Wednesday, Jan 20, 2016

It started raining during the night and I could hear it just pour down. It was a fun sensation being warm, comfortable, dry, and listening to the torrents of rain fall onto the roof and streets outside. This is the first big rain we have had since arriving. It is the rainy season and this one is bringing El Nino.

I get up and walk to the window. I look out into the morning as it wakes up the residents of this sleepy town and I see it engulfed in a wet cloud, with water falling out of the gray ether onto the heavily puddled dark street.

When the rain let up one of the main streets in town had over a foot of water in it. There is a half empty swimming pool in a high school that is being built across from me. It is completely submerged and the stadium area surrounding the pool is filled with knee deep water. By late afternoon the water in the streets had drained off into the ocean. The skate park next to us was flooded and men were bailing it out by hand with buckets for most of the afternoon.

We took a cab to the bus terminal, $2 each way, and purchased our tickets for Guayaquil. It costs $8 a person for the 5 hour ride between Bahia and Guayaquil. This will hopefully complete the last step of our visa application process! I’ve been told expect to sit and wait most of the day at the Ecuadorian Ministry office, but I’m holding out for a quick and efficient meeting. Since we have to be there at 8:30 in the morning, we need to hop on a bus the day before and spend the night in Guayaquil.

It wasn’t too bad trying to communicate with the ticket agent, although he spoke no English and my Spanish is virtually non-existent. I showed the ticket agent the calendar on my phone and pointed to the day. Then, after looking at the schedule of departures posted on the glass of the ticket booth, I wrote down the time we wanted it for. What I didn’t think about and wasn’t able to say, was to put the three of us near each other. When the tickets printed, Heidi and I are in seats 7 and 8 while Easton is in seat 12 of the bus. This isn’t a huge deal except for wanting to keep track of our things. We have been told story after story of peoples’ back backs being sliced open and things stolen when they are placed under the seat or in the overhead compartment. We have been told the only sure way is to keep it safe is keep it on your lap.

We had a good Spanish lesson today. We learned days of the week, months of the year, numbers, and more rules regarding vowels, consonants, and syllables. We practiced our numbers with sentences using various amounts of money in them. I found this will be very helpful and useful in our daily activities. I certainly could have used the days, month, and number for time at the bus station today!

The internet is not working. It worked this morning, it worked yesterday morning. We leave and do our thing, and when we come back in the afternoon it isn’t working. Yesterday we got home mid afternoon and it never came on before we went to bed. I am really hoping today is not going to be the same scenario. I was able to purchase my domain name for my blog this morning…, or as the landing page will read, Todd Talk…in Ecuador! I’m excited to get my blog up and I need internet access for that to happen!

Heidi and I made dinner tonight together in the kitchen. It was simple…noodles with sautéed onions, jalepenos, tomatoes, spices, and grated fresh cheese folded in. Our son poured the wine and the three of us ate on our balcony. Easton and I were cold out there tonight! I have no idea what the temperature is but the wind was actually cool… probably like 72 degrees cool. Burrrrrr.

Heidi and I also did the dishes together sans dishwasher. We have not lived in a place without a dishwasher since our first apartment together over 30 years ago. She washed and I dried…pretty sure I got the better deal! It was another instance since we have arrived where we are engaged together in new and different ways. I like the feeling of it…calm, comfortable, unrushed and connected,

During dinner I asked everyone if they thought this was a good situation for each of us, now living here in Ecuador. We all agreed that we are liking this change of living. Heidi had a great word to describe the feeling…gentler. We still experience stress… can’t communicate, don’t know where we are going or how to get there, even the most mundane things take more effort to do. But it is gentler.

Living by the park we hear kids playing and laughing at various times each day. We see couples on the benches holding hands and kissing. We hear adults loudly laughing and joking together as they gather together in and around the park. I believe people work hard here. I see it in the jobs they are doing… street sweepers with a broom, shovel, and wheel barrow in hand; construction workers stacking bricks on their shoulders and carrying them distances; fisherman mending their nets and being out all night on the ocean. They also embrace playing, loving, walking, running, sitting. Whatever it is, it seems to be done with abandon. They are “all in” whatever it is they are doing. I like it!

Uh ohh! The electricity just went out! I guess when it rains this is a common occurrence… but it’s not raining! Our apartment is pitch black. I reached for my cell phone in my pocket and turned on the flashlight. We are prepared though, and I’m breaking out the headlamps now. Remember that cool breeze I spoke of earlier? Thank goodness for it because our condo is very hot without AC or a good breeze!