Monday, December 6, 2010

Reflections on the First Four + Weeks

It is hard to believe we arrived in Cuenca a little over four weeks ago.  Saturday was the first day we felt like we had slowed down to the pace we remembered from our "tire kicking" visit in August. But then Sunday came, complete with broken hot water line and a lake in the kitchen, but that's another story for another day.  So goes life getting settled in Cuenca. 

Sooo much has happened and we have learned so much it is hard to put it all into words.  In setting up house in a new country shopping is alway the first chore.  Finding familiar brands or good substitutes was and is fun.  There is very little liquid dish soap here.  Most people use this tub.  It is a hard soap you just rub your sponge across and then wash with the sponge!  It lasts a long time and is very reasonable.  I did finally find a few bottles of liquid soap but hey, this works great! 

Speaking of washing if you are not careful you will only have a surprise during your first shower.  You see C on the handles and naturally think COLD but actually it stands for Calor which means HOT!  The other handle has an F for Frio obviously COLD.

Laundry can be done at the corner Lavanderia, you simply take your load and they wash, dry, and fold it.  The price depends on how much and how long it takes to dry it.  My big fluffy towels I used to cushion things in our ten suitcases take a long time to dry!  Three towels and two pair of jeans was $3.50.  This is just a long block form our house. I do have a washer and clothes lines which I use most of the time.  The process takes me back to childhood picking clothes off the line.  The line is under a roof so afternoon showers don't slow the process too much.

Speaking of near our house the best part of where we live the proximity of the Coop I have mentioned before.  It's a nice walk about 4 long blocks to shop for fresh produce and meats.  The Coop also is a pay point for your utility bills so it is very convienent.  I got in trouble from the guard taking the picture so don't tell.... 

Across from the Coop is a bus stop in case I have over done it and don't want carry the watermelon and other goodies home on foot.  Of course there is entertainment most afternoons and weekends in the park at the bus stop so it's a great way to wait for the bus (and only 25 cents to ride anywhere in town!).

Other things that take getting used to is Christmas just south of the equator.  Days are like spring in Oregon, cool nights, late morning sun, afternoon light shower, sun sets at 6 pm and the cycle starts over.  Of course seeing hybiscus in December takes some getting used to!

Church as been fun and challenging.  One Sunday we went to a fabulous church, of course all in Spanish, which is the challenge as we are progressing very slowly with our Spanish.  But the worship was fabulous and the people so warm and welcoming.  Some Sundays we sleep in and catch church online at Parkway, our home church in Grant Pass.

Well my spelling editor thinks I am typing in Spanish and is questioning every word in this blog. . .I still have not figured out why or how to fix it so please don't count the words I misspelled and send me a note!  I also see it wants to date this last Thursday, when I tried to start this . . actually today is December to figure that our too. 

Oh well.  Hope you all have a great Christmas season, as others have posted Christmas is coming to Cuenca. 

Chao for now!

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