Thursday, September 29, 2011

I mean really...the pizza was truly incredible.


I promise I did not just insult anyone or say anything inappropriate.

Ismael and I went celebrate our very first anniversary! Yes, that's year ago on Sunday we stood up in front of friends and family in Shafter, California, and I, Amy, took him, Ismael, to be my wife. And then after lots of laughs, took him to be my husband. It was a super fun day.

And so, to celebrate one year of good times...or whatever...we went to Cuenca! IT WAS AWESOME! I love Cuenca. Love it!

Here it is on the map. Not too far away from where we live. It was about a four-hour motion-sickness-inducing bus ride through super-high mountains. And the city was so cool! I was excited to see the Incan ruins outside the city, but there was just too much neat stuff to see inside the city and not enough time...

We got there Thursday night, ordered some delicious hamburgers to our room, watched some television and delighted in the HOT WATER!!! I miss hot water...

Friday morning we enjoyed the free buffet breakfast at the hotel and then took a bus tour of the city. It was really neat! It was one of those busses with seats on top, which we sat in.

It took us all through the city and showed us all the historic sights and the cathedrals and the river and it was beautiful!!

We went allllll the way up the road outside of town and ended up at a little lookout point looking over the whole city. It was very cool.

After the tour we enjoyed some mexican food, which was not as good as the enchiladas at the Happy Donkey, but it was still delicious...And then in the evening we took a walk through the city. The lights on the cathedrals were so beautiful that we decided we needed to take another walk the next night after the camera battery was charged again.

So we did...Saturday night we went out for pizza which was INCREDIBLE!!! Then we took a loooong walk in the drizzle and took pictures of almost all the cathedrals in the city.

We stopped in the Calderon Park where we saw a horse and carriage parked on the street and asked the driver how much for a carriage ride. $2 per person is a great deal, so we took it!!

It was super fun! Then Sunday morning we took a walk by the river and visited a museum that had lots of old stuff in it and saw a little tiny Incan ruin, and then came back to El Recreo...completely against my will. I would have stayed in Cuenca forever!

love, love, love!

Next time we'll go see the big ruins outside the city :-). Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Really....deportation is not an impossibility.

Ok, I have several buenas noticias (good to share. I’ll start with the obvious frontrunner in importance:

Our toilet works! If anyone guessed that our landlord would finally fix our toilet on August 31st, you were wrong. If you guessed that our landlord would EVER fix our toilet, you were also wrong. He did nothing. But here’s what happened…

I will not say who left what in the toilet on the morning of August 31st. (But it wasn’t me. And it wasn’t pretty). And as you know, our toilet has not been flushing properly since we got back to Ecuador at the end of April. It flushes…the water just doesn’t move through the pipes very quickly…so…it doesn’t take everything with it…if you know what I mean (I mean the poo). Every time we’ve needed to flush, aside from flushing with the handle, we’ve had to pour several pitchers of water (anywhere from 3 to 10, depending on what we had eaten) down the toilet and sometimes use the plunger to get the job done. So…gross, right?

Yeah, I know. This is my life.

Well, I guess I just felt mad about it all and on the morning of August 31st, I channeled my anger into the plunging I was doing. Apparently plungers work in both directions. Not only do they push things down the tubes…they also pull things back up the tubes. So after plunging my little heart out for a couple minutes…out popped the culprit.

I don’t know how the landlord’s bro-in-law missed that. Also…that is a hearty toothbrush. It’s obviously been in the toilet for at least four and a half months, maybe longer. And for all the bleach and lye and acid we’ve been dumping down our toilet for the last four and a half months…I mean, even the bristles are still intact. So kudos to you, generic brand toothbrush. You won several rounds. But not anymore.

Anyway, the lesson to be learned here is: put the lid down. Also: don’t let our friend Jose use your bathroom. So, that is good times. No…scratch that…GREAT times.

On to the other news…

Ismael started a car washing business! He and his cousin, Raul, wash cars outside of the church Monday through Saturday. So far it’s going pretty well. They’ve made enough money to pay for all of their car-washing supplies and even earned a little profit. Ismael hopes to make enough money to buy a small pressure washer soon, in order to speed up the washing process and be able to wash more cars in a shorter amount of time. Plus, some people don’t even want you to wash their car if you don’t use a pressure washer. Snobs. I don’t see what’s wrong with using just a regular hose. But, I’m not Ecuadorian. So…wh

atever. It’s good to have goals,

I guess.

Anyway, I’m proud of him. He got tired of handing in applications for jobs and not hearing back from the companies, so he took some initiative and decided to start his own business. Please pray for his continued success.

And…in just a couple of weeks on September 25th, Ismael and I will be celebrating our first anniversary. We’ve been saving up to take a little weekend trip. We’re going to go to Cuenca, which is a few hours southeast of El Recreo, where we live. It looks like a cool, old city which will be fun to explore, and there are some Incan ruins not far from there that we can go see. So, it will be an adventure!

Oh…that is, if I am still legally allowed to be in Ecuador on the weekend of the 25th. My visa expires on the 22nd and so I went at the beginning of the month to the Visa Department in the Ministry of External Relations building in Guayaquil to renew my visa. I submitted all the required paperwork with my application to renew my visa, and was told to come back on Wednesday the 14th to find out if my application has been approved or not. What do you think the odds are of me getting deported twice from the same country?

Anyway, wish me luck! I’ll let you know what they say :-).