Thursday, Jan 14, 2016

Donna took us to the farmers market this morning. It is open 364 days a year, only closing on New Year’s Day. We bought some peanut butter, freshly ground, for $1.50 a pound. No need to buy $10 a pound peanut butter at the suopermarket anymore! We also bought some cheese, one pound with salt and harder formed, and one pound without salt, formed but softer. The cheese is unpasteurized, so we will see how my stomach likes it.

We bought a pound of strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, tomatoes, bananas, and spinach all for $7.00. I think that was a good deal. They sell fresh chicken and beef, and there is a fish market as well. We bought three Flounder boneless fillets for $3.50. They look good! Fresh shrimp, multiple types of fish, octopus, and clams were available.

Fortunately Donna was able to ask how much things cost and translated this for us. We definitely have to learn our Spanish words for the amounts of things.

Our internet is still not working. It appears there may be an issue with the phone line, so our landlord Don has someone working with the phone company to get it fixed. I guess the problem in Ecuador is service people do not keep their appointments. It may take days to get this resolved, but I am holding good thoughts.

This afternoon we are going to go to the cell phone provider, Claro, and see if we can convert our phones to local numbers.

The three of us have new local Ecuadorian phone numbers! Don went with us to Claro and used his Spanish to help us through. Basically we just paid $5 each for a new sim card, switched it out, then had them put $20 credit on each of our phones. Data cost $1 for 30 MB. So it looks like it costs about $33 for 1 GB of data. This seems quite a bit more than what one is charged for data in the states. Phones are all pay as you go. Grocery stores and banks are all set up for phone users to walk in and add money to their phone account. We are going to have to be good at using the internet and avoiding data charges. What is a bonus in the local cell program is that Whatsapp texting is free and unlimited use.

Not having the internet is becoming more frustrating. After I put my new sim card in, and then finding a useable internet signal, I tried to log onto my Verizon account. It didn’t recognize my phone (due to new sim card) and I messed up the security questions. I am currently locked out of my account. This really wouldn’t be a big deal to fix if I could chat with a rep through the internet. I changed my number on Whatsapp and because of the spotty internet, I believe, I had to have them call my phone and give me a code. That all seemed good, my whatsapp number changed successfully to my new Ecuadorian number. When I went to chat in my family group, it said I was no longer a part of this group. So I am assuming all my contacts are messed up…but again I need internet to investigate further.

I experienced an anxious moment earlier today. Right now I don’t remember what triggered it. I do remember feeling fearful and thinking “oh shit, what have I done moving here?” I’ve decided though that this is normal or at least expected. Almost every moment of the day we are doing something that is done differently than where we came from. Whether it is shopping in the open air market and trying to understand how much something costs, or buying cheese that doesn’t look, smell, or taste what we normally buy, or getting a cell phone with a local Ecuadorian number and trying to figure out how to set it up with limited words and descriptive hand gestures, it just is all different.

I am proud of me and my wife and son for getting through today without any significant angst, and finding a reservoir of patience with ourselves, each other, and the new people we continue to meet and interact with. We have been able to cook together, eat together, and enjoy one another’s presence without the familiar distractions of thumb sucking technology. That is a blessing often missed with each other while living in the states.