Friday, June 24, 2016

I finally have all my blog posts caught up during the earthquake days, beginning from the day we experienced the quake through our last day in Bahia. These posts are filled with pics and videos of Bahia de Caraquez and the activities I saw and participated in from the day the earthquake hit and the 11 days following it. If you would like to read this account, it starts on Day 96 and goes through Day 107.

It was only 12 days but it changed the trajectory of my life and experiences in Ecuador. I am curious to see how this new path I am on unfolds. The effects of the earthquake continue as a M4.1 tremor was felt at 4:30 am this morning in Pedernales, the epicenter of the earthquake on April 16th.

Last night we had dinner with Pam and Eddy. We were introduced to them through Paul and Janet, and have been out to dinner with them before. It was a lot of fun visiting and eating together with them at their place. One has to love Pam, she likes heat and doesn’t have much use for the cold. I so relate.

When we arrived and stepped into their apartment I instantly felt the temperature increase at least 25 degrees. For the first time in weeks I had my coat off while being inside. It was so nice and warm. Bless her toasty warm heart!

I asked how she got the place so warm and she said that she leaves the gas oven on and its door open all day. The kitchen is open to the living and dining room so it heats the area up very well. Brilliant! Unfortunately our place isn’t designed in a way that would allow heat from the oven to warm other rooms.

During dinner Pam shared a story of Eddy’s experience through the free healthcare system here. Basically the story began last September when he tried to get scheduled for surgery, it didn’t actually happen until March. Her story was filled with changes, cancellations, misinformation, complete restarts in the system, and difficult communication and interactions throughout the whole episode. It honestly made me anxious and had my heart racing as I listened to her tell us what they went through.

The pressing thought in my mind throughout her story was that Pam is from Chile and speaks perfect Spanish, plus she knows how to get things done. I was trying to imagine how I would even begin to navigate this process. One glimmer of hope in her tale was the fact, had they chosen to go private pay instead of the free government route, they could have had it done for a $1000 dollars and avoided months of aggravation. Did I ever tell you that in one of my past lives I’m a Finance major? A Grand would be so worth it, and a finance degree isn’t required to figure that one out.

IMG-20160624-WA0002After a great dinner, good wine, and lots of conversation we called it a night and said good bye. Pam and Eddy were great hosts and we really appreciated spending time with them. Back at home, I kept my coat on even with the propane heater going. Before I actually went to bed for the night, I had laid down and dozed off still in my coat. Heidi caught me.

Today, Heidi, Easton, and I walked into El Centro from our new place on Primero de Mayo. It took about 10 minutes longer than from our old location, so it now becomes about a 40 minute walk. Luckily it only rained once on us while we were walking and then not for very long.

Idali Coffee Break Restaurant

Idali Coffee Break Restaurant

20160624_13314820160624_133914 (1)When we got into El Centro we stopped at a new place to grab lunch. It is called Idali Coffee Break Restaurant. We each had an almuerzo and a cappuccino. I enjoyed the food because it wasn’t the typical soup, rice, and beans with chicken or pork. The soup had a different flavor and texture that I enjoyed. The main plate was delicious and came combined with a mix of vegetables instead of beans. Sometimes an almuerzo is an almuerzo is an almuerzo. This place is different, and the cappuccinos are delicious. I recommend you try it.


Beginnings of terrace garden

Heidi is creating her “secret garden” on the terrace. I imagine that at some point the entire L shaped ledge will be covered with foliage and flowers, but for now this is where she is at.

I remind her she is trying to build a nest while, right now, we are migrating birds. I don’t believe she is buying into my analogy. Given the chance, she does make anything she touches look nice . I’m blessed to have her as my partner and wife.