Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Life in Cuenca

It's funny about daily life in Cuenca.  Most of the time, we hear the roar of the Rio Tomebamba from our bedroom window, which is a wonderful sound.  But, we typically are awakened each morning promptly at 7:30am by the loud speaker at the school across the river.  The very first night that we stayed in our apartment, the next morning we woke up to very loud talking.  I said, "What IS that?"  That is when we discovered that we have a school right across the river where they make morning annoucements to the children out in the courtyard.  They are also made to do morning calisthenics , "uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho...ARRIBA.." over and over.  It makes me want to jump out of bed and start doing my own calistenics.  Then, he makes morning annoucements and since my knowledge of Spanish is negligible, I really have no idea what he is saying.  But he always says it with gusto.  Well, last week, his megaphone (although it sounds like a bull horn) was shorting out and making some horrible sounds.  So this week, he started out Monday morning with a brand new megaphone which was even louder and clearer than ever.  I didn't think it was possible that he could get any louder.  I don't know how he is not damaging the eardrums of his young students.  The only good thing is that he is usually finished within 20 minutes.  But by that time,we are WIDE awake.  That is on Monday through Friday.

Well, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, we get a different wake-up call.  We are also located next to the Coliseo (by Unidas Nacional and 12th de Abril) where the tennis courts are.  Well, for the last two months, at around 8:15am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, an outdoor dance class is held in the parking lot on the side of our building.  So, the heavy disco dance beat starts around 8:15am to let people know that the class is getting ready to start promptly at 8:30am.  That is when the instructor starts to yell into his head microphone the dance movements that the students are supposed to follow.  These classes are also held between 8:15pm-9:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (for those who are interested).  The music is SO loud that we can hardly hear the television in our apartment during that time.  I have even joined in during a couple of classes following the movements from our bedroom window.  It is like I am right out there.

It's funny how some expats talk about the noises of the roosters crowing, the car alarms, and the fireworks.  We don't really hearing any roosters crowing, but you can't get away from the car alarms and the fireworks in Cuenca.  (They don't really bother us so much).  It makes you wonder how the Cuencan people don't complain about the early morning annoucements and the early weekend morning dance class.  I guess they are up going to work at 7:30am during the week and maybe 8:15am is not so early for them on the weekends.  One day I will understand enough Spanish and will understand what is being said in the school announcements.  In the meantime, if those 2 things are the only things that we have to complain about here, then we are living the life in Ecuador!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Miscellaneous Pics

I'm sorry that I haven't been blogging as often as I thought I would (for those of you back home).  It just seems weird to blog about our daily life because it would seem so boring to everyone else.  But as the days as have gone by, I have taken some pictures around Cuenca that I think might interest some of my friends or family.  So these are for you.

Caitlin, I saw this High School Musical lamp in a store front and thought of you.

This microbrewery pic is for my son-in-law, Evan, who likes to brew his own beer.

Pat took some bread to Parque Calderon and fed the pigeons.  We don't think he was supposed to feed them since no one else seems to be doing it.  But we don't think it is against the law or anything.  Let's hope not.

This was a beautiful day in Parque Calderon.  I couldn't resist another picture of the church.

This is a picture of a branch of the Rio Tomebamba that runs in front of our apartment building.  Pat and I were sitting on a big boulder down in this part of the river a couple of weeks ago.  And then after all of the rain that we had last week, I took the following picture of the same view:

The river was almost out of its banks.  Here are a couple of other shots of the river from last week:

The river was quite a sight to behold!!  And VERY loud!!

Then, we were walking through Millenium Mall and saw this picture in front of the Papa John's there, so I took this picture for all of our friends and family in Louisville, especially Tiffany Caldwell who works at the Papa John's home office.

Well, when we are not enjoying walking around Cuenca, I have been spending some time learning Spanish.  I have been attending a church called Verbo Iglesia in Cuenca on Sundays.  It is a contemporary Christian church with a wonderful spirit.  They also offer a English interpreter if you want one.  My understanding of Spanish has gotten much better from the first Sunday that I attended (when I felt like I understood nothing) until the one that I attended yesterday (week 6-where I feel like I understand about every fifth or sixth word).  So I feel like I am getting better at understanding the language.  That is until someone starts asking me something in Spanish and I totally freeze up.  Here is a picture of Verbo Iglesia:

A picture of Verbo Iglesia

Well, that is it for today.  Until next time, hasta luego, Sue

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy 24th Birthday, Elizabeth!!!

Okay, so this is the first important day that we have missed being with family and friends since coming to Ecuador.  Today is our first born child, Elizabeth's 24th birthday.  I don't know if all mothers do it, but I always relive the day that my kids were born on THEIR birthdays.  The birth of a child truly changes your lives forever.  Elizabeth has been a blessing to us since the day she was born.

Elizabeth, I am sorry that we are not there in person for you today.  Even though you lived in a different city last year when we were in the States, we were still able to see you within a couple of hours.  Now, that is impossible.  Thank goodness for modern technology.  Hopefully, we will be able to Skype with you tonight. 

Elizabeth on her wedding day last September

We hope you have a wonderful birthday today.  We love you very much and miss you very much.  Love, Mom and Dad