, makes sure the dogs have enough water when we have to go to Guayaquil, and watches for possible intruders. We have not had any break-ins in this neighborhood-I believe that this is because everyone who lives here watches out for the others.  I feel secure and safe here-oh yes, we have a good security system also in place.
          We do the maintenance on our pool and do our own cleaning and laundry-yeah, our washer and dryer arrived a few weeks ago with our shipping container.  We now have a refrigerator that works very well and our very comfy beds from the US all make life very nice down here. We like walking to the mercado for our fruits, veggies, and fish, chicken, eggs, bread. The rest we get at the Supermaxi,which we have to get a bus,which costs 25 cents. The bus and taxi drivers could all qualify for the Indy 500-the buses do not make a complete stop when picking up or letting off young men, just for women,young children,and the older ones among us. I just chant before riding on the bus or in a taxi and I feel safe. The seats on the buses are for smaller and thinner people, so Jodie and I have to squeeze in to fit.  But, we are losing weight slowly and surely, so fitting in the seats will become easier.    
           We have to go to the post office to pay the water and electric bill, which can be an adventure in itself.  You have to wait in a line, and some people try to push their way in. But they do not get past me-My New York upbringing has taught me to assert myself when necessary, and of course, my tall stature alone probably intimidates them anyway. 
            The weather has been cooler for the last few weeks, about 78-80, and the breeze is welcome,also. The ocean water is cool and refreshing and not too many people on the beach now that it is low season.
             On May 22nd, Jodie and I went to a fundraiser for the local orphanage, met a lot of really nice people there.  It was held at the beautiful home of one of the expats, Peggy Saunders, a real Georgia peach. We had a lot of fun there and bet on and won 2 paintings which are truly exquisite. The artist, Chris and his wife, Piedad, were sitting at our table, lovely and down to earth people. Some of the orphans were there and put on a presentation for us.  Such charming children, they greeted us at the entrance with a hug and a kiss. The food was scrumptious!  All the people worked very hard to make this a success. Our new friends, Randy (another Southern lady) and John and Jodie & I both won dinners at a restaurant called Chili Peppers, so we are joining them at the restaurant this coming Tuesday. So far, we are really enjoying life here in Ecuador.  Definitely, slower-paced is a winner for me, but a few things could use a kick in the backside. The afternoons are leisurely spent in the pool and swimming has become another enjoyable exercise. 
This is the Salinas beach and Malecon at sunset

Jodie, Monty, and Cleo at the beach.

Monty, Cleo, and Evelyn in the sea.
While not perfect, Ecuador has most everything that coincides with my and Jodie's biorhythms, and we love it and our dogs are well and loving the sea.
TTFN and we will keep in touch. 
   Love, Jodie and Evelyn