10.05.2010 - 10.06.2010 74 °F
Tuesday and Wednesday, 10/5/10-10/6/10. The last two days are a blur. The expats say I have been doing too much. I don't really think so as there is not much to do here. Anyway, last night's evening ended at the nice restaurant at the marina with a going away dinner for a couple who is moving to Salinas tomorrow. Salinas is on the southern tip of Ecuador and is supposed to be a wonderful place to be. I am thinking about spending December there.
Anyway, I wanted to remind you that although I am living well here, this is a third world country. Being so, there is no middle class. Here you are either poor or rich. On my measly Social Security I am considered rich. Only the "rich" send their kids to school as it costs about $200 a month plus uniforms. The poor grow up and take manual labor jobs and create another generation of poor. Girls have babies at a very, very young age. They look like babies themselves to me. Amenities here are few and far between. No movies, no video rental stores, no places for entertainment at all. Grocery shopping is a challenge because although the open market has lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and chicken, canned goods are almost unheard of. I am even picking up some bacon in Manta for Susie as there is nowhere in town that sells it. Mansions and shacks reside next to each other and almost every building needs a paint job. The street vendors use the beach as a bathroom (thank God I didn't go down there before I heard this) and most dishes are washed by hand as there are no dishwashers. Now I will tell you that most people are very clean. Kids school uniforms are always clean and pressed, clothing is always hanging on the lines and the city picks up garbage every day. My room and bathroom are cleaned everyday and my bed is made. I sent my clothing out to be washed and they came back clean and neatly folded.
This is a wonderful experience and adventure for me. I'm so glad to be able to do this. I will never again forget to be grateful for all that I have. Most of us complain about not having enough money and things. Most of these people would kill to have what we do. So let's try to remember how fortunate we are and think about these third world countries that, even though they are evolving, will take years to make a difference in their residents lives.