Monday, August 31, 2015

Bombas and Buckets

The other day I was washing dishes and the water slowed to a trickle, then nada. We came to the conclusion the bomba (pump) wasn't getting electricity. (We thankfully had a full cistern of water) Mike got what tools he had, and tried to strip the wire and reconnect, but it was too short and he really doesn't enjoy playing with electricity, so what do we do?! Yep, go to Joffre. He wasn't at work, what!? On a Saturday?! ( he was playing futball in his 40 and up league) We thought no one would come on a Sunday, and it wasn't that important to us, so we waited until Monday morning and tried Joffre again, he grabbed his tools and headed over. When he realized he couldn't fix it, he said he'd get his techno and within half an hour the electrician was here, not only did he fix the wiring, but we'd expressed interest in a spigot for a hose, and voila! He hooked that up too, the cost? Ready? Are y'all sitting down? $10

I still forget I have the hose (mangera) and water by bucket, but it's nice to have when I do remember. We had not too long ago bought the big white bucket in the picture for $2.50 to use for laundry or watering and I realized that was a lot of storage for $ I went and bought four the other day.

Decorated and labeled them and wow! more organization is a great thing. I do feel like we are getting more and more settled, seems like it's taken a long time, but when one has to start from scratch, things take awhile. Speaking of's a project I recently finished.

Pretty rough looking plastic ice bucket I found on the beach, started wrapping rope around it securing it with the hot glue gun, and I love the way it turned out!

Here's the new bag holder we installed, the old one was just too small. This fits lots of fundas, so everybody can use one to carry home their goodies.

We had our first blog reader guest this weekend, met up for dinner in downtown Friday night, and I told him he had to do all the talking, because he knew so much about me, I was at a disadvantage. We had a very good time, lunch and short walking tour Saturday, took them to the Sunday market and later they headed off to check out Bahia and Canoa. Safe travels, don't forget to write, and for the rest of you, stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Red de pesca

I Recently learned the word for net is red, I haven't come to try to use it in a sentence yet, but there it is another word in my vocabulary. (I also learned clavo, nails and cabo, rope oh, and brujita, super glue, can you tell we've been hanging out at Joffres?)

Anyway, I found these pictures on Facebook, they are San Clemente fishermen, and give a view as to what happens out on the water.

So, they go out in the late afternoon, set their big nets, hang out, then pull them in. Come to shore, drop off the catch, go home to sleep, eat whatever, then go back out in the wee morning hours to get the fish at sunrise. They do it all over again, then once they've got the catch unloaded, it's time to do the maintenance, so they start working on any repairs that need to be done. 

Yesterday they were having an inspection, the nets were being measured (with tape measures) and also the size of the net (size of holes in the netting). Every boat and crew was on hand to unfold the nets and help measure while the officials wrote down on their clipboards. It's the second inspection I've seen. Sorry no pictures ( it wasn't really an exciting photo op).

Here are pictures from a different kind of net. These nets are huge and are dropped by boat, then pulled thru the water by men onshore. Two teams of men start on opposite sides, and work the net towards one another, scooping fish into the net. This process takes hours, and now that the net is onshore, the boat comes to pick up the net after its empty.

They load the fish into these bags then load on a waiting truck. I believe these are sardines.

The Pelicans and frigates always show up trying to get their fill, it's a crazy feeling having these birds flying above you so close.

A friend of ours went to the Manta fish market recently and took these pictures.

This is apparently marlin. And a whole lotta other fish. Our friend said Manta gets bigger and deeper water fish than we do in San Jacinto, makes sense, deeper water and bigger boats. 

Good times! Got awfully quiet outside all of a sudden, and the boats are putting on their shrimping gear and heading out for a bit of day shrimping. You better believe I'll be watching for them when they get home. Better go put up my new bag holder on the fence. Stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mary what?

If someone were to ask me to tell a secret, something that not many people know about me...I'd have to say "I don't like fruit". That, of course was until I moved to Ecuador. Now I grew up in Southern California, land of the citrus fruit, not far from the agriculture belt of mid state (where they grow everything) and not to mention the pacific Northwest and apple country, but over the years I became a fruit snob.

Apples were usually too pithy for me so I stopped buying them, bananas had to be just the right shade of green, no brown spots or they'd be too sweet, and I'd deem them garbage. Realized I didn't like tartness, so that took out oranges, nectarines, strawberries, grapefruit, and pineapple. I have also over my 40plus years come to the conclusion I do NOT LIKE MELON. (Not watermelon, not cantaloupe, not honeydew, none of them) 

But fruit here, as almost everything, is different... the oranges are really only good for juice (they do not section for eating) and that's ok, because I can add just a smidge of sugar and it's yummy. Pineapple are super, not sour or hyper yellow as in the states, and of course don't come already diced in a can. Bananas have been tricky, up in Quito there is a variety of small very florally bananas, yummy, but not for everyday. I have found bananas like what I'm used to, but they are still considered edible even with some brown spots, who knew? (Plantains are most popular, they really don't ever ripen, and are used mostly in cooking.) But the star, the really crazy one we've never had anything like in this world...maracuya.

It's actually the fruit from the Passion flower vine, and native to South America. It is tart overload! If I had to describe the taste I'd say it's a mix of papaya,mango and grapefruit, very tropical and that's why I like it. I used to buy the frozen pulp concentrate and add just a squirt to my smoothies, but since I'm not going to "the big city" I've started buying the real fruit. Here's what needs to be done to it, and you'll know why I bought the frozen...

Since I was unaware how to pick "a good one", I just told Jenny at the tienda what I wanted and let her pick them. The first time she handed me the most shriveled looking ones she had, and they were great. These were not as shriveled, but still pretty ugly.

It's really not a fruit that you can just eat, maybe a little like pomegranate, where you suck the pulp off the seeds. But for juice, 

You scoop all the seeds out, add a little water and pulse a couple times in the blender.

Then you strain, I put these seeds thru the blender twice, as there was still pulp stuck on them after the first go round.

Voila! I put the fresh goodness in this little squirt bottle, store it in the fridge on the door, and use within the week or so. A little goes a long way, and sometimes I used to need to add a smidge of sugar. I've started using strawberry yogurt and the sweetness in that means I don't need to add any extra. I freeze my pineapple chunks and banana, so I don't have to use ice. And there you have it, from a fruit hater, to a daily fruit smoothie drinker, all it took was moving to another country!

So, stay tuned, you never know what I'll experience next...the adventure continues!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The party continues

Saturday night we took the bus to San Clemente to see if our friend Fransisco was serving his delicious shawarma. He was, and we had our fill (even taking some meat home para havar) yum! We walked home the malecon, and as we got closer to SJ we heard music, not surprising, but as we rounded the corner...

There was a native highland dance troupe blocking the whole street! What?! Did they get lost? Were they supposed to perform last week at the night of Culture? Whatever, it was fun and you never know what you'll find when you go to town!

This week after the festival has been fun, getting smiles and waves from people we met during the festivities. Cementing those new relationships we formed. I have some new local Facebook friends, and get to see their pictures. Here are some pictures of the boat parade from a different vantage point than ours. You can see how crowded the boat was, and where the band was playing...

No wonder we went up top! What a day! One for the record books! 

We have another first coming up, a blog reader is coming to visit! Staying at Casa WF and spending a couple days here with us, to check up on my writings, is it fact or fiction, no kidding. Looking forward to meeting them and proudly showing off our town. Bienvenido!!

San Clemente festival starts next week, it's the crazy one, wall to wall bodies. I'm sure we will go to be apart of it, so stay tuned...the adventure continues! (Here's a picture from a past SC Festival)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday and Sunday in San Jacinto, Festival style

According to the schedule of events, Saturday was to hold a 5K, that wasn't all that interesting to us, so we took the bus into PortoViejo with friends and had Chinese for lunch. (We only run if someone or something is chasing us, so...)

After we got back from PV, we took a nap, woke up at dusk and got into our party and dancing clothes. Another band was set to play at 9pm, we met up with our friends and headed to El Centro, the band was good (from Quito) but the turn out was much smaller than the night before. I had taken some pictures of the dancing crowd, but now can't find them. What I do have pictures of is our Fun Ride on the Two headed Dragon! 

Here we go!

There were two in operation this evening, the other is a Caterpillar (you'll see later during parade) they would alternate, so always one was running, and for $1 we got a couple loop de loops, and about 15 minutes of fun. The driver drove in such a way that we were slipping and sliding on our seats, and it was really fun! Loud music of course accompanied the ride, what could be better? (It's available for rent, of course it's a family member of Joffre! Maybe for a birthday celebration, rent it for a couple hours! What fun!)

We danced til just after midnight again, and decided to call it a night, the parade was in the morning, and we didn't want to miss it. After we got home the power went out, they were having some technical difficulties, but they finally got everything to work, and the party continued. We didn't hear it loud enough to keep us awake, but I think it went on til 3 or 4am. ( here's a pic I found, the camera had some dust on it, but you can see the dance floor behind us)

We finally heard noise coming from El Centro around 9ish, and ventured out to get a good place on the parade route. I remembered from last year, that this is the shortest parade ever, they literally go three blocks then stop...they use the shade structure as sort of a stage, and stop and perform for the people, then move on and it's the next performers turn. Whatever, it was entertaining.

Here are our Queen and princesses.

Our friend and favorite grill master, Pepito was in this group.

Anderson and Patricia's father is carrying the banner, and Junior our fishermen friend was walking in the back of this group.

San Jacinto marching band, always love a good drum section!

These guys were good, in and out thru out the whole parade, would walk over unsuspecting kids heads, and at the end were picking up smaller children and carrying them around.

San Clemente Volunteer Fire department

The dancing ponies were a hit! They performed a good 20 minutes. And posed for pictures after...

And finally the Caterpillar, and ...our little friends!

I'd say a good time was had by all! After the parade we did the rounds, said hello to our peops, and went home for some lunch. We heard music all afternoon, I can't believe they were still dancing, but they probably were! 

The festivities were to end with a final mass at 6pm, and the music stopped not long before, needless to say the town was very quiet Monday, and even Tuesday some people were still closed. Again, I'd say a good time was had by all...I know we can't wait for next year! So, stay tuned, the adventure continues!