Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016

I took Keeper out early this morning and there is a very light rain coming down. As she and I walk over to the park I can see the gray billowy clouds hanging over the ocean bringing this rain. The temperature outside feels refreshing… not hot, not cold but very pleasant on my skin.

I am thankful for this because it is a workout day, and it looks like we may not have any sun during it. It turns out we are running today. Henry led us to some new hills for us to run up and down…over and over again. Oh yea!

When we run, Henry rides his bike. Today however he has a harness-like strap attached to it. One of the youngest guys put it on and ran pulling Henry behind him. See, this is the problem with youth…they lack wisdom. Any older person, like me for example, totally knows it is easier to run without pulling an extra 200# behind you. ;-P

At one place on our route there was a hill with a median separating the two sides of the street. We kept running up and back down this loop as Henry had different people strapped in the harness pulling him up, and then back down. Easton was one of the lucky ones who got a “turn”.

At this point in the workout I was having trouble being able to move my legs and breathe at the same time. I watched Easton from behind, as I willed myself in a forward direction. Easton dug in and pulled Henry up the hill. It looked hard, but he did it! I wanted to puke just watching it. I’m glad Easton gets his money’s worth today.  😀

Heidi has found a different teacher, Emily, for Spanish. She is going to do one on one with her, while Easton and I continue with Tjaard and Gabriella. Heidi had her first lesson today with her, and says she likes the pace and the material. It is a better fit for her in understanding the basics of Spanish.

The bottom line is that Spanish is difficult to learn. It’s not just about learning the words, the conjugations, and pronunciations. The more difficult task is getting your ear to hear the words when spoken by locals. For me, this is the hardest part, and what I believe will take the most time to understand.

We went to the market and loaded up on fresh supplies. It is very humid right now! On days like this with little breeze and full sun, I know we are in South America. It’s just like in the movies where everyone is always sweating.

At the market there is a chalk board that posts the prices per pound of some items…several different kinds of fish, one kind of cheese (two if you count salt or no salt), and milk. I have no idea who decides the local prices, but I think it’s kind of weird.

How is it decided? Do the fisherman all meet in the early morning when they bring their catch in and say, “Hey, not too many Dorado today so the price will be…” And what about cheese and milk? Do the farmers meet and say, “Well the cows only gave us x liters of milk today so the price will be…”

I don’t know. It doesn’t feel like free market economics to me, rather, more like price-fixing. When we first started going to the market over a month ago, cheese was $1.60 a pound, then lately it has been $1.80 a pound. Today the cheese is $2.00 a pound. Why? And besides that, it’s shitty cheese by US standards. I’m not being mean, it’s just a fact. I’m also thankful we can get it.

It is another interesting day in Ecuador.