Feb 28, 2008

SpyCam- Malecon

Yesterday between classes (working part time is great- try it) I hopped on a bus to check out the Malecon in Guayaquil (boardwalk along the river).

So proud to see this young commuter in training. Yes this is an Incredible Hulk bike with lunch on the go

Every bus ride is an adventure

Feb 26, 2008

San Pablo

For those of you stuck in winter land, I know just what you are going through. Yes, it's the complete opposite with 80 degree days, sweat, fans, lush green palm trees and emerald green water instead of 30 degree days, chills, warm fires, bare trees and white snow. Either way, you can be wishing for the other. That said, this last weekend I didn't miss winter one bit. Our weekend included body boarding, siestas in a hammock, reading with our feet in the sand, fresh cut coconut and pineapple from the trees in the back yard and breaded fish caught that day. In addition to all this play, we were there to check out a very poor coastal community where we hope to provide some much needed community service with the kids from InterAmerican Academy. The history and founding of this community is inspiring as the focus is to give it's children a chance to succeed. In a community where most kids didn't stay in school past 3rd or 4th grade, they are now going to college. Please check out this website, Homes of Hope to see what amazing service has already taken place. D and I are very excited to get involved.

The founders of Ark of Hope treated us to a wonderful weekend at there beach home. This was our bedroom view. No shoes needed between the bedroom and beach. Living the Good Life Our limo ride to San PabloFamily's, dogs and pigs all share the same space
Kids playing computer games on the only computers in the community. They do not have internet service.

Feb 22, 2008


Rain, rain, go away, come again another day..........
Daily rain storms provide us with this view
Fact: In the 1st month and a half of the 5 month rainy season, it has already rained 4 times as much as it did last year
I wish my wife was this dirty
Most kids around the world ride bikes or play sports in their neighborhood.  In our silver spoon fed neighborhood, 4-wheelers take the place of bicycles and the streets are like a go-kart track.
Feeling lucky?  Lottery ticket's for sale while waiting for the bus
Jr. takes a siesta on the bus

Feb 19, 2008

Feb 12, 2008


I'm one step closer to fulfilling my dream as a harmonica rock star.  I have been hired at InterAmerican Academy to cover elementary technology and a couple music classes for the remainder of the year.  Those who know me, know I am in way over my head.  Let's just say that for 2nd grade music today, we played soccer.  I'm now accepting any advice on how to sing on key and how to turn on a computer.    

Feb 10, 2008

SpyCam- Carnival

Brandon smiling at the Brahma ladies in the Bahia
Tosha running the Bahia gantlet
Now this guy is going home with more than his share of bevy's
Jr. getting tied in
Notice the dragon on the bench
Be sure to write your name on the etch-A-sketch seat in front of you
We take our coffee seriously in Ecuador
A packed house for the soccer game

Feb 8, 2008

Bus Terminal

Guayaquil- City of 3 million- Carnival holiday where nearly 1/2 the city is traveling for the 5 vacation days- Bus Terminal- The most affordable means of travel for locals- No A/C or air- thousands of people pressed against each other- Hot and sweaty- people holding on to each others shoulders and waists so nobody can cut in- Fewer bus seats available than people in line- Parents holding small children to keep them from getting trampled- 3 hours in line- women breast feeding- 1 gal resting her head on my arm- Crowds of people yelling and pushing when people would cut in line- Security officers pushing their way through to remove "the cutter" before the altercation became physical- Family's sending their kids to the front of the line in hopes security wouldn't be so forceful with them (this tactic did not work)- 80% of the people were respectng the system and looking out for each other- At one point I slightly stepped to the side of the line to block a would be "cutter" and security wanted to send me to the back of the line- My fellow line mates all argued on my behalf  and the security guard let me keep my place- Once the tickets were for sale, any inch of space we had was taken as everyone pressed toward the window- Everyone yelling, waving $ in their fists- My good Ecuadorian friend Christian, which I was very lucky to have with me during this experience, made it to the counter first- He was yelling back at me for money- After giving him a $20, he yelled back, "More money!"- I frantically emptied my pockets into his hand- He later told me we needed exact change- After lots of pushing, shoving, sweating and yelling, we had 4 tickets and were headed to Puerto Lopez- more importantly, we had seats- The isle was packed with people standing, kids sleeping on the floor and puppy's roaming for the  4 hr bus ride- No bathroom stops- As eventful as this experience was, the return trip would trump this bus ride in excitement- Multiple people were sold the same seat- People yelling and pushing for our seats- Danielle and Brandon were forced to jump out the bus window (See Living the Good Life for details)- Tosha, 5 months pregnant, pushing her way down the isle and out the front- Once again, too many people all trying to leave at the same time with too few of busses- People riding on the roof of the bus- Busses far beyond compacity were racing each other up a 2 lane road with on coming traffic- Trucks so full of people they were riding on the bumper- Multiple cars and busses stranded on the side of the road with engine troubles or blown out tires- Safe arrival in Guayaquil 5 hours later.

Feb 7, 2008


Big ones, little ones, old ones, young ones, wet ones, hairy ones, blue footed, masked........I LOVE BOOBIES!  There were so many and I was excited to find that these boobies wouldn't run when I reached out to touch or take a photo of them.  This paradise was at Isla de la Plata, an island 25 miles offshore of Puerto Lopez.  It is apart of Machalilla National Park and referred to as the "Poor man's Galapagos" due to it being close and featuring some of the same wildlife.  We were able to share this experience with our good friends from Boise, the Bentz's.  The boat trip and island visit included a long hike, snorkeling, beautiful cliffs, bright blue waters and of course, plenty of birds.  I have been looking forward to saying, "Check out these boobies".........   

Puerto Lopez: