Monday, 23 December 2013




       Thursday, December 12th,2013, will remain in my memory for a very long time. This is because a group of wonderful expats and the Ecuadorean Coast Guard got together to make this Christmas unforgettable for not only themselves, but also for the children in Puente Verde. 
        Captain Bocheli, the commander of the Coast Guard, chose this school this year because of the desperate needs of the children in this local community. 
        So, at about 8:30am, expats started gathering at the Coast Guard headquarters building in Salinas,
 excitedly talking about the day ahead! One bus had the gifts, the stuffed stockings, the food and drinks for the children, expats, some Coast Guard members, and Papa Noel.  The other bus had the rest of the expats and other Coast Guard members. The bus ride took about 40 minutes, and when we arrived at the school, we came upon many Christmas decorations, a Christmas tree, and 89 children and their teachers all waving at us enthusiastically!  Yes, these people were ready for a fiesta!
          When we got off the bus, the children and teachers ran up to greet and hug us- this was so neat! Terry looked so happy having the children on her knee.  The children and their teachers were so open and friendly-wow, what a greeting! 
           After the initial getting to know one another, it was time to get ready to serve lunch to the children.  Anna, Romy, Joanne, and Randy prepared the food and set the table and served the food and drinks with the help of Denise and Evelyn.  The food looked delicious-turkey, mac and cheese, fruit salad, brownies, cookies and a choice of Coke, Sprite, or Orange drink. As we were serving the food, we also sang Christmas carols.  The children were enjoying themselves!
           The children had eaten their fill, and were now ready for the highlight of their day- the entrance of Papa Noel- their voices rose in unison- Papa Noel!  Papa Noel!  The excitement was palpable! You could see the joy on their faces when their name was called, and they each went to Papa Noel to receive their gift, then returned to their seats to open it,and their happiness in discovering a wonderful gift that they could play with. They were then sharing their gifts with their friends-this was fantastic to see!   Some of the children even came up to us to say, “muchas gracias”.   
           This turned out to be a perfect day- and we have a group of people to thank for it- Captain Bocheli and his Coast Guard crew for all the help in getting the buses and carrying all the gifts and stockings from Babs’ condo and loading them onto and off the buses, and a huge “thank you” to Babs for obtaining the stockings and with her helpers wrapping all these presents and filling these stockings and the expat who did the lovely calligraphy of each child’s name on their gifts, another huge “thank you” to Anna, Romy, Joanne, and Randy for preparing and serving the food, along with Denise and Evelyn, and a big “thank you” to John Schmidt for being Papa Noel and wearing the hot outfit for hours in the hot sun!  And thanks to all the expats who bought gifts for the children and to those who joined us to visit these children in Puente Verde on this day. I know these children will have a most memorable Christmas because of the time and donations of all these generous people! 
 Feliz Navidad, everyone!

Traditional English Roast Pork Dinner

Main Course: Roast Pork, Garlic Herb Mash Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, & Pumpkin Puree. Dessert: Peach & Almond Tart with Custard

$25 per person (taxes included)

Tue, 31 December, 2013 3pm – 5pm

Please note:
* Bookings only
* Limit of 30 people
* We take reservations till Dec 27
* 50% deposit required