Thursday, May 5, 2016

I woke up to the sound of someone speaking on a loud speaker. What time is it? I look at my watch…6:30 am. Wow, what is that all about? I tried to go back to sleep; various music continues playing over the loud speaker with someone shouting in Spanish. Finally, at 10 minutes to 7:00 my curiosity got the best of me and I got up to find out where this early morning wake-up call is coming from.

From my terrace I can see the park. In the park are several people doing Zumba. Oh my god…is this an every morning thing? It reminds me of watching Zumba in the park from my balcony in Bahia…but that class started at 7:30 am. Oh well, I decided that if this 6:30 am Zumba class becomes an annoyance waking me up, I will just join it. Seems too convenient to not.

We found a local farmers market near us! I miss being able to walk to the market and get our bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, onions, cheese, peanut butter, and eggs to name a few.

Farmer's market near us

Farmer’s market near us

I have to admit as I saw the market with its many stands and vendors I got a knot in my stomach. I remember how long it took me to learn my way around, find the vendors I likes to buy from, and learn the prices of things. I became aware I would get to do this all over again.

Chickens waving good morning

Chickens waving good morning

Mr Pig says hello

Mr Pig says hello

Still it was an adventure to see what this market had. In addition to all the fruits and vegetable stands it had more permanent vendors selling baskets, wooden spoons, shoes, clothes, haircuts and beauty supplies…basically tons of items. Heidi was looking for some baskets to help organize the kitchen. We found some handwoven ones that would work on the counters and inside the cupboards. They ranged from $1 to $3 for the sizes we wanted. They seem sturdy and well made too!

In the center of the market are people making food for lunch. They have almuerzos of various types…fish, chicken, pork, and beef.

Vendor making his  almuerzo

Vendor making his almuerzo

The vendor cooks in the middle of a U-shaped bar type sitting area where people eat their lunch that the vendor has made. I can’t wait to try this! There are probably eight or so vendors in this area, all next to each other, cooking for the people buying and selling in the market.

Center area of market for shoppers to eat

Center area of market for shoppers to eat

As we were walking home I was thankful that this market is so close to us. It reminds me of Bahia and the people I came to appreciate and enjoy. I’m happy that I can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. For me, shopping at the farmer’s market, having to speak Spanish, and trying to make basic conversation with the vendors makes my soul smile.

The Mall de Rio is a 10 minute walk from our house. We made our way over there to stock up on cleaning supplies, paper goods for the kitchen and bathrooms, kitchen ware like a can opener, vegetable peeler, colander, a pot for boiling pasta…well you get the idea. The process of making our home functional has begun.

Daniel, our realtor, came by and took us to a couple of stores to find things we need for our home. We bought new light bulbs at a place called Kiwi. It is the closest thing to a Lowe’s or Home Depot one will find in Ecuador. We also went to Supermaxi and found more bath towels.

It is going to be a process getting everything we are after, but if we take our time and look, I’m sure we will find what we need. I’m excited to get our terrace area functional with nice lounge chairs, table and chairs. It should be a great space for us to utilize.

I am very thankful for Daniel. He has gone above and beyond taking us around shopping and helping us find what we need. When we went to sign up for the internet on Monday they said it would be a week before we it would be working. Last night when Daniel was driving us to one of the stores I asked him if there was a restaurant or coffee shop near our home that I could go to and use wifi.

He said we could use his hot spot device which he kept plugged in his car. I told him that wasn’t necessary, but he insisted we use it until our internet was up and running. So now I am online again. It is amazing how I have come to depend on access to the internet throughout my day to find and get things done.

I’m also acutely aware of how important it is to have support from other’s in my life to live well and stay healthy. Friends, family, and other human beings I pass on my journey afford a connection that is available anytime, anywhere and never depends upon a modem or a signal.