09.29.2010 - 10.28.2010 71 °F
Wednesday, 9/29/10. Well, today was another adventure. I got lost twice. The first time I was taking a ride with a bicycle driver and he kept taking me further and further out of town. I could not make him understand that I wanted to go into town, so I finally said Coco Bongo, which is where I’m staying, and he gave me a dirty look and turned around. What? It wasn’t my fault he didn’t understand when I kept pointing back toward town. Then later, I had gone to three different stores to pick up some things and got totally twisted around. I finally saw a lady walking with her daughter and I said “Coco Bongo?” They politely walked me back to my home and I thanked them with a $1. People are so nice here and they really want to help. The other day when I got some money out of the ATM, it shorted me so my hostess took me to the bank and explained what happened. Then at lunch, one of the expats told me to contact my own bank. I thought that was a good suggestion.
The beach here isn’t what I thought it would be so I’m thinking I may head down to Manta in November and further south to Salinas in December. During high tide, the water comes up to the sea wall and then during low tide, there is beach but it is always wet.
Thursday, 9/30/10. This morning I went over to Kurt and Judy’s apartment. They are my new expat friends. They have a new, two bedroom with a beautiful view of the ocean for a measly $450 a month
Every morning an Ecuadorian friend of Judy’s, Janeth (pronounced Janet) comes over and they help each other learn Spanish and English. There is a wonderful website called StudySpanish.com where, among the many features, you can type in a sentence in either language and it translates it into the other one. We practiced our Spanish pronunciation for over an hour and helped Janeth practice her English. After Janeth left for work, we walked down to the market. I bought salad fixings for dinner and it cost me less than $1. Then we went to Dona Luca restaurant for lunch which consisted of juice, either split pea or asparagus (we couldn’t tell for sure), fried fish filets, beans and rice. Always too much food and I can never finish it all. If I leave anything on the plate, it’s the rice.
Left them after lunch and came back to my room for a nap. To my surprise, the front door was locked. Apparently, there were riots in Quito and Guayaquil because the President wanted to cut the government workers’ benefits. The police went on strike and all the banks and everything where money changes hands closed down. We were in lockdown just for safety’s sake and it felt weird. I went to my room at 8:00 and did some computer stuff then went to bed early. Couldn’t sleep much as there are barking dogs all over the place. Speaking of dogs, I think they all came from the same gene pool as they are all lanky, light brown short haired mutts. There are dogs walking freely all over town. However, city workers are always out cleaning the sidewalks and streets so Bahia stays fairly clean.
Twenty Gap students checked in last night so the hostel was fully occupied.