Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Never thought we would be land owners again in this system of things but happily I can report that we finally finalized our purchase today and we have the paperwork - yay! Now on to the next step of having the value raised.....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pictures around the town

I've been waiting to get some better shots from around town, so as to show you where we live (as requested by Sharon) but actually - this is pretty much all there is....
The most prolific inhabitants of the area - vulchers

The bridge crossing the non existant river - there has not been any significant rain here for 3 years, so while there is no river - at least there is a bit of green to be seen!

The view from the front gate 

Looking towards the town square

Can you spot the donkey on the beach?
Cute Kingdom Hall

Every night, just about, there is a sunset to ogle over!

Friday, November 18, 2011

the land is nearly ours!

It's not quite celebration time but we are one step closer to becoming South American land owners!

Today we signed a document to say we would buy the land (well at least that is what we hope it said -hehe) and then we went to the bank to transfer 1/2 the money to the vendors bank. We walked into the bank and couldn't believe our eyes with the queue - it was miles long to go to the teller, which thankfully we didn't have to - it made me laugh because when I worked for the bank in New Zealand - customers would complain if there were 3 in the line waiting - if only they knew hah?

Anyway our queue was only short, with about 10 waiting so it wasn't too bad. While we were waiting though, I said to Mark that things really were going to easily so something was bound to go wrong soon - sure enough, the bank transfer system wouldn't accept my passport number so we couldn't do a bank to bank transfer. {As a side note, I want to tell you about the security they have in place here - we have an account with a local bank,  have a debit card attached to the account and also they have our fingerprints on their system, which we always have to place our finger on a special button for identification, but we still have to show our passports, which they then copy every time - so weird! Oh well I suppose I can trust that no one else will get into our account easily}. Anyhoo our next option was a bank cheque and after filling out what seemed like a dozen forms and they checked our shoe size (just kidding) we were able to toddle off to the other bank - phew!
So next week we should be (don't hold your breath though, anything could happen) proud owners of prime beachfront property. I tell you what - when we finally do get our residency - there's going to be one big party with a heck of a lot of yahooing going on!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bit of excitement last night here in sleepy old Puerto Cayo.
There was an 5.7 earthquake off the coast of Ecuador around 9pm which rattled and rolled a little bit. But of course we are now so near the coast (well actually right on the beach) so it was time for a little caution to be shown and evacuate the house. Gary and April swung by with their kids and dogs in tow, so we jumped in with them to go up the hill and spend a pleasant 30 minutes or so with all the other concerned citizens (funny how that just seemed to be mostly the gringos). On the way up there we were talking about our "GO BAGS" being packed and ready - but they are up in Cuenca so really not much good to us at all. Oh well - the kids would have been set if the tidal wave made it to there!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Funny field experience

Had a funny thing happen today - but first some background.

When Dad left he gave me to study with a family he had been studying with (I think it has been mentioned on this blog antes) which consists of about 5 kids. I also just started studying with another couple of kids in a different area.

Anyway todayI went off to study with the newest kids - and on my way I saw up the road a group of the kids from Dads old study - well they caught sight of me, and came running up "Aaron, Aaron! Are you coming to our house again?" "No" I had to say "I have to go and study with some other ninos at the moment" "ohhhhh" they said disappointingly - they walked and talked with me for a bit, but I had to keep going, as I was running a bit late.

Well I got to the study - 5 minutes late - and the Kids came running out all excited. The mum explained that at 4pm (the arranged time) They had been asking "were is aaron? its already passed 4!" So im glad I put the effort in to get there. They were really good kids, and I look forward to studying with them some more.

So then I started walking home - and as I'm walking along - a mum and a teenage daughter and a maybe 7 or 8 year old girl are coming towards me. I had never seen them before - but the young girl sees me and says "Mum, Mum! thats the man who tells the bible stories, I've seen him in that house over there!" Unfortunately I was rushing to get home and couldn't stop - but the mum kind of looked wierded out anyway.

Any way - its quite a pleasure to teach young children and see them excited about what they are learning. I hope to find some more young ones eager to learn!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It is a Sad Day

Today we morn the loss of a good companion. Amanda is inconsolable.

Yes, Today the Mar-mite ran out.... and we are very distraught - because it is impossible to buy here!

We Desperately need a New Zealander or an Auzzie to plan a trip here, bringing a healthy supply of the goods with them. We promise free accommodation in return!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Here's a little update of what I've been doing lately, apart from being sick - which seems to be a regular occurrence. Last week the group made a special trip to Guarumales about 3 1/2 hours from Cuenca where there is a camp of Chinese workers working on a Hydro Electric Power Plant. 
We had to get permission to enter (its good to know somebody, Fausto had some connections) and so we decided to go in casual clothes so as not to draw too much attention to ourselves. 
 We had the most success going up to the habitation areas, we stood around in a group discussing what to do when curiosity got the better of some of them and they poked their heads out the window. So a couple of us went and approached them and after a brief introduction they invited us in to their rooms (normally wouldn't seem that appropriate but oh well thankfully we had brothers with us), so we kind of split up into two or three groups. There were six of us in one room which started off with only three Chinese guys but ended up being 8 or 9. Needless to say they were shocked that we were in the middle of nowhere, speaking to them in Chinese with Chinese magazines. As well as magazines and brochures we left a Bible with one group of them, and after a few minutes they came out to ask for another one. One said how thankfully he was to have the opportunity to get to know the Bible since in China he never had time. 
We hope to go back again soon, some of them will be here for a year and a half and some will be here for longer. There is a witness family that lives in the camp and so they acted as our tour guides and showed us where to find everybody. They invited us to their house for breakfast  and the sister says - 'I'm so sorry I only have 3 plates and pancakes to offer'. It always amazes me when we go on these trips these families open up their homes to us and show us amazing hospitality. I wish I had some good photos to show but maybe next time.

Climbing up the unlit path to get to the Chinos

A bunch of workers in the truck behind quite enjoying the view of all the gringas

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some Recent Photos - Random

It's been a while since I have posted anything - so here are a few pics from the last month or 2.....

Amanda at the Go-Karts - and she cleaned up!

Hmmmmm.... Really??? Dont get my hopes up!

This is what $1.75 will buy you - and its tasty too!

I have never seen a Rainbow in a circle around the sun before - and the photo does it no Justice

The grass is always greener on the other side

How unappreciative I was of Cuenca and all its conveniences! We have just gotten home from grocery shopping and it took us about the same time as it took Aaron and Amanda to go back to Cuenca (7- 8 hours)! We left at the same time as them this morning (8.30) but  at Jipijapa (pronouced Hippiharpa) they took the bus to Guayaquil, while we went the other way to Manta. 
Here is our itinerary:
5 minute motorbike taxi ride to bus stop
30 minute bus ride to Jijijapa
1 Hour bus ride to Manta (closest decent supermarket)
30 minute walk looking for a money machine
30 minute walk looking for a bathroom
5 minute taxi ride to Supermaxi
15 minute pitstop at KFC
Grocery shopping but only for the amount of stuff we can carry in our hands
5 minute taxi ride back to bus station
1 1/2 hour bus ride back to Puerto Cayo
5 minute motorbike taxi ride to la Casa Blanca!
All this is not counting the waiting for buses to go - we walked back in the door at 4pm! One thing we are quickly realizing here is how great a car would be - dreams are free! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The kids came to visit us this weekend and it was great to have their noise in the house. Wasn't the nicest weather - in fact it was even quite chilly out on the beach.
So to update you on the land - we are hoping to close the deal this week -  just waiting for the call to say the papers are ready to sign. Meanwhile we are settling in well, there is a rather large gringo community in this congo - but at least we are no longer the newest Spanish speakers on the block!

Friday, November 4, 2011

awh ain't that romantic!

I know there is now only the two of us but we weren't getting all romantic - it was because the power went out! It was out for all afternoon until about 6.45pm! The thing is here - the water works on electric pumps - so there was no showers to be had either - bit sad because it was meeting night with a part on cleanliness - thank goodness for the pool!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

another beach - but it's the one we call home!

So what do you think - awesome sunsets or what in these parts? Have to say the beach here is really pretty so we are very spoiled.

Have been out in service twice now since we arrived - the heat is not as intense (as yet anyway) as I thought it would be - there is a pleasant breeze rolling off the beach so it has been lovely. Yesterday in the territory, we both had a good time and got ourselves some calls to go back on but today was a different story for me. The first house we went to, the sister I was with said to me to start, which I dutifully did. The women agreed with everything I said and was super nice. Well when we came away, I commented that she must have family that are witnesses or something, and the sister said " Oh yes, her husband is a witness" Something that I really would have appreciated knowing at the start!! I was even more embarrassed when I was recounting the story to April, and she told me that the woman herself is actually is an unbaptized publisher! Not a good start - and it didn't really get any better for me as I didn't really trust my companion after that incident! Oh well I suppose I gave them a good laugh!