Ecuador 8/31/2018 - 9/15/2018
Wednesday, 9/12/2018 - A much-anticipated delivery, Shina hi-jinksThis morning, my meeting schedule allowed me to eat breakfast with the family. We had fresh juice, corn pancakes, ham, cheese, bread, colada, and coffee.
I then went upstairs to my office to work. In between meetings, while taking a quick break, we heard the tell-tale song of the gas truck. We all ran out to the street with empty canisters in tow. The truck stopped in front of the house and exchanged our empty tanks for full ones. With Ecuador's gas production, price isn't the problem; it's availability in the villages. It cost $5 for two tanks worth of gas.
This meant that we were no longer in danger of running out of cooking gas. When that happens, Rosa must resort to cooking over the fire in Abuelita's outdoor kitchen. She always seems to come down with a cold and/or migraine when forced to cook outside in the cold. And now we would have hot water on demand for showering. Of course we are always flexible, but we are most relaxed when it's not something we have to wonder about.
As we brought the tanks down the driveway, the kids arrived home from school early. Their cousin Ashley was with them, and Sisa was carrying Ashley's small puppy.
I had to go upstairs for another work meeting, and wound up eating lunch while on a conference call. As always, there was a starter course of soup. I don't eat very big lunches at home, and this soup would usually suffice. But there is always another course here, this time a pile of fried rice. And of course fresh homemade juice.
The kids' cousins Kelly and Ashley came over again during lunchtime, so that their mother could continue to help with the construction project next door. Sisa was great with little Kelly. She played with her, calmed her down when she started to miss her mother, and always kept an eye on her to make sure she was safe.
Rosa, Craig, and I sat with the kids at the kitchen table and organized all of their schoolbooks and notebooks. We drew pictures in their notebooks and the kids colored them. The fruit truck came by this afternoon and we met it out front and purchased more fresh, reasonably priced fruit.
Last night we taught Sisa the phrase "Please get me the napkins." When she was setting the table tonight, she asked me in Spanish to please get her the napkins (they are in a cabinet that is too high for her to reach.) "Servilletas, por favor?" We asked her how she would say that in English. She said "Please..." and then stopped to think.
Without missing a beat, little Shina said "Please por favor servilletas." This little cutie was cracking us up tonight. Shina was born blind. After several surgeries, she can see pretty well. But due to her sight issues in the past, she has always been a very auditory learner. Even when you don't think she's paying attention, she is soaking up everything that is said, even if it is in English.
We sat down to dinner of carrot soup, melloco, avocado and tomato salad, beef, and rice. El Señor Chipikins always joins the family for meals, as he likes to beg for table scraps. Unfortunately, his method of begging is often to lunge at you and dig his claws into your kmee, pulling his whole body weight up onto your lap. Both Craig and I got pinprick holes in our jeans (and our flesh) as a result of his antics.
While we were eating, Antonio was mentioning that there is rain forecast within the next few days. It has been very dry here and they have been worried about the upcoming corn planting season. I replied, in English, "That would be nice!"
"Be nice?!" Shina echoed. As I have mentioned in the past, "Be nice" is one of the first English phrases that the kids learned, as we say it whenever they are bothering one another. Shina picked that phrase out of my larger sentence and wondered why I was telling her Papi to be nice.
She is a riot!
Also at dinner...Sisa tickled Shina and Craig said "Be careful, she's a warrior princess" (the translation of Shina Tayanta). Shina understood the English and mimed a karate chop.
When Sisa realized that it was Wednesday night, she got very excited because that meant English class tomorrow. Her enthusiasm for learning really makes us proud.
Highly anticipated gas delivery
Yupanqui with Ashley's puppy