Tuesday, May 10, 2011


After the early to bed the night before, I was awake and raring to go at 6:30 a.m.  After a hearty breakfast we were off to visit the local Priest, and offices in town to get the proper documentation for the dedication of the school. Here is a nice photo of the church, the priest's offices were next door.
My favorite, the sun shining on the church
The priest was not in and we were told to come back the following day. Chella and I then headed over to the offices where she would file her paperwork. The young lady there told Chella that she would need some other notary work, and copies of other papers..it was not going to be as quick and easy as she thought. Chella is a pretty quick thinker, so as we were back to the house by 10:00 she asked her brother Marcello if he would take me with him to the farm. I was ecstatic. I had heard about the farm from Chella's son and daughter in law, so I was excited to see it. On the way there we stopped to buy some feed for Marcello's horses.

Rice drying outside of the feedstore

Famous Macara rice fields

View of the mountains along the way

A pretty little stream we had to drive through at one point

Marcello, opening the 1st gate to the farm

The road into the farm

The second gate. The road was still very muddy from the rains

We parked half way and hiked in the rest, the mud was too deep
 As we walked into the farm, Marcello tried to explain what the trees and plants were that I pointed out to him. Quien es esto? (What is that).. would be followed by some very laborious efforts on his part to explain in simple and slow enough Spanish. I think I did pretty good. So if I have anything incorrect. I plead the "Silly Gringa".
A smooth barked tree I thought was very pretty

Fencing, on the farm

Coffee drying in a wheelbarrow
 This farm was the original home of Chellas's mother, Teresa. Teresa and her husband lived here when they were young. As the family got older they moved into town. Now the house is just used for  storing supplies.
REAL free range chickens

Cat does not even pay attention to the chickens

It was a stand off.. I waited for Marcello to chase the roosters off the porch
 Marcello was very happy to be at the farm, he has two workers there who do a lot of the daily work. His pride and joy is his horse. He and the horse have won championships all over Ecuador. The horse is a Peruvian walking horse.  They have a very precise way of walking, and the judging is very strict. This last year Marcello took home two Gold Ribbons.
Marcello, leading the way to the horse stalls

A bit shy

There is that face

Marcello with his pride and joy
 I then just started snapping photos of the farm and surrounding views. It was about 87 degrees and beautiful, if a bit warm.
Papaya or Mango trees can't remember

Limon trees

A worker shucking corn

Cebo trees in the distance

Another beautiful tree

A shot looking up into the trees

Big tall tree with pretty flowers

Porch with a papaya tree right out front

A very beautiful latin lover
When we returned home it was 2:00 so we were fed a hearty lunch. I have to say that I usually cannot eat much when it is hot and muggy. But I ate everything that was not nailed down. If eating a lot is a compliment, I think they were very pleased with my ability to "put it away".

Later in the afternoon more family arrived and I was introduced in a flurry of Spanish. I did figure out that this sister lived there in Macara, and her daughter Carolina was attending school in Guayaquil, but home for the Summer break. Carolina is in the same program as my daughter and the same age. I loved her immediately!
As they spoke it was determined that a trip to check out food prices was necessary. I was waved at and told Venga Venga... so I hopped into the car and off we went. As we were driving I realized we were heading down the road that went to the farm and PERU... I quickly asked in my wonderful broken Spanish " Vamos a Peru"?... Si! I then said... NO, NO Voy a Peru... No documentos! No documentos? No NADA! They confered and it was determined that I would be fine... just a quick trip barely across the border. So we drove right though, no one stopped us or asked for any identification. I was shocked! But very relieved.

The market that they were heading for was closed so we turned around and headed back over the boarder to Ecuador. No problems. We drove to Netas house where she hopped out and got some paperwork, then they turned around and headed BACK to Peru! What? We were just blocks from Chella's house, we could have gotten my documents... They said, it was no problem, just don't say anything if we are stopped.. what? Yes, Chella says, you are "Muta".. oh great. I am remembering all those "Locked up Abroad" episodes and wondering if I would be their next episode.

We drove farther this time and went to a town called Suyo. There was a restaurant there that they were going to get prices from. It was closed. Its dark by now.. We drive further into a tiny little neighborhood. There is no pavement, a cute little pig is waddling off into the dark. They stop and Neta husband begins to honk the horn and yell at a door. MEEENA, MEEENA.. after some honking and yelling she comes to the door with a towel around her. It  quickly becomes aparent to the silly gringa in the front that they all know this woman. We stay in the car, and she comes out (clothed), pulls a plastic chair up to the car (the AC is running thank goodness) and negotiations begin.  They are not ready to settle so phone numbers are exchanged and we are off.

As we are leaving Suyo I hear a person whistle.. and we pull over.. It is two policemen who whistled us over..they approach the car. I am gulping air, Chella is saying "Muta, Muta", and I am trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible, sitting UP FRONT hiding behind the blocking body of Netas husband, the driver. The police never even glanced at me. I about passed out with relief.

Across the boarder again to Ecuador and with a sigh of relief, everyone is laughing and saying No Problema!! We stopped in at another restaurant and the discussions began all over again with the owner. Her prices seemed to be better and after more phone number swapping we were off to the house.

It was about 8, so once again I was fed a hearty meal. I was happy to be safe, and it gave everyone a fun story to tell all the new relatives who were arriving by the droves! I called Randy and let him know about my adventure; went and took a shower, said hello to the new family that had just arrived.. and bailed... my brain and nerves were shot. I went to bed and thanked my lucky stars and guardian angel for once again saving my bacon!