Ecuador 8/31/2018 - 9/15/2018

Monday, 9/3/2018 - The family returns to Ibarra for errands

It's Labor Day today in the USA, so I don't have to work. We slept in a bit and then joined the family for breakfast of fried eggs, fried potatoes, yogurt, canteloupe juice, ham, hot dogs, and coffee.

The chickens had made a mess of the patio. With no rain in the recent past, chicken droppings were accumulating and were difficult to clean. I got a bucket of water from the outdoor sink, poured it on the dirty parts of the patio, and scrubbed with a broom.

As I was cleaning, I heard some heavy equipment and went to see what was going on. It turned out that there was a large dump truck delivering a load of rocks next door. I immediately called Yupanqui to come look, and Craig followed close behind. This kind of excitement hasn't happened since they tore up the road!

Rosa and Antonio took the kids to Ibarra so that they could register Sisa for English classes, buy back to school items, and get the kids' school photos taken. Normally, we would have gone with them, especially since I didn't have to work. But we decided to stay home and get some rest. It had been a busy and tiring couple of days. They had a lot of errands to do and we would only slow them down.

Abuelita spends the day doing chores...she was using a hoe to dig a small drainage trench despite being in her mid-80's. She is a remarkable woman and very inspirational. The women here work so hard to keep the household running, and rarely get a chance to rest.

Aida cooked lunch for us and we had a nice chance to chat with her. She made us fresh mora (blackberry) juice, soup, pork, melloco, corn, and salad.

The wifi signal was very strong in our casita. Unlike previous visits, neither of us ever had difficulty connecting to the router. Internet and cell service were a bit spotty today due to the intense winds we have been experiencing. But since I didn't need to connect to work today, it wasn't anything more than a minor inconvenience. The weather was nice, and I sat outside in the sun re-reading The Samurai's Garden which I hadn't read since college. It is one of my favorite books, dream-like and lyrical. It was so peaceful sitting outside among the sounds of nature and soaking up the sunshine.

The afternoon light was waning and the family still hadn't returned from Ibarra. We were now very glad that we hadn't accompanied them, since it had turned into a marathon day.

It was fully dark by the time the family returned after 8 p.m. They had had an extremely productive day. Not only had they gotten the kids' school photos and bought some essential items such as back to school shoes and backpacks, Sisa had actually had her first 2-hour English lesson in Ibarra! We had thought that today was just registration. It just goes to underscore how we are never really sure of what is going on at any given time. All part of the adventure.

Sisa has her English classes on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 3-5 p.m.. The class size is only around 5 students, so she should be able to learn so much over the next 10 months! She is so excited and wants to buy a whiteboard so that she can teach English to Yupanqui and Shina at home. Sounds like a great idea to us!

They all came home very excited. Sisa really enjoyed her class, and had already made some friends. Her classmates are her own age, so there is more potential for friendships than when she was in an adult class.

We ate dinner (soup, roast chicken, melloco, rice, salad, and Coca Cola) and they presented us with copies of the school photos, which came out quite nicely. They gave us small plastic keychains in which to place the small photos. It took four adults about 20 minutes to figure out how to seal the keychains once we placed the photos inside.
Yupanqui with Achi Taita

Yupanqui with Achi Taita

Yupanqui, Antonio, Shina, Sisa, and Rosa prepare to go to Ibarra

Yupanqui, Antonio, Shina, Sisa, and Rosa prepare to go to Ibarra

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