Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ark needed

Rainy season has indeed started. Where we had beautiful blue, almost cloudless skies one week, 

The next we have two days of downpours and lengthy showers. The big blue container was already full, so of course it overflowed from the water running off the roof. The thatch roof had been built with plastic on top, but that has since blown half off, so there were many leaks. Actually, it was just a shit ton of water! We went out in our bathing suits twice to sweep the water out the drain holes, but finally gave up. It was just so much water! 

Later on Facebook I ran across these pictures. 

1. SanJACINTO 2. Rocafuerte 3. El Matal tent city

So, after we dried off we made empanadas for lunch. Recently I found the shells in the local tienda, and decided to try our hand. The biggest trick I found was to let them come to room temp before trying to seperate them, and then the amount of oil needed, really isnt that much. We did pizza ones with cream cheese, home made pizza sauce and pepperoni and also tried cheeseburger ones with cream cheese, mustard, ketchup and ground beef. They all turned out super yummy. 

After lunch I made a dress for Veronica and a shirt for Shadrach in front of the tv. I used sleeves I took off a blouse. It would have been a good day to get the sewing machine out, maybe next rainy day. I really do need a full length mirror if Im going to be sewing clothes, so next week we will go to the "big city" Bahia and get one.

 So... Stay tuned, the adventure continues.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Mighty Ocean

  The other day as I wrote my blog post, I felt the ocean rumble. I almost wrote about it then, but thought I must be wrong, since it was almost low tide, and Id never felt the ocean here before. I finished the blog post, and we did indeed go for a beach walk, and there I found it WAS the ocean I felt rumbling. It was super rough! I stood amazed at the height of the waves, I dont think Id ever seen such big waves here. 

We noticed as we walked by our old house that all the fishermen had moved their boats, different than just the day before, I wonder if the lake is back today...

Picture of the rocks placed in front of the Mangrove tower. The youth have been cleaning out some channels, so the river and tide have more places to go, and hopefully will do less damage to the new pilings. 


Speaking of mighty water, we woke to a downpour of epic proportions last night. It lasted about 5 minutes, then moved on, and we had little rain throughout the rest of the morning. Mike says it's already heating up, and it may be a steamy one. (I brought my coffee back to bed)

I was kinda hoping for overcast today, as I want to walk thru the neighborhoods and see the progress, but if the clouds are already burning off, it may be another beach walk, low tide is 10:45 ish. Yesterday was a hot one, with little breeze so we chose to paint infront of the tv and fan. Saw a beautiful picture of snowy Idaho on a friends Facebook, and while I am able to appreciate it, I am so glad I am not living in it, brrrr!

With that, stay warm friends and loved ones, and of course...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Beautiful Day

One thing I have realized after we moved, I miss the ocean. So when low tide came early morning this week, I got dressed, and we went for a walk. Yesterday was beautiful blue skies with scattered clouds, and already at 8:30 it was getting warm. 

We saw some net pullers, and stopped to watch them for a minute. So much work for little fish, but everything helps. Still better than heading to Portoviejo on the bus to work at Burger King!

Perry, of course loves a beach walk, and I do believe he is looking less skinny. Now we just need to get him fixed.

Much on the to do list today, but I think Laundry, then another beach walk, with a fair chance of painting this afternoon. So, stay tuned...the adventure continues!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Warranty expired

The past couple weeks have been a blur. It started with the chihuahuas scratching themselves raw from mosquito bites. Then Veronica had some teeth issues, which ended up with six teeth being pulled. Needless to say its been a trying time, she is a horrible sick person! but things are on the up and up, yesterday we got kisses on our face and so did her brother. 

We have been continuing to make crockpot dogfood, because of the aging chihuahua teeth, Since we still call them "the puppies" we forget they are 8 yrs old. I realized her teeth hurt when I was trying to pry open her mouth to give her Benedryl for her itching. She was such a good girl, she opened her mouth and let me squirt the medicine down her throat. Pook kid. I then started her on amoxicillin, and she was starting to come around, then we had a vet look at her. He agreed that she needed some dental work, so, we headed to the Cottages for surgery. In true Ecuadorean form, I got to be the lucky assistant...good thing I was able to sit down. Teeth pulled is one thing, not sure I am the one to assist when we take Perry. 

(Veronica on the mend, she always feels better in a dress.)

Perry, on the other hand is doing well. We changed the family dynamic a bit, he is not such a house dog. He really doesnt care, just happy to have a home, even if that means sleeping on the porch. He is outside security, and the chihuahuas dont feel invaded in their own house. He can come and go as he wants during the day, and we make sure he is well fed and watered. I think he might be gaining weight. Beach walks are still his favorite! Which reminds me, its about low tide, so...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Beach walk

We walked the beach the other day, low tide is in the morning, and we realized it had been quite awhile since we walked to the boca. We found new rocks added around the mangrove tower, and upon further inspection, saw why. Actually, we knew when they built it, it may not work the way they invisioned, but...they built it anyway, and now it needs reinforcements.

Not sure what this pump boat is doing, but we heard they (not sure who "they" are) wanted to change the mouth of the river...good luck with that.

Perry thoroughly enjoys a beach walk. He doesnt act near this crazy when we are walking on the road or sidewalks. Crazy dog.

One more pic, even tho we dont live on the beach anymore...we still get gifts from the fishermen. So many of them live in town, or up the street, and walk by our new house. The other day, as we were walking thru town some fishermen we only know by face, stopped us and asked if I wanted these shells. Most of them had critters inside, so I soaked them in bleach water and washed them all, some still stunk, but what a score!

Weeks are flying by, much in the works. But also lots of lazy days, life is good semi retired on the stay tuned, the adventure continues!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Holy Bamboo

When we walked recently we looked for these bamboo "pits", because I'd seen pictures on Facebook of this bamboo process, I thought they were washing it, and after doing some research, I had it kinda right. Here is what I found about treating Bamboo to use for building.

Drying bamboo poles requires more time than wood of similar density. This because bamboo possess hygroscopic materials (compound that easily absorbs moisture) that may contain 50-60% moisture content.

When bamboo dries it contracts and shrinks. This shrinkage starts from the moment the bamboo is cut, and can reduce the diameter of the bamboo poles with 10% to 16%, and its wall thickness with 15% to 17%.

Green bamboo poles should not be used in construction. Since green bamboos are subject to shrinkage, joints and terminals may loosen after just a few weeks. Green bamboo is also more attractive to insects and microorganisms, than dry bamboo.

How to Dry Bamboo Poles?

The most common way to dry bamboo for commercial purposes is "air drying". Once the bamboo poles are harvested and chemically treated, all poles should be stacked and stored under cover.

Important factors when drying bamboo:

  • It is most important to keep the culms away from direct soil contact to prevent fungal or insects-attacks and to avoid the humidity of the soil affecting the drying process.
  • It is recommended that only mature bamboo culms (over 3 years) are used to avoid collapsing of the bamboo poles, due to excessive and non-uniform shrink-age of the culm.
  • Remove infected culms from the storage area.
  • Avoid rapid changes in moisture content, for example by drying round bamboo in direct sunlight for a prolonged time. This can cause cracks in the bamboo poles. Split bamboos do not pose any problems and can be dried in the open sun.
  • Provide good ventilation (air circulation).

  • Vertical stacking gives faster drying and less chances of fungal attack. However, a good support system should be in place to avoid the poles from bending.
  • Horizontal stacking is generally preferred for large stacks. Stacking should be done on raised platforms, or placed on a thick plastic sheet to avoid soil contact. Use separators between each row of bamboo for better air circulation. The culms at the bottom of the stack may crack or bend due to the weight of a stack, therefore don't pile up the bamboo poles too high.

  • For uniform drying, the bamboo poles should be rotated in the longitudinal direction every 15 days.
  • Post-harvesting transpiration is a technique used by peasants or indigenous communities. The procedure takes place on the bamboo plantation, and does not only dry the bamboo stems, it is also a traditional way to preserve bamboo from insect infestation.The freshly cut bamboo stems are placed on a stone (to avoid soil contact). The stem is placed upright, leaning against another bamboo tree with branches and leaves attached for about 3-4 weeks. This way, bamboo stems lose their humidity progressively true natural ventilation and transpiration true the leaves.
  • Storing bamboo in water is useful when bamboo needs to maintain its pliability or when it needs to be processed in its "green" condition. Storage in water causes leaching of starch (sugars) and is also used as a traditional bamboo preservation technique.

    Love that I get to see such interesting things, and live a life that affords me plenty of time to "stop and smell" ALL of it! It's another beautiful day here, awoke to sun and blue skies, that means Pool time this afternoon! Hope y'all are warm, stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Sunday, January 8, 2017


On our prayer walk the other day, we wandered down to the beach and saw another marvelous sight. If you'll remember last year we had lots of sand wash away, and many of these ramadas were broken, or washed away too. Not much was done, repair what could and wait for the sand to return, until some money allocated after the earthquake made this possible.

These ramadas are shade for fishermen working nets, weekend resturants for the locals to support themselves, storage for boat stuff as well as shade for tourists. Entire busses will pull up on a Saturday morning and unload tons of people from the "inner cities". The beach goers can usually rent a hammock and get a plate of lunch for a couple dollars, not bad for a day at the beach.

We are truly impressed with Ecuador. We dont pretend to be versed in the politics of the country, but we have become fans of Socialism, as we are seeing it. Our friends and neighbors have healthcare, and houses and the rebuilding is not over yet, on the contrary, it has only just begun. So, stay tuned, the adventure continues...

Saturday, January 7, 2017

This week

One of our favorite things to do is sit out front with coffee and fresh bread in the morning. We get to visit with Nexar, and Maria if she is with him, and anyone else who comes by. We also get to see interesting, and often funny things as we sit. 

Veronica checking out the palomitas, and Maestro buying fresh crab for $10

I had another English lesson, I realized they had not practiced (I havent either) and when the little brothers showed up, it was apparent the lesson was over for the day. I told them next week we would do the alphabet, and I came up with a good way for them to practice, listen to English music. Its a great way for them to hear correct pronunciation. (Me too)

Busy making Que Dios te Bendiga signs for the new houses, and made a gift for the expat who helped us evacuate the night of the terremoto. We ate dinner with her on Christmas eve and i realized I could make the perfect gift for her. She loves this cobalt blue color, and has a beautiful large patio over looking the ocean in San Clemente Norte. Cant wait to give them to her.

Getting things more and more put away. Trying to get in to the swing of watering all these plants. Rainy sason hasnt quite started yet, and I now have all these houseplants (they are still in their nursery bags, so not easy to water indoors). Made this twine trellis, for the maracuya (passion fruit) and mandevilla vine to climb on. As I helped them take hold, I found a morning glory, it would have been wind and salt burned by now at the other house, so Im excited to see if I can get flowers. Lots of things looking really good, a couple plants I need to continue to watch. 

January has started with a flash, where has the week gone? Much in the works, pool time today, and visiting with friends. Our sunset walk last night was highlighted by the greeting we got from Zadkiel and Domenica...

Some cool stuff going on around town, so stay tuned...the adventure continues.