Guatemala and Ecuador 6/30/16 - 7/20/16

Saturday 7/2/2016 - Shopping for the Ecuador Trip

Being Saturday, we got to sleep until around 8 a.m. today. We gave Ian two wooden toddler puzzles. He immediately set to work on the vehicle-themed puzzle, holding the pieces by their chunky handles and placing them in the appropriately shaped and decorated locations.

For breakfast, we enjoyed huevos rancheros, cheese, and standing black beans. Along with our coffee, we enjoyed delicious fresh squeezed orange juice which the family buys from Paulina's sister Olga. Olga took over their late father's juice business on Calle Santander, and we always make it a point to seek out her delicious juice.

After breakfast, we all watched some videos from our previous trips on my laptop. Craig and I then retired to our room for a while. Eddy hung out with us, and showed us his and Aracely's report cards. They both did very well in school this past year. We are so proud of them. We also noticed that Eddy's confidence in his English has really increased since our last visit. Aracely has been fluent for many years now, but when Eddy was younger he was shy and lacked confidence.

Speaking of kids maturing quickly...just like that...Ian is walking on his own! He has been close for the past two days, but could only take a step or two without holding on to something. But now he has truly gone mobile! He is now walking around like he has done this all his life. He has started to chase Eddy around the house, and I swear I heard him call out something that sounded an awful lot like "Eddy". His brother's name could turn out to be his first word.

Of course now that he is able to get around fully on his own, he is also getting into mischief, including setting the bunny loose when he shouldn't (twice)!

We enjoyed fried fish and a salad containing beautiful fresh tomatoes and avocado for lunch. We laid low during the hottest part of the day. Baby Ian took a bath in his little plastic bathtub in the outdoor sink.

We got to spend time with members of the extended family who all live on the same alleyway as Humberto's family: the kids' cousins Neli, Dulce, Josue, and Humberto's nephew Juan, his wife Yolanda, and their kids Junior and Fatima.

Paola emerged from the house with a no vacancy sign that she posted in front of the office. Their Hotel Lago Aventuras venture (now advertised with colorful mural signage painted on the side of the building) is so successful that they are having to turn people away!

When the weather cooled down a bit, we decided to organize a shopping trip for essentials that Aracely and Vanesa would need for the Ecuador trip. It will be a lot colder in the Andean highlands than they are used to here, so they had to get warm clothes such as "chompas" (heavy jackets), sweatshirts, wooly hats, gloves, and fleecy pajamas. They also needed travel-sized toiletries and a duffel bag to use as checked luggage.

Paulina suggested that we go to a particular second-hand store that they frequent. She thought that it would be an affordable way to get the girls the clothing that they need. Aracely, Vanesa, Eddy, Craig, and I piled into a tuk-tuk and made our way to the thrift shop.

Paulina met us at the shop, and we set to work digging through the racks looking for appropriate pieces. Not entirely surprisingly, the pickings were rather slim in terms of cold-weather clothing. There isn't much market for it here. We managed to find a few items here: a wooly hat, pajamas, sweatshirts, and sweaters. They really tried hard to find chompas, but everything was either the wrong size, ripped, stained, or all three.

We assured them that we could buy something new at the market; they didn't have to settle for the wrong thing. So we went to the market and perused the retail clothing shops there. We found lightweight but warm chompas for each girl, and we also found an appropriate duffel bag for each of them.

We also bought some travel-sized toiletries for them before heading back to the house, where they excitedly showed their purchases to Humberto and their sisters. Now that they had their bags, Aracely and Vanesa started to pack their clothes.

We had tamales for dinner. Then the girls ran to Sarita to buy some containers of ice cream for dessert.

The girls are getting very excited about the trip, and we heard from our compadres in Ecuador that the kids there can't wait to meet their new "sisters"!
Watching videos after breakfast

Watching videos after breakfast

Squeaky clean Ian Ivan

Squeaky clean Ian Ivan

Tuk-tuk selfie: Vanesa, Craig, Eddy, Steph, Aracely

Tuk-tuk selfie: Vanesa, Craig, Eddy, Steph, Aracely

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