Monday, January 26, 2015

It's a hard life

Looking at the calendar this morning, I'm reminded that it's been a couple days since I last posted. So I replay the weekend in my mind, and checked my phone for pictures and realize it was pretty boring. The tide is such that it's at its lowest at the heat of the day, so we didn't go for any lengthy walks, but we did sit out and work with shells.

Our new friend, Jose brings us these big shells and has brought us a couple sea horses too. Mike is planning driftwood wall plaques with the sea horses, and he drilled holes in this big shell to hang strands from, turned out nicely. One day Jose asked for a $1, the next day he didn't, but then yesterday when he brought us three big shells I said, "uno momento" but he said no, we were amigos, (that means no money needed.) His job is to sort thru the nets after the fishermen get back to shore, and so he finds the good stuff, and knows we like that sort of thing. We showed him some of the stuff we are working on and he liked it all very much.

Getting a trip planned into PV to do some groceries and get our Astro turf, so little we really need in the big city. We've been going to the Friday fruit truck in town, and there are plenty of veggies at the tiendas to get us thru the week. My Sunday market buddy got home last night from a business trip to the States, and maybe brought me some goodies. Hard to find stuff, like Dill weed was on the list this time. But a guilty pleasure, Nutella is cheaper at the Supermaxi, than at Walmart, go figure. Anyway, may have an adventure going into the big city...

Another shell project I finished this weekend...

We've been painting these mussel (?) shells in rainbow for a week, and after I got one string strung, realized both sides really needed to be painted. I didn't want to unstring what I'd done, nor did I really want to go back and paint them all again, since I only have 5 colors of paint, and everything else is mixed by I kept going and strung a couple more, when they are blowing in the wind and hung very close, you don't notice so much that only one side is painted, but since I have nothing but time, I'll paint the rest and do my original project another time.

I think we need to make this sign for our house. Things can be a little frustrating, like if you're planning something and the power goes out, or you have a ride scheduled, and they flake, but the weather's great and time rolls by easily. We take time out for the sunset and enjoy the little things, life is good. Hope you are all taking time to enjoy the little things, life in the BIG world can be so busy, but it only takes a moment to stop and notice something. Thanks for spending time with us here on our adventure, it's going to continue, you can bet on that! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monticristi Part 2

The second museum we went into was dedicated to Eloy Alfaro Delgado, he was Ecuador's president for some years and did a lot for the country until his assassination in 1912. He was born, raised and graduated school in Monticristi before traveling the country and back and forth to Panama, where he married and had 9 children. His birthday is June 25 and is a major holiday in some parts, here's his memorial...from upstairs, looking down

And from downstairs, seems like there was a memorial very similar in Washington DC once when we were there.

The seats you can see in these pictures are very old, and popular as far as "antiquities" go, replicas everywhere.

The reason I think Joffrey wanted us to wear long pants, closed shoes and bring a sweater, is the height of this hill, it could get windy and the walk down is long, but beautifully decked, so it wasn't like we were hiking, but he may not have known that. It looks like a lot of the landscaping is new.

One of the things President Alfaro did was get the railroad finished from Quito to Guayaquil. (In the past 10 years or so, the current President Correa has revamped and reopened the railroad, and is pushing rail tourism)

On the walk down the hill, there are picnic areas and playgrounds, there were probably 5 terraced areas, that were very nicely done. (That's the cesped-Astro turf)

A very prominent church at the bottom of the hill, has a huge mosaic of Pres. Alfaro. We stepped inside for a picture, and then from the balcony.

We continued down the hill thru the streets, this is when I realized everybody was closed for Family day. Many people open in the morning on Sunday, but after lunch they close down, so another day will be a shopping day. As we were waiting for the bus something unusual happened. A Funeral stopped traffic, now that doesn't sound unusual, but...Ecuador style

Trucks came and stopped traffic, and the mob just swarmed us for a minute, and boy were they drunk! I can't believe they were able to carry that coffin, some of the men were so drunk, but alas no problems, and as quick as they came, they were gone.

We had one more stop, Joffrey wanted to take us to La Pila where they do statuary.

Didn't find anything here we couldn't live without, some of it may have needed to be repainted, maybe a tad...mmm...Latin American for my color pallet...and I like color! We got a little rain on the bus ride home, and after a shower and some dinner we were ready for bed. We didn't get to talk with Joffrey as much this time because he had RosaLinda, but he loves to show off his country and we are enjoying having him as a tour guide. He said he wants to do another outing next month, so stay tuned...the Adventure continues!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monticristi Part 1

Our day with Joffrey and his Amiga, RosaLinda was quite a day! We thought Joffrey had told us to wear bathing suits and bring a towel and warm clothes, made a gesture like whoosh, down a slide, so we thought waterpark, but no...when we got to Charapoto where RosaLinda lives, he told her to wear long pants and to change out of her sandals into closed shoes, hmmm this is where we knew we weren't doing a water slide. At this point we really didn't know what we were in for, can you say Adventure? Two buses later we were in Monticristi, and we started walking up the hill to where we could see some large structure, it was quite the walk and RosaLinda was recovering from allergies, so Joffrey found a driver to drive us up the rest of the way. What we saw at the top of the hill was a huge complex with three different museums and shopping and tons of photo ops.

We went into this museum first, and it highlighted the artisans of Manabi Province. The interior of the round building was very cool, the exhibits were very nicely laid out and info cards both in Spanish and English.

The very first artisan on the picture wall was a local from San Jacinto. She does shell art.

The other exhibits spoke of the local clay pots for cooking, misc utensils and woven mats. Shutters and saddles, loom work using fiber and yarn made from the Ceibo tree, and of course the coastal artisans making fishing nets and langostinos traps.

Monticristi is the birth place of the Panama hat, unfortunately mis-named for the "international" city they traveled thru to get to the far corners of the earth. They had some beautiful ones on display, and in one of the shops we could have bought one for $20, but decided to wait.

Pottery statues were on display, "antiquities" Joffrey kept calling them, and wanted us to get pictures with everything (which is why this is part 1, over 70 pictures were taken).

The metal shelving units were as interesting as the artifacts, very pretty. After this museum we went to another highlighting Eloy Alfaro Delgado a local hero, and I'll do research on him for the next post. Because we were here on Sunday, many of the shops in town weren't open, so if you do go visit and want to shop come during the week.  Hope you've enjoyed the first installment, stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Finished Fence

We certainly can see why Manuel is considered a Maestro, he took our idea, and made it better than we had hoped. He spent two and a half days with us, and next week will be back over to finish some projects at Marty and Jaimes house, then in February we will have him back for phase two.

We already had Manuel tweak the fence, had to add a couple slats at the bottom so the dogs couldn't see everything and every stray dog that walked by. (Even tho they can smell them) We also asked him if he couldn't build a table frame, which he did with leftover wood, and turned out amazing!

The glass top was on the coffee table that came with our sectional sofa we bought second hand from our old neighbors. The coffee table was always too big for our rooms, but we saw the potential with the glass top, Mike figured it must come off somehow, so he got it loose, and then it was easy to tell Manuel what was needed. He did a wonderful job, and all this, fence, table, supplies and 2 days of workers under $300!

We had Joffrey over to see it, he thought we could get the landlord to help pay, but we said it was ok, let them have some rent money. The fence was something we needed, not something they needed to provide.

And speaking of Joffrey, we have another outing with him today. He has a lady friend in Charapoto who will go with us (double date) we think we are taking the bus to Montichristi, where they make Panama hats and wicker furniture, but he also said to bring a swimsuit and towel and we'll go to a water slide! The cameras charged and we've got the pocket translator, we're all set, so as always, stay tuned, the adventure continues!!