Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We all stayed in our place most of the day and read, and worked on our individual projects/interest. Mid afternoon we took the dogs for a walk. Monte and Max continue to walk really well together but when we get home Monte is not keen on the idea being around Max. We don’t push it but hopefully he will warm up to Max.

Heidi and I walked up to Popacuchu’s restaurant to get out of the house and be around some people. We ordered a veggie Panini and some coffee. While we were sitting at our table a man, older than me, came over to us and began talking. He was there with his wife, daughter in law, and two grandkids. He and his wife have been here since last September, and his son’s family much longer.

He was very pleasant and asked us our names, introduced himself, and then asked if we would like to hear a story? Our food had just arrived, but not wanting to be rude I invited him to sit and tell us his story. He chose to stand and began telling a silly story about forest animals going on a picnic. In the end there was a punch line and the story was actually the telling of a joke.

When he finished and was ready to leave our table we exchanged “nice to meet you” salutations. People can be friendly here. He is an expat, and that shared experience allows for these types of encounters. I find when people are removed from the familiarity and security of their language, surroundings, and things, there is more space available to connect with others…even complete strangers. It is kind of cool actually.

Heidi, Easton, and I met Scott and Colleen for dinner at Dos Sucres. It is a restaurant owned by a young Ecuadorian chef who serves traditional Ecuadorian dishes, but everything is cooked and prepared like a 5 star restaurant. He has really done a great job with the flavors and tastes of his menu items. Easton had a churrasco dish made with aged beef, I had a shrimp and tuna casabe (heavy soup-like casserole), and Heidi had langostinos, which are giant shrimp. All of it was fantastic.

We had a lot of fun talking with Scott and Colleen about some of the challenges and experiences as expats in Ecuador. Learning the language is a commonly shared one, and it is nice to be with other extranjenos (foreigners) who are committed to learning Spanish. In our conversations there is an underlying encouragement of one another that we will be successful in learning it.

It was a great evening and we were happy to be out with friends. Heidi and I have realized we are going to have to push ourselves to get outdoors more each day. Even though it may look cold outside, and it definitely feels cold inside, as long as it isn’t raining the temperature outside is generally ok. The rain is the killer in this equation for walking for long distances around here. Hopefully we are moving into a drier time of the year.