Saturday, July 10, 2010


We are adapting to our new routine here in Cuenca. We sleep until we decide to wake up, or if we want a warmish shower we get up early.. I must say here before I am thought to be whining, that we have been offered a hot shower by Chuck and Nancy anytime we want, so the note here is only as a infomercial about the quality of the showers in our current residence. We have chosen to stay here as we are too lazy to move our 5 bags and look for other accomodations until the 14th when we move in with Nancy while Chuck is on travel for business.

Last night we were sitting in our lobby enjoying the rainstorm and thundershowers. The glass roof over the courtyard is wonderful to hear the rain, and feel the breeze that comes under the glass. This glass roof is not water tight over the tiled roof, so all around the inside roof line of the courtyard is a marvelous gutter system that catches the rain pouring off the roof . There was a massive flash and then boom, a huge clap of thunder immediately followed, with torrential downpour  and I lost my internet. So I am continuing this today, Saturday.

We had a nice walk this morning to the Fybecca for more medicine for Randy, Our favorite English speaking assistant was there. She has such a nice smile, and offered information about where the best pork could be found. She warned us that it would be a whole pig with the head and feet on a pole, all roasted and people cutting hunks off of it. We assured her we had seen that. She said we should try it because the meat was very very good. We have not ventured in that direction as yet.

After Fybecca we continued walking and because it is Saturday the stores open at a later time. So even though it was about 9:30 the streets were not too busy and stores had not all opened up. We sat on "our" bench at Parque Calderon, this park is in front of the famous church with the blue domes. While sitting there a very sweet old lady came up and asked us how we were doing ... in Spanish, shook our hands, and as I responded in my limited Spanish she began to talk very fast and smiled and smiled. I tried to tell her I could not understand, but she did not seem to mind. She continued and shook our hands, pleased that she had welcomed the "gringos".  This really touched me, she knew I did not know what she was saying but she really went out of her way with her smiles and tone to let me know she was saying something very welcoming, and I think it kind of made her day too, because she had a bigger smile as she walked away.

Our phone delimma has been fixed. My phone was somehow back to spanish and had a security code on it. We had arranged to meet with our landlord to have him go with us on Friday to be our translator. Between dead phones and phones not working we ended up just heading out to the Mall Del Rio to see if we could find a English speaking assistant at the Porta store. We were able to find one, and he helped us understand what code to put in and he had them set up the English for me. We also discovered that our charger was not working so that is why Randy's phone did not charge. After buying a new charger we were very happy to know we had our communcation issues finally fixed.

We grabbed a taxi and headed over to our bank for the final step in accessing our bank account. Omar was very helpful and took us down stairs to a machine like a cash machine. This one is inside and has an assistant standing by to help. Omar stayed with us to translate. Randy had to put in his passport number and then his debit card password, This went on through several screens and after about the 5th time there were smiles and he showed Randy how to access his account online. At this point Randy is looking over his should at me with a look that is saying ..."are you getting this?" Thankfully they wrote the website down, but the page is all in Spanish, so unless we can get Google Translor to turn it to English I think we may have to wait until our Spanish is abit better.

After the bank we decided to head up the stairs to Benigo Malo and Calle Larga and back to our hotel. We stopped at a furniture store that is known for being able to custom make furniture. I was more interested in the pictures and knic knacks.. being that I got rid of all the ones at home, I am looking forward to replenishing them! Randy paitiently waited by the door, and noted that now we were running from the rain... did I bring my raincoat or umbrella? Nope. So we did the Ecuadorian thing and slipped like theives along the edges of the buildings that have overhangs avoiding the downpour. We did real well, stopping to plan our route when there were gaps in the overhang. I had my birkenstocks on and Randy had his tennis shoes.  The sidewalks here are either concrete or beautiful tile. Unfortunately the tile is not textured. So when it rains us poor gringos have to really watch our step or we take off sliding when we are trying to hurry along dodging rain..So far neither of us has slid in the rain, but I did get caught gawking up in the air today. The sidwalk had a slope for a car to drive up, and it as tiled.... oops! Randy had my hand or I think I would have launched into the street! Yes, I did get the lecture about watching where I am going, but how can you look up and down at the same time? Isnt that why I was holding his hand so he could guide me along? Now that I think of it I think its his fault...

Later today we may take another walk and see if we can find the famous Carolina's Bookstore. We hear it is quite the Gringo hangout, and they have all kinds of new and used books there.


  1. Very nice writing Karen. You should think about getting published. I am sure you could find something interesting to write about. Have you ever thought about that? It is fun to hear a about your adventures. I'll visit often. Sorry we did not get a chance to meet up before you left. There was so much going on with funerals and life. I was hoping to make it over to see you. Keep in touch.

  2. Is this the (final destination)apartment you had hope for that has the water temp issue? Are you moving from it already? maybe I missed some parts of the stories.
    Jim Henderson

  3. NO, this is the hotel that we are staying at until we can get into our apartment on the 26th.