Over the last few days we have collected a few pictures that we wanted to share, but did not seem significant enough to warrant an entire post. So, today we thought we would put a few of these together to randomly share with our family and friends.
Our rainy season runs from January through March or early April and this year has been one with above average rainfall. It is our first rainy season in our new home and we have been very happy with the drainage around our chicken coop and our yard. In December Ramon worked several days up on the roof repairing known leak spots and generally weather proofing the entire roof. His work paid off as we have had some huge blowing rain storms and we did not get a single leak or drip inside our home.
We also live a bit off the main road and the low-lying areas where the toads and frogs emerge from the ground and serenade the neighbors during their brief mating period. So, I was startled and surprised one night when I woke up and walked over to the bathroom in near dark conditions and thought I saw a huge toad in the middle of the doorway! I turned on the light as the startled toad hopped off. What the heck?
The next morning I searched and searched for that toad and could not find it nor could I find any entry or exit point that looked like a toad might pass through. Weeks passed and I forgot about the toad and even convinced myself that perhaps I had imagined it. Until two days ago!
I was doing some extra cleaning in the back bedroom and I moved the nightstand dresser away from the wall and found this!
A petrified dry toad. This will give you an idea of the size of that thing.
Okay – enough on that subject.
The other morning Mary and I were sitting on the patio watching the day begin when Mary asked me, “What’s that on your foot? Do you have a rash or something?”
Now, I apologize for the photo knowing that feet in general and my feet in particular are not especially attractive things to photograph. But, sure enough there were some strange dark spots on my right foot.
The left foot had fewer such marks, but did have the tan-line marks from the straps on the Tevo sandals I generally wear outside.
I tried to rub off the dark marks and discovered that they were attached and appeared to be tan spots. Then I remembered that with the muddy roads I had taken to wearing different shoes when I would run errands.
Not wanting to get my sandals covered in mud I wore the easily rinse-able imitation Croc shoes for several days. Apparently the sun was just right on my right side when I rode over to San Jacinto the day before and made several tan circles through the holes. Mystery solved.
Yesterday morning our across-the-street neighbor got two big dump truck loads of road base dirt delivered to his front yard. He had some low ground that was puddling up with water during the rain and he wanted to build up the area when he parks his truck and improve drainage.
I remembered getting loads of topsoil delivered when I was a young father. My boys and I grabbed shovels and worked to level out the loads. I thought about grabbing my shovel to go help Ramon move the piles of dirt, but Ramon was not home at the time. I do not know how much help this old man would be, but I knew Ramon has a housefull of girls, so I figured I would wait until I saw Ramon show up and, at least, volunteer.
Later that day I looked out and saw little nine-year-old Sol with a mini-sledge breaking up large clods on the top of the pile.
I had to run downtown and by the time I got back Ramon and his wife and girls had already moved most of the pile! In lieu of helping move the dirt, we brought over some freshly cooked fish and chips to share with our hard-working friends!
Mary was not dressed up, so I cleverly cropped the above picture. Ramon took a well deserved break to enjoy some fish.
And – lastly while I am on the subject of hardworking Ecuatorianos…
We have a young man named Javier who comes to our house once or twice a week to help us with the yardwork and heavy cleaning. He is an absolute joy to have around! No matter what job he is asked to do, he puts on his head phones and literally dances around as he works in the hot Ecuadorian sun.
I came home from downtown on Friday and Javier was “mowing” the entire front yard with our weed whacker. He did not hear or see me, so I hurried in to get my camera because he was doing some kind of salsa step and swinging the weed eater back and forth. In the following video he was nearing the end of the path and had slowed down his dance steps a bit, but you get the idea.
There you go. Some random thoughts from here where…
Life is good (and interesting) in Ecuador!