Recovering our Couch

About a year ago Joe and I purchased a couch in Portoviejo. It needed to be love seat size because our salon is not very wide. It was expensive at over $600 and we had to pay for delivery as well.  After just a few short months the leather type material started to flake off.  We would find it clinging to our arms, legs and clothing as well as all over the floors in the house. What a pain!

IMG_3000It really looked crappy and covering it with a throw made it even crappier.  I remembered that Patricia McKinsey had introduced me to a man in Charapoto that recovered the cushions from her patio. I had my neighbor and friend Helena Zambrano, David’s wife, take me over to help with the translation and to pick out the new covering.  He agreed to recover the couch for $250. and would be completed by August 15th.  Today it was delivered way early and we have our couch back and it is beautiful and it is RED.

IMG_3018What a professional job.

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Botanical Garden in Portoviejo

San Clemente 8.4.2014 080We made our first trip to the Botanical Gardens in Portoviejo. It was a peaceful place but we missed the plant sale area as it is only open on Fridays.

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Joe’s Stay at Clinica San Antonio, Portoviejo

Last week Joe was complaining of severe pain in his chest that started out as heartburn but became unbearable by Sunday morning. He had not slept for three nights and nothing he took made a difference so we decided to go to Clinica San Antonio. Our dear friend Eva accompanied us and we were seen by the ER doctor and then admitted. It is like we both were admitted because when you go to a hospital in Ecuador you need to bring someone there to help you. I was given a list of medications to buy downstairs in the pharmacy and a nurse came in to set up an IV and give Joe several shots. I was amazed at the size of the room, in the US they would use this as a semi-private room. There was even a bed for me.

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We had never been admitted to a hospital outside of the US and there are many differences. First you must bring all your personal items with you as nothing is supplied. Bring PJ’s, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, brush, washcloth, changes of clothes for a few days and reading material plus any medications you are taking. I asked Eva what Joe needed to bring but completely forgot about anything for me. Whoever is acting as your assistant during your stay needs whatever personal belongings they would use for several days as well. The assistant is the one who goes to the pharmacy to get needed medications and supplies, helps the patient with personal needs like using a urinal etc. The hospital as well as the pharmacy accepted my VISA card to pay for Joe’s stay but the doctors only took cash so be prepared.

It was a very pleasant experience for a hospital stay. We both felt comfortable with the doctor in the ER, the nurse staff on the floor were professional and lovely to deal with. They even did an introduction when the second shift came on duty and the nurse leaving gave an overview of Joe’s situation and his medications to the three nurses coming on duty. Joe’s gastroenterologist’s office was located one floor down from his hospital room, and his endoscopy was fast and painless. Out like a light. All in all it was one of our better experiences with hospitals.

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$80 a day for the room, 24 hour ER Doctor and nursing staff and meals, I can’t say anymore than that!!!!

Bottom line Joe has Barrett’s Esophagus, severe inflamed esophagus from GERD and a hiatal hernia. With a change of medication for his GERD and a complete change of diet he is now pain free and healing. We will need to deal with the hiatal hernia with an operation but not right now.

Soundproofing

When a great many people come to town for the holidays or vacation, the noise level is a bit of a problem. Our home is right on the street and our windows stay open all the time.  Mind you it is not a busy street normally but during this time of year many folks are in vacationing and the number of cars, trucks, and people walking by increases a great deal.  Joe found these little beauties at Fybeca Pharmacy in the SuperMaxi shopping center in Portoviejo.

San Clemente 1.2.2014 001If you are a light sleeper or have street dogs that just hate new cars on their street you may want to find these silicone ear plugs.  These are the children’s size because they did not have adult size. But they do the job and we get a good nights sleep using them. They did not block out all the fireworks but muffled it enough so that we were not awakened each time they were set off.

A good nights sleep is important to us old fogeys…

Lalo’s in Portoviejo Centro

When we go into centro Portoviejo we always try to stop and get a hot dog or hamburger at Lalo’s. This is a very small kiosk at one corner of the Super Exito shopping building. It is small, it is a tight fit on the tiny stools, not much counter space, it is always crowded with locals catching a quick bite on the run. BUT IT IS GREAT!  Again yesterday we stopped, what a treat.

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I normally have the hamburger but have never been able to finish it so yesterday I ordered the hot dog. That is what the gentlemen is making in the above picture. It is a Juris foot long hot dog, that has been simmered in a most excellent sauce made with white onions, ketchup, mustard and of all things Tampico orange drink. This is piled high in an egg hot dog roll and topped with a mayonnaise sauce and grated fresh cheese.

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Okay, I ate most of it before I took the picture, but this shows just what is in each bun.

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Lalo’s is a favorite when we are running around Portoviejo. If you get a chance to stop in do try the hot dogs Joe and I both highly recommend them. And the young man who runs the place is fast and seems to enjoy his work. Oh yes, a lot of joy for $1.50.

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When the Lights Go Out

This part of the coast has frequent power outages, yesterday while we were in San Jacinto the power went out around noon and never came back on until after 6:30 last evening. Sometimes it can be as little as 15 minutes or go on for the entire day or night. Joe and I have discussed purchasing a generator to power our refrigerator and the water pump when this occurs – which is pretty often – but we are not up to that on our wish list for the house yet. A few days ago we did check off one smaller item – a little kerosene lamp. We were in Portoviejo shopping for our monthly supplies and saw this little lamp. Well they actually are not using kerosene any longer this is fueled by paraffin oil and the label states that it is sootless, smokeless and odorless. We could have purchased citronella oil but I can’t stand the smell and don’t think it makes one bit of difference in chasing mosquitoes away.

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I did find my Palo Santo bowl as well. While returning from Portoviejo I had our driver stop at a road side stand and I got this beauty for $2.50. I like the smell of Palo Santo and I do think it is a good mosquito repellent. Note after the posting of this article: Palo Santo is a dried wood that is used by the locals to repel mosquitoes, our first exposure to it was an artisan store in Puerto Lopez, each evening as we would walk back from dinner we would smell this lovely almost sweet aroma in the air, this is Palo Santo. In my one post on “Building a Finca” Dec. 1, 2012 there is a photo of a Palo Santo tree from our friends Ivan and Max’s finca here in San Clemente. I understand that the wood needs to be dried for two years prior to being used as a mosquito repellent.

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What more could we ask for – light when the power is out and a sweet-smelling mosquito repellent – we are ready for a quiet evening on our porch.

Lights out!

Ho Ho Ho – Santa Comes Early to San Clemente

Enjoy

God will one day hold us each accountable for all the things He created for us to enjoy, but we refused to do so.

-Rabbanic Saying

I have thought about getting a bike for myself for a very long time. I love that free feeling of being able to just get on the bike and ride. I know it makes it sound like it is a Harley or something, no, just an ordinary bicycle! Also, it will make it much faster to get around town. So earlier this week we went into Charapoto and found a place that sells bikes but they had no women’s bikes just a few mens and these itty-bitty things with little tiny wheels – I just don’t see myself riding this down the street.  So yesterday we went into Portoviejo and got a taxi to take us to this bike shop.

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The business Comercial “Ajoy” located in the central shopping district in Portoviejo. Their staff was so wonderful, helping when I had to do charades when trying to explain that I wanted a horn, or the little package holder for the back of the bike. I knew the name for basket “canasta” but how to explain about a pump which I found out is a bomba. It worked out well the bike was $65 with the balance of the parts including a more cushy seat totaled $26.50 more for a total $91.50. Then a quick walk across the street and a young man took the bike apart, well that is what it looked like. He greased everything, tightened the spokes on the wheels until they were balanced, I guess, as I have never seen anyone do that to a bike wheel before, greased some more and then put the entire bike back together including all my gadgets and do-dads. It took him almost two hours to complete this task, I do feel that the $10 fee was a bit excessive but it was too late after he was finished to argue about the price, this should have been negotiated before he started the work.

Last evening our friend John McDonald came by to help me with setting the speed. I do not understand that and will not be running up and down hills so I really need to have it set on one setting, just for cruising up and down the streets here in Clemente which is quite flat if you stay away from our one mountainous ridge on the far east side of town in the barrio Norte.

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Santa (Joe) was really good to me this year. While we were out Joe got his 1 Terrabyte external hard drive and an automatic bug zapper for mosquitoes – this is part of Joe’s presents from Santa…all in all it was a very good trip into Portoviejo. Our taxi driver there has a family house in San Jacinto and so we went ahead and had him bring us back with our treasures.  We feel so blessed…each day that we have been given we appreciate more because we are together. God is GOOD!!! Looking forward to many more days in our little Beach Hut, enjoying and cherishing the blessings.