The second warm night of sleeping. We notice that there are no clocks in the house! Clearly an indication that time is NOT the essence. Shopping list revisions, time for a simple breakfast in our kitchen – cafe con leche, pan y queso – coffee with milk, a little bread and a slice of cheese. The milk available locally, comes in a box and is not refrigerated, 150 calories/cup and skim milk is almost non-existent In the major super markets we may be able to find 1% milk but then it becomes an issue of 30 to 40 minute return trip home.
Because we consider our excursion to Portoviejo a significant shopping trip, we have arranged Jean Carlos to pick us up at 10:00 AM, wait while we shop and bring us back to Las Dunas. Otherwise there are plenty of Crucita-Poroviejo buses, an experience that will wait for another day.
A crab ‘greets’ us at the back door – well, not really happy nor greeting us, and promptly scurries behind the propane tank, which does not have a volume indicator.
“Nilla, what do you think we should name our back door quest.”
“Why don’t we call it ‘Quien No Sabe’, Jackson.
“What kind of name is that – ‘Who does not know’?
“Well, do you think the crab knows anything about us?”
“No, probably not.”
“There you have it then.”
We definitely don’t want to run out of propane in the middle of Christmas dinner. The only way to tell if is near empty is to lift it – the weight being the indicator – per Russell. The problem is how to determine that, when one does not know what the tank weighs empty?
“Propane weighs 4.2 pounds/gallon. You do the math, Jackson.”
“But what does the tank weigh?”
“Why don’t you ask ‘Quien no sabe?”
“Very funny, Nilla!”
Jean Carlos arrives early!! Impressive. After reviewing the list, decides it is better to go to Manta rather than Portoviejo, and as we prepare to leave, we discover that Amarita’s keys were in the front door all night!
The Crucita-Manta road traverses farm land – growing rice, peanuts, coffee, plantains, bananas, melons and various other fruits.
The kapok trees along the road appear as if they could come alive at any moment, the weird shaped trunks with outstretch branches and fingers ready to grab the passerby. Before 1900 life jackets were made from cork and balsa wood and then about 1912 the the flotation devices were filled with material from the kapok tree. The material was also used in mattresses and insulation. Nowadays the life preservers are fill with plastic foams such as polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene.
The HiperMarket is crowded and seems to have everything we need on the list except potholders. Toys, housewares, garden supplies, automotive, furniture, etc. A perfect place to go Christmas shopping for a practical gift. One of the most helpful employees is locating items on our list is a deaf mute. Seven percent of larger business’ work force must be disabled per Ecuador’s disability law.
Unpacking, organizing and storing purchases takes about an half an hour. Text to Kleber to let him know we are back and one to Amarita about the keys.
Amarita is apologetic and will be by on Friday – meanwhile we have to watch next door – air it out, and replace the rugs when dry and possibly put the furniture back. Kleber hasn’t had much luck with the new air conditioner unit and offers to come by to at least look at the washer/dryer this afternoon.
“What’s the point – better to resolve two failing mechanical problems with a single visit and wait until tomorrow, don’t you think, Jackson.”
“Absolutely. There are places to go and people to meet. Let’s go for a walk!”
Up towards the jetty, the opposite direction from our previous sojourns, and a search for the protected areas where sea turtle eggs have been carefully ‘planted’ in the sand. Each nesting area is clearly marked with an identification number of the nest and the date the nest was discovered.
A collection of fishing boats, seeming waiting to return to the sea, is most likely the place we have to return to purchase freshly caught fish.
We turn around and head back towards Ramblas for more tuna and meet two gentlemen, one from Canada, the other from the United States, neither of who speak Spanish and have resided here for at least five years.
While seated and looking across the street toward the Pacific, a funeral procession passes by – flower car followed by the musicians and then the casket carried on the shoulders of six men and numerous town people trailing behind – a quiet, respectful and loving display of sorrow.
Jeff leaves and shows up later with two guava pods – “we’ll enjoy them later”.
“They’re odd looking, don’t you think, Jackson, like long seed pods?”
“But delicious, just wait!”
Back at Las Dumas it’s time to open today’s Advent window.
“Nilla, the window is up and to the left. Hop up on my shoulders and reach it.”
“Jackson, hold still!”
“Watch my ear!!”
It’s early still, but we’re tired. There are more plans for tomorrow provided that we’re not waiting for the air conditioning unit and laundry repair.