La Bella Crucita – 12/21/2018

“Is the internet working Jackson.”

“No.  I’ve been trying to log in to blog and it isn’t connecting.  I’m going to see if  we’ll have any success by connecting the computer directly into the network.”

“And, is it working?”

“Yes, we’re in!  Perhaps the WiFi connection was damaged when the power went out last night. I’ll have to run some diagnostics to see exactly what’s happening.”

“Hey, the water man is here – we should get an extra 5 gallons to hold us over during the holidays, might be awhile before he returns and we don’t want to run out.”

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$6.00 for the bottle and the water.

In July 2010 the United Nations declared ‘the right to drinking water and sanitation’ as a human right, essential to full enjoyment of life and all human rights.’ The most recent Ecuadorian constitution provides a framework requiring a set of changes and regulatory measures towards this end.   While this is positive progress, the National Secretariat for Water Provision recognizes remaining gaps towards achieving standardization and country-wide access to water and sewer.  The percentage of homes with piped water and public sewer have increased overall, however well below ideal standards in rural areas.

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“We need to get to Fremas before is closes at noon.”

“The computer can wait.  Vamos!”

Fremas is open, there was a death in the family and thus the change in store hours. Generally open from 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM daily except for lunch from 1:00 to 3:00.

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Eggs and vegetables at Fremas

Eggs in smaller tiendas are generally stored at room temperature, in larger markets refrigerated. Often eggs are not washed.  The outside shell has a protective cuticle that helps protect the egg from harmful bacteria (salmonella).   Dangerous levels of bacteria can occur after 3 weeks at room temperature storage and at 6 weeks when refrigerated.

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“Nilla, aren’t you going to put the eggs in the refrigerator?”

Best purchase eggs in busy markets, if at room temperature keep them at room temperature or refrigerate and remove the egg from the refrigerator only when ready to use, and wash at that time.  If refrigerated continue refrigeration which will prevent water condensation on the egg that promotes bacterial growth.

“How much did the groceries cost.”

“Less than $15.00, which is very reasonable considering our purchases besides the eggs.”

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One dollar US coins with a 50 cents and a 5 cents Ecuadorian coins.

“Ecuador uses United States dollars for currency ever since 2000 Jackson.  You probably have noticed that rarely a one dollar bill is issued a change.  Apparently businesses prefer to use the one dollar coin.  Occasionally a fifty centavo piece will pass hands (paws) and is valued $0.50 in U.S.  There are no sucre bills in circulation at this time.”

“Must get pretty heavy caring the dollar coins around.”

“It’s actually more convenient than dealing with bills Jackson.  A dollar or two for most common purchases, pull out come coins and the transaction is complete.”

“Maybe. Time to get back to the computer and see if the WiFi can be re-established.”

Amarita stops by to pick up her keys and brings four mangos.  It’s mango season.

“Success!”

“You’re so smart Jackson! Let’s enjoy some guava and celebrate.”

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“Ymmm”.

The delicately mildly sweet, fuzzy appearing fruit is wrapped around large black seeds, a little messy.

It’s a lazy afternoon.  About 5:00 we decide to stroll to the gathering spot that Jim had recommended yesterday, La Tierra del Arte, a hosteria with a newly opened restaurant.  Apparently many Canadians and U.S. folks like to hang out there and enjoy one another’s company.  Julio, the owner, is a potter and his wife is creatively talented too as evidenced by the decorations on the atypical Christmas tree – a simple leafless bush painted white. Julio graciously shares some freshly roasted peanuts with us while his cat, Blanca, socializes with those sitting around the table.

Before retiring back at Las Dunas, we stop by Las Ramblas for an evening snack. Jim and Brain join us.  Other gringos are there too.  A ‘El Pase del Nino’ procession passes by – part of the Ecuadorian Christmas tradition and snarls traffic along the malecon.  The procession is representative of the journey the pregnant Mary and Joseph took on their way to Bethlehem.

We are invited to a game of horseshoes tomorrow afternoon at Eileen and Russell’s place on the far end of the beach.  Their large house is in a section of Crucita inhabited by several Canadian retirees. Apparently the horseshoe tournament is a Saturday ritual.

 

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