There’s a Full Moon on the Rise

or “This, That and the Other Thing”

I knew it would happen sooner or later – I don’t have a specific topic for this post!  But when I took a minute to make some notes about what we’ve been doing and experiencing over the past two weeks, there seemed to be quite a bit to write about.  So please accept our hodgepodge post which is written neither chronologically nor in order of importance.

The picture above the title was taken Tuesday evening around 7:30.  Usually we don’t see the moon at all (too cloudy) and have never seen the full moon while here in Cuenca.  When we do see the moon, it is almost straight overhead so I was happy to snap these pictures as the moon was rising to the northeast of us. image image

Sue Gaither – awesome worship leader at Cuenca Christian Church. Glenn and Mara are so fortunate to be able to work with her.

A very important event of the past two weeks was the purchase of a used electronic keyboard for our home use.  I AM LOVING IT!  Thank you to Sue Gaither for upgrading so that I could buy hers!

My New Baby! Now we can practice for worship leading at Cuenca Christian Church and learn our parts more quickly for the Cuenca International Chorale.
A couple of great deals at our local Mercado this week: $2 haircut and a beautiful bouquet for $1.

No picture for this, but I was honored last week when our neighbor Eduardo asked if I would be his scribe for a letter he was writing to his granddaughter who lives in the US.  Eduardo lived in the US for quite a number of years before moving back to Ecuador and his English is far better than our Spanish, but he wanted to have his letter to Gabi just right!  Of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

Like many of our friends and family in the US, we had a date with the TV last Sunday afternoon/evening.  Since we haven’t done too much to set up our television yet, we were grateful to Greg and Brenda for letting us watch the Super Bowl with them.  We watched the Patriots defeat the Seahawks via which is one way expats, travelers, or anyone outside of the US can watch American television over the internet.

The first 3 quarters of the game, we had very few streaming issues.  But the 4th quarter was another story.  Good thing we had all this good food to eat while the TV was "buffering".  It also helped us with the grief we felt when the Seahawks did not prevail!
The first 3 quarters of the game, we had very few streaming issues. But the 4th quarter was another story. Good thing we had all this good food to eat while the TV was “buffering”. It also helped us with the grief we felt when the Seahawks did not prevail!

In case you can’t quite make out what our Super Bowl menu was, we had chips and dip, ham and cheese sandwiches, homemade pizza, and because we wanted to be “healthy”, fruit salad!  Later we drowned our sorrows with Brenda’s homemade ice cream and some other sweet treats from a local restaurant/bakery called Popacuchu.

This is my favorite Facebook post about the game.  "The Blind Side" is my all time favorite movie!
This is my favorite Facebook post about the game. “The Blind Side” is my all time favorite movie!
We spent a lot of time on “reflexive verbs” and so I am proud to be able to tell you this says: Juana wakes up at 6:00 but  doesn’t get up until 6:30, then she wakes up and dresses her son.  Profound.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, we attend Spanish classes.  Our teacher Ana Luisa is great and we really enjoy the friends we have made through attendance of “Coffee Club Spanish”.  Recently, we had the opportunity to attend a lecture and demonstration of Andean musical instruments.  I’m sorry to say that I do not remember the name of the man who presented the seminar and made all the instruments but we enjoyed it thoroughly.  It was all in Spanish but Ana Luisa translated when necessary.  Here are a few pictures from the event. image image image image image image image

Last week, I was asked to help a new blogger set up her site.  Jaga was just hours away from her departure for Santiago, Chile as we did a crash course in a local coffee house.  It was great fun to meet Jaga.  She is from Poland, speaks 22 languages, is a Linguistics professor here in Cuenca, and has traveled the world!

Jaga hard at work setting up


Garry Kaulitz with us in our home. Kathy is behind the camera, a little reluctant to be in a picture after her recent “up close and personal” encounter with the sidewalk.

We had the great pleasure of meeting two Alaskans who might well become Cuencan Expats in the near future.  Kathy and Garry Kaulitz recently toured Ecuador, staying in Cuenca for a little while.  Unfortunately, Kathy had a face plant with a Cuenca sidewalk and ended up in the emergency room of a local hospital.  She reports that within seconds of her fall, several Cuencanos raced to her aid, taking her into their home to clean her up and attempting to stop the bleeding from her split lip and other scrapes.  When it appeared their ministrations weren’t going to be enough, these generous people drove Kathy and Garry to the closest hospital.  While in the ER, Kathy was attended to by no less than four people during the two hours she was there, receiving general first aid, stitches in her upper lip and a prescription for pain medication.  The total cost was $37.  By the way, there is no such thing as suing the city of Cuenca for a hazard on a sidewalk, street or other public property.  It is each citizen’s personal responsibility to WATCH WHERE THEY’RE GOING!  Here are some examples of what one needs to look out for.


Lest you think that Cuenca does not care about its citizens, I need to tell you that a lot of sidewalk reconstruction is occurring all over the city as we speak.  We know this because we have to navigate quite a minefield of open ditches, excavation equipment, and makeshift bridges to get to Spanish class.  In the US, this street would be closed both to pedestrians and cars.  Not here.  There were times when sidewalks on both sides of the street were being worked on at the same time.

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Okay, last story.  This morning I walked into our office and saw this view.

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Apparently one of our neighborhood birds had to relieve itself midair and the wind must have caught it just right and plastered it all over the window!  The first order of business this morning was to remove the offending window art.

I was able to clean most of the bird dropping, or flingings as it were, by stretching out the window with a soapy rag.
Glenn managed to clean the biggest and furthest away splat with a soapy rag attached to our shower squeegee.

What we’ve learned:  Christmas isn’t over in Cuenca yet.  This “Pase del Niño” parade went by our apartment on February 1st.

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What we need to learn:  How to clean off bird poop from fourth floor windows without leaving unsightly streaks.  Not sure it’s possible.

We leave for Spain in less than two weeks so we’re not quite sure when the next post will be – perhaps not until after we return.  But don’t worry – we’ll have lots to post from our Pueblo Ingles experience as well as about the sights we’ll see in Spain.  Until then – Hasta Luego!


16 thoughts on “There’s a Full Moon on the Rise

  1. The only advice I can give you for removing the bird droppings more easily is for you to repel off the roof of the complex and tackle the job from the outside. 😉 It sounds like from your post on the sidewalk accident that lawyers might want to reconsider moving there. Work would be hard to come by. You have to be responsible for your actions?! Totally un-American! I hope you don’t run out of things to talk about because Penny and I love your posts.



  2. Mara, your joy is contagious! I’m bringing a keyboard when I come. I’m a big Sandra Bullock fan, too. I’m sorry about the 4th quarter buffering issues. There were surprises in the 4th quarter. Perhaps the issue stemmed from higher band use. I suppose that recording the game wouldn’t have helped because the same issues would prevail. Hmm… There is no doubt, the sidewalks are treacherous in Cuenca. You get a navigational workout from Point A to Point B. Coffee Club Spanish sounds good. Are the classes leveled (beginner, advanced, etc.)? My husband & I are on different continents, skillwise. Last, but not least, please, do be careful leaning out windows. I read of an ex-pat who fell out and was killed and I don’t want that to happen to you, or your husband, or anyone, ever.


    1. Thanks for your comment Holly! We could figure out what was going on during the 4th quarter even with the buffering issues. That’s when we lit into the ice cream! Coffee Club Spanish is a great program and yes, it is leveled athough sometimes folks get in the wrong group. It goes from the very beginner to very advanced. We didn’t actually lean out too far through the window and I was pushing the slider as close in to Glenn as I could so that 1) he wouldn’t fall out and 2) he could reach the splat! Thanks for your concern and finally, WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO CUENCA?


  3. Hi aunt and uncle! Thanks for your amazing blog. I just signed up to sponsor a child in the developing world with Children International and they matched me with a 6 year old boy in Ecuador. His name is Marcos Alexander Arellano Tumbaco. Do you know that kid? Say hi from me if you run into him. Another reason to come visit you soon.


    1. Hi Elizabeth – No, I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting this young man yet but I’m sure I would like to. What town or city is he in? And of course you will need to come to Ecuador to visit all three of us, and soon!


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