Thursday, Feb 25, 2016
Easton was able to find a surf board to rent, and this morning he was out in the ocean with the other surfers. It’s been six years since he lived in Hawaii and surfed regularly. To me it looks like it was coming back as if he was riding a bike.
I don’t think the waves were as big as they have been, but I’m glad Easton is back on his board again enjoying the warm waters of the Pacific!
We had Tjaard and Gabriella over for pizza tonight. We bought the supplies and they showed us how to make crusts from scratch. It was a lot of fun making the dough, kneading it, and rolling it out. We all pitched in making the dough and preparing the toppings, then we each made our own small sized pizza. They turned out great!
During our conversation with Tjaard and Gabriella, I told them about everyone we ran into while in Guayaquil telling us not to go here or there, don’t get in any cab that isn’t yellow, watch your wallet, watch your phone, etc. I told them it got exhausting and we never had any issues.
Tjaard lived in Guayaquil for two years and Gabriella lived there for six years. Gabriella spoke up and said Guayaquil is dangerous. Then Tjaard told us the story of his and Gabriella’s first date. They were at the Malecon and at about 9:30pm they hailed a yellow taxi off the main street.
The driver made a phone call and said he was driving and would be home shortly. At some point soon after that call, the driver pulled to the side of the road and two men with guns got into the cab. One got in the front seat and pointed a gun at Gabriella and Tjaard sitting in the back seat. The other gunman got in the back seat with a gun pointed at Tjaards head. They told Tjaard and Gabriella to close their eyes and keep their heads back; if they cooperated they wouldn’t be hurt.
Did I mention Gabriella is Ecuadorian? They robbed them of everything they had…camera, wallets, money, jackets…anything of value.This story blew me away. Gabriella then told us that she had been robbed at gunpoint three times in the six years she lived in Guayaquil. Tjaard said he still gets nervous when a taxi driver makes a call while he’s in the cab. No shit…can you say PTSD?!
All I can say is that none of us like Guayaquil and those stories pretty much sealed it.
Fortunately, Bahia de Caraquez has the lowest crime rate in all of Ecuador according to statistics I’ve read. Gabriella said that it used to basically have none, but over the last few years it has increased. The stories I’ve heard include a scenario where a couple guys on a motorcycle ride by and grab purses and cell phones from people walking alone on the street at night. Knowing that, we are all vigilant to keep ourselves out of reach of passing motorcycles.
We have had a really positive experience so far. The people we meet are friendly, and even so, we stay aware of our surroundings. So far, that seems to work!