The Week’s Highlights from San Clemente: 01/27/2020 -02/01/2020

“The week started out with a long beach walk – lots of ‘green stuff’ scattered across the beach down by San Alejo, wonder why that was Jackson.”

“Have no idea Nilla, but it was gone the next day.”

Getting ‘Aventurero’ out of the water

“The Ts had a little adventure – they went to the Tia store in Rocaforte, a good sized store that had most everything they were looking for.”

“Most importantly, the containers for the deviled eggs!”

“The Ts also worked on the final presentation for the first grade class at the school, ‘Ten Places a Gecko Should Not Play’.”


“It was fun to put together but disappointing that there wasn’t really enough time to fully present the lesson on Friday – a short day for the students and then….”

“Yes, the tsunami drill!”

“It’s very important for the students to be prepared just in case Nilla.  There are posted instructions in the school’s courtyard of what to do in case of an earthquake or a tsunami.”


“We didn’t get to practice the song for next Monday – the assembly bringing the school year to a close.”

“Nilla, don’t you think the kindergarten’s skit, a version of the ‘Three Little Pigs’ is cute.”

“Surely to be enjoyed by the audience next week Jackson.”

“But Nilla, don’t you think the trip to the library in Don Juan was the most impressive and inspiring adventure of the week.”

“Without a doubt – and the Ts left with some ideas to bring back to the Sathya Sai School too.”

“The trip to the library took just under two hours and the scenery was beautiful.  The small town of Don Juan is located just beyond Jama and has about 1,200 residents.  It was very near the epicenter of the 2016 earthquake.  All the homes in the town were leveled, but some have been rebuilt through a government sponsored program.”

“It must have been terrifying – people said the ground moved sideways followed by up and down shaking – the sea retreated and there was fear for a tsunami – which thankfully never came Jackson.”

“That’s not how the story ends though Nilla – that’s the beginning of the story!”

“Two Ecuadorian sociologists, a couple who had studied extensively in the United States, had selected Don Juan as the location for their new home.  They had just finished construction on their hilltop house when the quake came and destroyed it – fortunately neither were inside at the time.”

“That’s right Nilla.  Destroyed too, was the home of another scientist who was not in Ecuador at that time.  His home had housed a small children’s library.”

“Jackson, that’s were the A Mano library has been built – he donated his land to the library.”

“Not so fast Nilla, we need to fill in some history about what took place to bring the library and intercultural center to life.”

“In the midst of despair the couple along with a friend, loaded up some books on a donkey and went around the piles of rubble striking the donkey’s bell and calling to the children to come to the beach for story time.  The donkey mobile.”

“The owner of the lot returned from California with supplies to help the victims of the disaster, still no water or electricity, and the three sat down in the rubble of his home and came up with the idea for the library – it was the first meeting of the Hand-Manaba Foundation.”

Library entrance

“More folks from the town gathered along with the children at this semi-demolished house.”

“With the help of others, non-profit status was obtained and a ‘go fund me’ fundraising platform was established enabling construction of the current library building.”

“Jackson, what is remarkable A Mano Manaba received the Library of Congress Literacy Award in 2018!”

“It’s not just a library Nilla.  They have volunteers from around the world that come and stay at the center, go to the schools to teach English, promote community activities and so much more!”

“They don’t need book donations – they’ve got thousands that are housed in Quito and Guayaquil being cataloged by other volunteers.  What they do need are computers/laptops and financial support – they’re hoping to purchase the lot next door to expand.”

“That’s the lot with the beautiful mural depicting the library’s story.  But you know Nilla, they have expanded already in a different way.  They have supported start-up libraries in other communities.”

When the earth moved with the children united with the books on Sundays, the library was founded.

“I know Jackson, they’re not referred to as satellite library though because each community is distinct with its own character and needs.”

“There’s another mural a short distance from the library that illustrates some of the town’s history and folklore.”

“Many folks in the community have participated in bringing the community to life in the wall’s story.”

“The lunch at El Fagon de Calerito was delicious and refreshing but it was an exhausting day Nilla.”

Food typical for the region are cooked in kitchens much like this one


“That was Wednesday – on Thursday the Ts went to Manta again, this time to send some important documents via DHL to the United States – $35.00!”

“It was expensive but not as expensive as traveling back to the United States to hand deliver them.”

“Funny Jackson!”

“They also went to Montecristi, had wonderful pastry there, bought some less expensive hats, and purchased some souvenirs.”

“Don’t forget Kobe in the Mall del Pacifico and sushi – yummmmm.”


“Yes and arriving back at the Terminal Terestre too late to catch a bus back to San Clemente, Nilla.

“It worked out alright though – a taxi ride – after discussing the fare – $30.00, the original asking price was $50.00 from a different taxista.  People thought the Ts were going some place near Bahia de Caraquez – which is much further away.”

“Yes, that’s where the school is. The taxi driver was tired, up and working since 5:30 AM, so what did the Ts do?  They bought him an espresso at Mussol – his first espresso ever!”

“Well, he asked for a strong cup of coffee. And he got one – don’t know if he got to sleep that night or not!”

“Toward the end of the week our neighbor in the adjacent unit had a very nice evening gathering – the Ts brought deviled eggs and wine.  Delightful.”

“So today was work on the props for the first grader’s song for Monday.”


“One other observation this week Nilla, the fisherman have not been hauling the nets onto the beach?”

“I’m not sure why but you know that there are restrictions on blue crab, lobster and shrimp – they’re posted in the restaurants.”


“That aside, do you think we’ll ever get to visit Cuenca with Aventurero?”

“We’ll have to wait and see – he has guests coming next week and the Ts have said they would help in the computer lab during summer school.”

“Let’s hope so Nilla.”

“I’m thinking positive.”

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