Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Last week.

Last week I went to the market with our new neighbors Paul and Diane and met up with Trish from New Beginnings in Cuenca. I was supposed to be a tour guide to the newbies to the market Feria Libre but unfortunately I had only been there once before with my husband Steve. As you read our blog you will learn that Steve is the one with a sense of direction not me. So, Paul, Diane and I head off on foot towards the bridge at Las Americas where we are to meet up with Trish. As we are walking we met an environmental lawyer from Cuenca, he walked with us for a while. He and Paul talked most of the way. Diane was having some difficulty breathing going up the hills; she is still adjusting to the altitude. Suddenly my phone rings and it’s Steve telling me that Trish is meeting us near the market. So, I call her to find out that she is waiting for us. As, we continue to walk I realized that my bad sense of direction made us walk a little far. I was so embarrassed and I felt bad because I knew Diane was having a difficult time adjusting. The agreed to continue our walk and we arrived to the biggest market I’ve ever seen.
I guided them into the market where there were so many choices of fruits and vegetables, even meat but I stay away from that area. We were on the hunt to find rice (arroz) for less than .40 a kg. I was buying fruit and vegetables and filling up my backpack and even had to carry some in another bag. On the way out Trish spotted some animals so she went over to check out the puppies, kittens, bunnies, chickens and turkeys. Oh ya can’t forget about the guinea pigs, a delicacy in Ecuador called Cuy. Yuck! We all got some items and then it was time to head home. We took a taxi to Trish’s first and then the three of us headed back to the apartments.
That evening I ended up with some pain in my ribs it wasn’t very comfortable. I went to sleep hoping to awake in the morning feeling better. The next morning I awoke and it didn’t feel well. Marta our landlady wanted Edgar to take me to her sister who is a pharmacist to get something for them pain. I told her I would be okay. We are so lucky to have such a great landlady.

I was invited to go to the Artesa and finally meet Lizette from The YES Effect. I asked to Trish to join me and she agreed. So on Friday I headed out the door around 8am and walked to Trish’s. I got there around 8:30 and we drove to Artesa. Of course with my bad sense of direction and the lack of street signs we missed our turn and headed to Banos. I called Steve to see if he could help but nope he couldn’t. So, Trish and I turned around hoping to find the street. As we were driving Lizette called me to see if I was coming and I had to explain that I wasn’t sure where I was LOL. We continued to drive and we turned right down 1 de Mayo and I realized that the next street should be where Artesa was so we drove up and found it tucked in off the street. We were only a half an hour late, but according to what I read that is on time for Ecuador.

When we finally arrived outside was Lizette, I finally got to meet her. She was so nice she showed us to the back where it is called seconds and thirds. They are discounted items for blemishes. The Artesa was full of pottery: Plates, bowls, vases, soap dishes and so much more. I saw so many pretty items but couldn’t justify buying any because we have everything we need. Trish was buying all kinds of beautiful things for her apartment and others that she will rent out. Towards the end I was thinking I can’t go away empty handed so I found a mixing bowl that we can use in our home. The process to check out is a little tedious. You take all your items to a table and then a person will hand write everything you have on a sheet of paper which is then handed to someone at a computer they will type up the items and I believe they also are looking up the prices. Then your items are wrapped and brought up front to the main store where another person will input all the items into a computer and will give you your total and take your money CASH only. My mixing bowl was around $3.00. Not too bad for a ceramic bowl. Trish ended up spending around $60 and she got a lot of stuff I was really impressed with the prices. We were finally done and Trish drove me home.

As soon as I arrived home I had some lunch and then Steve and I headed to the Coral Centrol via bus and then that afternoon we headed to Nick’s 2nd Futbol game via bus it felt like it was on the other side of town as far as we rode. They only played half a game I guess there is a mercy rule. Nick’s team was down 6-0, I think. Back on the bus and home we go.
On Sunday we decided to make sure we knew where Nick’s Spanish School (Amauta) is, since he was starting Monday. We took Nick and Ebony with us on the journey. Of course we walked which we didn’t like when we went up the hill. We found the school and then we thought we should treat ourselves and have some lunch. We knew the Coffee Tree would be open and it was near by so we ate there. I had fries and a Fanta, Nick and Steve had burgers and fries and Ebony had a Strawberry sundae. The food was not so great and it cost a fortune, at least in Cuenca standards. It was $35. We won't be going there again.
Well, that was last week. Thanks for reading.

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