Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It’s been raining a lot and we discovered we have a few leaks. Nothing major but I pointed them out to Miriam, our landlady, and she had her handyman here the next day. My experience with her so far is that she doesn’t mess around getting things taken care of…and in Ecuador that is unique.

The handyman’s name is Angel, pronounced AN-hall. He only speaks Spanish so he and I had fun trying to have a conversation about the lights in this place. There were some burned out ones when we moved in and Miriam was going to replace them. Some are normal and others LED.

We have a tote of new light bulbs we had bought to replace the white lights with yellow lights in the old place we moved from. Miriam and Angel saw our tote of bulbs at some point since moving in, so they figured we would be using our bulbs. No big deal except we don’t have LED bulbs for three that are burned out. It is harder than you think to explain what I just wrote and be understood in a conversation between two people who do not know each other’s language.

These type of interactions occur daily. Things so simple as ordering a pizza become events that require planning, thought, and a good deal of mental and emotional energy. This is the reality of living in a country without command of its language. The flip side is I am constantly stretched and challenged to expand my ability to speak and understand Spanish. I like that.

Miriam has been kind enough to let us tap into her wifi, but the signal is weak from our apartment and it doesn’t work well most of the time. We signed up for internet today so hopefully by next Monday we will have our own. Inability to connect online becomes a major pain in the butt when one is trying to blog daily. It becomes another opportunity for me to practice patience, and I need so much practice.

Heidi and Easton went to a couple of stores nearby us this afternoon. We have not walked in that direction yet and discovered we are fairly close to a Coral and Mega Tienda, as well as a bank. This is good news because where we have walked up to this point hasn’t had any businesses of practical use for us.

The weather in Cuenca is interesting to deal with. The homes in Cuenca do not have heating or air conditioning. Right now we are moving into winter, and although the temperatures would be considered autumn-like compared to a gnarly midwest winter, it gets cold. We currently have three heavy alpaca blankets on our bed.

When the rain and clouds do clear, and the sun comes out, it gets hot outside almost immediately. Too hot to wear a sweater, or even long sleeves at times. The inside of the house is still cold until it warms up from radiant heat through the windows. Many people have told us that the only way to manage the weather in Cuenca is to layer your clothing. It’s true because in a single day you can experience four seasons…well cold without the snow.

Catedral Metropolitana in El Centro

Catedral Metropolitana in El Centro

Here is a pic of one of the many cathedrals in Cuenca to leave you with.