Saturday, Dec 24, 2016

I went with Don and Donna to their farm and into Bahia to get some chairs, and do other things needing to be done for the Christmas party at the beach tomorrow. At the farm I had a few minutes to talk to Walter, the man who lives on the farm and who I got to know when we lived on the front porch of the farmhouse after the quake.

He spoke Spanish to me and asked how I liked Cuenca, when I was coming back, and where I was going to live? I answered his questions as best I could in Spanish. Walter told me that in Cuenca I don’t have a cool friend like Don. This prompted Don to high five Walter and we all laughed.

Torresol under repair

We continued on into Bahia to pick up chairs from Torresol, where we used to live, and Dos Hemisphere where we were when the earthquake hit. These buildings as well as most other buildings are in various states of repair. In some buildings whole floors are gutted and you can see right through the building.

Don and Donna are living in their unit they had rented to us when we originally arrived in Ecuador. It suffered minor damage and has been repaired already. Some units on floors beneath this one have major damage and are currently being gutted and worked on.

My old view at the coast

Beach party property

After we picked up chairs we headed back to the farm to drop them off, then traveled down to the beach to check the brick BBQ had charcoal and get the water turned on for the bathroom/shower area. The Christmas party will be set up under the thatched roof that looks out over the beach. The ocean is beautiful here and it is going to be a great place to spend Christmas day.

When we got back to the Cottages everyone was just chillin’ out and enjoying the day. Michelle and Kelly had made their way here from Ayampe and arrived shortly after I got back to the Cottages. They have had some good sun since leaving Cuenca and have had a lot of beach adventures.

Hanging out after dinner

Kim, the owner of The Cottages, had food catered in for us all to enjoy for Christmas Eve dinner. Langostinos, seafood rice, roasted pulled pork, sautéed potatoes, homemade bread, and salad. She also provided all the beer and wine we could want. It was a great dinner in the tropical Ecuadorian courtyard around the pool.

For dessert, Heidi brought unfrosted sugar cookies with all the fixings for everyone to ice and decorate. The guests let out their inner cookie artist and created great designs to be visually appreciated before being eaten and enjoyed.

Gorishek family Christmas

When the cookies were done we played cards. It was a raucous game of “Asshole”. Normally we stop playing after someone has won “President” three times. Tonight though Roy was “Asshole” three times in a row, and in the spirit of Christmas, we ended the game. No one should be an “Asshole” on Christmas Eve.

We had a small gift exchange and played the game where gifts can be stolen away but only twice. This worked to my and Heidi’s advantage since we were able to secure a Christmas present for Chase and Easton. I know, we’re parents of the year…but hey, they’re grown ass men. 😉

Gift Exchange Game

After we finished our gift exchange game we went to our cottage and finished prepping the whole chickens we will be cooking over hot coals tomorrow. Melody and Donna washed, buttered, and put garlic cloves into the flesh of the chickens. Chase chopped up the onions, potatoes, and carrots to be wrapped up with the chicken.

Christmas dinner prep

Heidi seasoned and spiced the vegetables and chickens before wrapping them up tight in tin foil. After about and hour later, four whole chickens were wrapped and packaged like shiny Christmas packages, not to be placed under the tree, but cooked moist and juicy in the BBQ for Christmas dinner.

Chase and Easton went out to party in the big town of San Clemente. From what we understand, in this tiny fishing village everyone comes out into the main square and dances and parties in the street into the early morning hours. I’m too old for that. Heidi and I will be watching a Christmas movie to cap off our evening.

…and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.