Tuesday, 31 December 2013


                                                  CINDERELLA   by the Fundacion Gabriel Group

       Saturday, December 14th, 2013, there was a wonderful  presentation of the play, “Cinderella” with some added creative touches.  This delightful play was put on by the same group that did “Man of La Mancha” last year, which was outstanding.  Well, this year’s performance  may have outdone the last one.  It was put on at the Salinas Yacht Club, the same venue as in 2012.
       From the opening, you could tell that these young people really enjoyed being on stage.  They had really worked very hard to learn all their lines, which was evident in their delivery.   The costumes were absolutely stunning- so colorful and bright.
       The audience in attendance was made up of many expats as well as many Ecuadoreans, some of which were relatives of the stars of the show.   Countless cameras were used to take memorable photos of the performance, but did not detract from the enjoyment of the show.  It was definitely a family affair, as many children were also in the audience, and they seemed to like the show very much because they were so attentive.
        The temperature of the auditorium was cooler and more comfortable than last year, and so I enjoyed this performance more, and the stars of the show were also available after the show to meet their fans and have their pictures taken with them.   Having these performances a few weeks prior to Christmas helps everyone get into the joyful spirit of the holiday season.

This year leading up to Christmas has been a hard one, because Evelyn has been in New York for a month, November to the first week of December.
So Evelyn spent Thanksgiving in New York. Cleo became very sick and I had to take her to the vet, Dr. Pizmino. We went to him first, was not impressed with the treatment Cleo received there, so we then went to see Maria Paz. Her treatment and care for Cleo was on the nose (get it?).  Evelyn got back on Dec. 4th, so both of us went to see Maria Paz with Cleo.
What she told us was that Cleo had probably been poisoned.
The treatments are not for sure; this information makes sense because our guardian found sausages and chicken legs on the driveway, and we did not leave them there.
Our neighbour and guardian both told us that it could have been robbers; it could also be someone that has a grudge against us and is taking it out on our dog.
Well, we have not been robbed. The good news is that Cleo has responded to treatment, and just a week before Christmas, Cleo was about 90% back to normal.
One of the reasons that this Christmas has been more of a task for us is that we made the decision to buy a vehicle.
After living here for the last two years, we have exhausted the travel by bus and taxi, and since our other dog passed away in February, we can travel with one dog much more easily.
Due to what happened to Cleo, this also factored into our decision to buy a vehicle. We can take her with us, and not have to worry about her at home.
The challenge of buying a vehicle here is an onerous one. The used car market is a very dodgy one (there is no Kelly Blue Book here) so to find out how vehicles are priced is a maze.
We have a friend who did help, and for this he took us to Guayaquil where he knows of car sales’ outlets that he trusted.  We traveled all around, unable to find a vehicle .
So we thought of a new vehicle.  Prices are much higher, but you are dealing with a recognized market.
We were shocked at the lack of knowledge and customer service displayed by the salespeople; at this point, we were beginning to lose the need to have a vehicle.
As fate would have it, a friend of ours had a family disaster, where he needed money quickly. This friend owned a vehicle, and this vehicle we have come to know. He has it serviced when it needs it, and I thought that if he were in a mind set to sell it, we could service both our needs.
After some teeth grinding and muttering to himself, he agreed to sell the vehicle. A price was agreed on, and because he needed the cash, we made our way to the bank.
Now this is the week before Christmas, and the lines to the teller were very long.  By the time I got there, I was told that they could not let me have that much money.  I beckoned to my  friend  ( who is Ecuadorian) to come over because I wanted  him to hear this. After some very fast talking in Spanish, he turned to me and said that they would have the money in about half an hour.
So, on Christmas Eve, we were on our way to drop off some gifts (our intended destination was an open house) we got waylaid, ended  up stopping with a couple of friends for a few drinks and a good chunk of conversation .
By the time we got around to leaving, the crash of the waves, a nice breeze, good conversation and a few drinks, we both looked at each other and said that it could not get any better, so let us just go home.

Christmas Day, what a fantastic day- clear blue sky, nice breeze, again we met up with friends, enjoyed good conversation and drinks. As the day melted away, we had to say goodbye and off we went to a party for a short time and met other people.  We did not stay too long, but can say that we had a very nice Christmas this year.