Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The story of the not-so-ugly-plant

My missionary friend Anna went with me to the marketplace.
I saw the plant.
I fell in love.
I told myself "no". It was a pretty expensive plant...
But then I kept thinking about it. Eventually, we found our way back to the plant.

"Isn't it a beautiful plant?" I asked Anna.
Anna tried to be polite. But, Anna is a very honest person. She looked at me and said, "Well, it is not my taste, but I can see you like it." (read this in an Australian accent)

It was true. I did really like it.

So I bought the plant, the pot, the dirt and with Anna's help I hauled the whole load into a taxi. The whole way home, I kept thinking how much I loved my new curly-headed plant.

When Dustan saw us, he raised his eyebrow. "What's that?" he asked.
"It's a plant", I responded. "Don't you like it?"
"Well...." (I must interrupt to say my husband lacks the tact that Anna has) "It's ummmm.... interesting."
Anna laughed. "I tried to tell her."

My poor plant. So unloved by everyone but me.
Dustan curled his lip and wrinkled his nose. "It goes outside? Right?"
Anna just laughed. Again.

Our discussion brought on the curiosity of Irma, the lady who cleans my house twice a week. In Spanish, Dustan tried to tell Irma that the plant was not very pretty and should be outside.

The whole world was ganging up on me and my plant!

Only, Irma declared the plant was VERY BEAUTIFUL, and started to drag it inside.

Dustan gave in, and picked it up.

Irma and I stood back and inspected its radiance and glory. "Muy Bonita", she declared. "Si. A mi me gusta!" I said back.

Dustan thinks we are both loca and Anna still laughs when I talk about how she tried to squirm her way out of telling me I had purchased a very ugly plant.

So, what do you think?
Perfect for Becka?

Plant: 8.00
Pot: 8.00
stand: 2.50 (was 3 but she gave me .50 off. What a bargain!)
dirt: 1.50

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

More pay-outs.

Here are the things we paid for the last couple of days:

One 7up and one bottle of water: .65 We went to Malacatos yesterday with the kid's school. Yesterday was Dia de NiƱos and to celebrate, the school planned an outing at a Finka. what is a Finka? Good question. Literally translated, a finka means a farm. Here in Loja though, it is used to refer to a vacation home in the outlying villages.
They can be very rustic (camping with walls and a dirt floor), or they can be very opulent. The one we visited was somewhere in-between.
It had very rustic shelter, but it also had a swimming pool and a hot tub. Haha! Hot tub is funny because it is more like "lukewarm bath" tub.

Anyhow, we went. And because I didn't fully translate the instructions, we went without something to drink. Hence the need for something on the way home. (also, I was rather motion sick and was prayerful the 7up would settle my stomach.)

Two packets of corn tortillas: 5.00
Want to hear something shocking? Torn tortillas are not a common food in Loja. However, a small tienda opened up a few weeks ago. The owner is Mexican, his wife is Italian and so they have a small stand (two point five tables) that sells tacos, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. The corn tortillas are made on the spot, and are frankly, "to-die-for". Since Marcus and I can not have bread, we like to use corn tortillas for things like sandwiches. Dustan bought us 24. Ooooh, they are so good.

One donut, one spirol, and a bag of coffee: 2.50
While I fried the eggs this morning, Dustan walked around the corner to get me some coffee. (1.50- don't kill me. I know you are paying 10.00 for a good coffee in the US) He couldn't resist the donuts and felt guilty, so he bought me a spirol as well. Since a spirol is basically just sugar and egg whites, I couldn't stomach it for breakfast. Maybe I will have it later.

One refresco, one bottle of water, one emendada de verde, and one tamal: 3:00
I took my friend Stellamarise for a snack at "Mimo's". Refresco is a Tang drink that has thousands of flavors. Stellamarise had Maricuya which is an Ecuadorian fruit. She could also have chosen coconut. We serve the orange flavor at El Sendero. Emenadas de verde are one of my favorite Ecuadorian foods. Basically, they are fried pies the dough being made from green bananas. The insides are stuffed with chicken and peas. But, this morning, I chose a tamal. Which is corn flour steamed in a banana leaf. Oh how I love tamals!!!!!!!! Sometimes I order two, and everyone thinks I am a pig.

Household goods from another missionary: 500.00
We had not completed setting up our house because we new we could buy some things when the Bacon's moved back to Australia. Used items hold their value in Ecuador. I am amazed at the used prices of things. I spent 15.00 on a used set of sheets, but because our only other option is 40.00, I snagged them as fast as I could. No garage sale or the prices that come with them, here in Ecuador.
We bought books, rugs, sheets, chairs, and several other items. The big purchase was the ping pong table which was 150.00. This is something that we will use for ministry. We hope to have the young people over often, and because Dustan and I are neither "hip" or "young", we will bribe them with a ping pong table. Our purchases from this missionary family pretty much wraps up our set up here in Ecuador. We still need a couple of things (like a blender, and another knife, and a pair of scissors), but for the most part, we now have everything we need, and even a few things just for fun (like books and a ping pong table)
As a side note: the rule of thumb for reselling in Ecuador is 50% less than what you paid. Because imports are both expensive and hard to come by. Since I bought 40.00 sheets for 15, it is actually considered a bargain! But, I guess it all evens out since I only pay 1.50/pound for my coffee!

Phone bill: 9.00
Dustan tried to pay this bill last week, but when he went to pay it, he found that the place had closed down. He found out that he could pay at the bank and so he went today. Downside, the bank lines are incredibly long. Paying bills here is VERY different than the US. If we paid them all on the same day, it would take us the entire day.

Meal at El Sendero: 10.00 Each Wednesday we have a family meal at El Sendero. Becka is working, and Dustan has English Club, so we find it easier to eat at the cafe. Becka's meal is free, But since Dustan and the kids are not working, they pay for their meal.