Friday, January 15, 2016


We have survived our 5th Ecuadorian New Year. What fun. It is the custom here to burn effigies , party and set off great big fireworks.. and I mean everyone does it.

We were lucky to be invited to a friends home for a New Years even dinner, then we hurried back home as our dogs do not like fireworks, and we feel miserable if we leave them home alone. The whole neighborhood started a few at 9pm, and by midnite everywhere you looked there were huge aerial fireworks shooting off.

These are all private homes, no rules or regulations on the type you can fire off either. Use at your own risk is the motto of the evening.

It has been very dry and hot. It got up to 80F one day which is really warm for here. Luckily we have an afternoon breeze that comes up to keep it bearable. If there are no clouds the sun is very penetrating, and burns very quickly. 

The people here know to worry about skin cancer, so you will see them wearing hats, and if they do not have a hat, they will cover up with a sweater, piece of paper, umbrellas or whatever will cast a shadow. No one cares about their "look" when it comes to defending against the sun.

After our long spell of dry, we have had some really nice torrential downpours. Wonderful for the crops and rivers. Our country is run on Hydroelectric, so dry spells are not a good thing.

Apparently while its been nice and dry, our house has been host to many sugar ant nests... now that we have had rain they have decided to MOVE IN...
We woke up to columns of marching ants in almost every room.

The houses here are put directly on the ground.. there is no subflooring ect..concrete slab right in the dirt.  I can see where they come up into the house by the little piles of sand..Because we have dogs, our deterrents are as natural as possible. I puff baby powder on those areas where I have seen sand as well as across the entryways into the house. I discovered that a kitchen cleaning product that is citrusy kills them on contact, so I spray all the columns of ants with that and follow with wet mopping....
Over and Over again!
Whats the problem mom... we will just stay up here out of your way

Sad to say, we have smart ants.. they figured out how to crawl over the baby power at our doorways, by climbing up the wall... and then through the door jam and into the house. I retaliated by going outside and puffing powder all along the walls of our house, hoping to confuse them enough that they could not find the door.
Trying to show the ants crawling on the door jam above the powder

It looks like I am practicing some kind of witchcraft here with all this powder encircling our home.

Last nite my friend called to say she had broken a tooth, and would I accompany her to the dentist today. The dentist here in town has a few recommendations from other Expats, and other than no English spoken, his services were great.

The custom is to open the office at 8. The doctor arrives at 9 (ish). There is no person at the desk to take your name or your information or your money.
You sit on couches and wait your turn. So you have to remember who was in the room when you got there.

My friend ended up needing her tooth pulled. A root canal and crown would have been $200-250. And he was not so sure it would really work well. To pull the tooth was $10. It was a back tooth, and like most of us, her teeth are over 50 yrs old... so it was a no-brainer.. pull it.

Her tooth had other ideas.. As I cringed in the corner, the Dr. pulled her tooth, but it crumbled in his hand. Now ensued an hour long process whereby he dug and pulled pieces out of her gums.. HOLY MOLEY. She was a trooper and he even said she was very Valiente... (Valiant). I just kept trying to watch the Ecuadorian version of Judge Judy, on the requisite TV.

Due to the issues and time, he charged her $15, and would take no more. I can't imagine a dentist in the US only charging $10 for anything, must less a shot of novocaine and taking over and hour to pull a tooth.

I have not had my teeth looked at in almost 6 yrs.. I think I will give this guy a try for cleaning my teeth... then I will think about if I want any work done