Sick Days and Rainy Days

We’re interrupting our regularly scheduled “catch up” posts from our adventures last week to let you know a little bit about what has been going on this week.  In short, not much has happened.  Carter got sick at the beginning of the week and has been overly tired and irritable so he and I have spent most of our days this last week cuddling and watching shows.  Unfortunately we only own two books right now and there are only so many times Carter will sit through reading them over and over again.

IMG_8582This is his new favorite position to watch shows and I can’t keep but laughing every time he shuffles into his perfect spot.

 

After one of his naps the other day, he refused to get out of the bed.  He just sat there with a big pouty face and nothing I did was convincing him to move.  I kept asking him if he wanted something to eat, figuring he had to be hungry considering the hour, but he just vigorously shook his head “no.”  I finally grabbed an apple from the fridge and tossed it next to him on the bed and he immediately began eating it.  Once it was gone, he happily got himself off the bed.

 

Today was very different for Carter in regards to his previous behavior during the week.  We went to a clinic yesterday and found out that he has tonsillitis!  He’s now on some medication and even within the two days of taking it he is tons better.  He has a lot more energy and is generally happier so we spent the whole morning outside exploring.  After his nap, we started to hear thunder and eagerly awaited a storm.  Within minutes it was pouring rain and there was lightning and thunder constantly!  Scott was giddy about the storm and we immediately opened all the windows to let in the sound and smell of fresh rain.

IMG_8590 IMG_8595 IMG_8592We heard a BIG crack of thunder!

 

Since we were stuck in the house and it was an awkward time between lunch and dinner we made a smoothie.  Carter was the most excited about the smoothie and he drank at least half of it himself!

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Since Carter is on the upswing of his sickness, and we now have a fresh several inches of rain, we’re excited for what next week will bring and what we’ll be able to explore!  We’re hoping to make it to some hot springs on Monday 🙂

A Party Bus to Baños

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Last weekend a good friend that we know from our time in Utah, but is from Guayaquil and is currently living there, met up with us and we all headed to Baños!  And that’s a city, not the bathroom.  We had heard a lot of really great things about how beautiful the area is and how there is a lot to see and do in regards to hiking, waterfalls, adventure activities, hot springs, etc., but we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

First of all, the bus ride to Baños was awesome.  It was about a 4 hour trip, which wasn’t so awesome, but about an hour and a half into the trip vendors starting hoping on the bus selling food!  It was so fun to see and try all of the different things they were selling.  Our absolute favorite was the ice cream.  It was homemade ice cream of four delicious flavors: leche (milk), mora (raspberry), guava, and tomato del arbol (tree tomato, and it doesn’t taste like a tomato at all haha).  Two different vendors got on with ice cream within 20 minutes of each other, so naturally we had to buy another round.

DSC07164Carter’s like, “I want some of that corn.”

 

In between all of the vendors selling food, awesome 80s music was blaring on the speakers!  Carter was dancing and singing a ton, until he fell asleep.  He slept through the really loud music and all of the vendors yelling!  Even though the ride was long, we were very well entertained and the views were incredible.  We were constantly looking out the window “ooo-ing” and ahh-ing” at the scenery.  Scott took tons of pictures, but they were with our point and shoot, and they were taken from a moving bus through a dirty window so not very many turned out haha.

DSC07159One of the beautiful views or Cotopaxi that we got to see on the bus ride.

 

DSC07160Carter sleeping through all of the noise.
DSC07146Another beautiful view from the bus.  The parts of Ecuador we’ve seen are green as green can be and there are mountains everywhere!  It’s absolutely beautiful.

Pizza Night in Quito

The group for our church we’ve been able to attend here in Ecuador has been incredible. So many good people.  On Monday we did a joint Family Home Evening with some new friends, and they took us to a new pizza place that they said was pretty good. They definitely played it down… this was the best pizza we had had since we started the trip, and that’s including Italy which, ironically, didn’t have good pizza.  The little parlor had a very Ecuadorian vibe, and was laid back and fun. Carter got to play with all our friends’ kids and they were laughing up a storm.

Puentes | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Carter on the Puente | Pizza Night in Ecuador

View from the Puente | Pizza Night in EcuadorWhile we waited for our friends, we got to hang out at the “Puente 3”. Here in “la valle” everything is known by what bridge its close to.  The pizza place was close to “Puente 2”, but even then it would be a big walk down and up a huge hill, so we were happy we caught a ride.

Eating Pizza | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Hanging out at the pizza place! Carter had some fun with the girls while we waited for our pies to finish cooking.

Loma el Panecillo | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Sleeping Baby | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Quito at Night | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Carter was pretty tired at this point—it was about his bedtime, so we were happy to let him sleep. Our friends took us to see the city lights at Loma El Panecillo, a very high point of the city with some killer views. The Christmas nativity decorations were still up, so we got to see that too—though they cycled the lights on and off every 5 minutes for some reason. Saving power, maybe?

Hanging Out at Loma El Panecillo | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Hanging Out at Loma El Panecillo | Pizza Night in Ecuador

Was a great Family Home Evening, and we’re feeling very welcome in this city thus far.  Can’t wait for more adventures to come!

Sorry for Being MIA.. We’re Back!

It’s a little embarrassing that we haven’t written in over a week…  I guess you could say that life in Ecuador has really taken us over!  I mentioned it before, but we are living on an Eco-farm outside of Quito and life here is relaxed, slow, bright, exciting, non-scheduled, and just down right enjoyable.  I’ve realized over the last few days that I rarely ever look at a clock.  When we’re hungry, we eat.  When Carter starts to show signs of being tired, I put him down for nap.  No schedule, no time restrictions, just enjoying life as it comes.  Life has been pretty much stress-free without a clock always ticking away, defining when things need to be done, and in regards to our blog I think it’s taken a bit of a backseat.

We are relaxing, but we are also staying busy exploring new things!  I hope you’ll forgive our lack of appearance as we work on documenting all of the things we’ve been up to this last week.  Here are some things to look forward to seeing and hearing more about: a party bus to Baños; a day trip to the Amazon filled with tons of exciting things (canoeing through rapids, tribal initiation, hiking a mountain, visiting a waterfall); riding a Chiva, touring 7 waterfalls, and doing a Superman zip-line; swinging next to a volcano.

And before we did all of that crazy stuff, we spent a day exploring the city of Quito, eating delicious vendor food, and viewing museums and churches.  We love how cheap everything is here, and it’s convenient that Ecuador uses the USD because we don’t have to do any currency exchange rate math in our heads!  If you ever wondered what happened to all of the Sacagawea dollars that we used to have in the US they are here in Ecuador and they love them!  So does Carter, and he’s getting pretty good at actually giving them to the vendors or taxi drivers when we need to pay them.

DSC07082 IMG_8303Our first vendor purchase of the day: snow cones!  The syrup was actually pretty gross, but Scott and Carter liked it.

 

IMG_8313 DSC07083 copy DSC07087 copyWe then went to Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus.  This church is incredible because it has incorporated A LOT of gold in the interior architecture!  It is seen as Quito’s most ornate church and because of the copious amounts of gold, many people believe it is Ecuador’s most beautiful church.

 

DSC07089Our next vendor purchase: sweet potato donut holes!  Actually we have no idea if that’s what they actually were, but that is what they tasted like and they were delicious.

 

DSC07112 DSC07113 DSC07115After rounding the corner from buying our sweet potato donut holes, we came to a large plaza of Iglesia de San Francisco.  The church was huge and beautiful!  There was quite a bit of preservation work going on with the artwork and it was really interesting to watch what they do for a little while.

 

DSC07094 DSC07099 DSC07103 IMG_8320 IMG_8315Outside the church we found ice cream!  Carter and I were going to share, but I gave him ours to take a picture and he wouldn’t give it back… So he got his first, very own ice cream cone and he loved it!  The ice cream was guava and raspberry flavored and it was hard not to go back for seconds!

 

DSC07120 DSC07125Isn’t that just creepy??

DSC07128 DSC07130Carter loved the ramps.  He would run, or slide down them and then climb up and doing it over and over and over again!

DSC07136 DSC07137After ice cream we headed to the museum Casa del Alabado.  It was filled with ancient artifacts and tools dating back to 4000 BC!

 

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Overall we loved our time in the city exploring the architecture, but we really loved all of the food vendors!  Seriously, everything is so cheap here!

Our Home in Ecuador

We’ve been in Ecuador for only a few days, but it feels like we’ve known it for weeks.  We settled into our new place so easily and have been loving every second here!  Well, except for the dozens of sand fly bites on our legs… We don’t love that part. But everything else has been completely wonderful.

We are living on a small eco-farm in the hills outside of Quito, Ecuador headed by a retired man named Miguel (who is known among the Alangasí townfolk as simply “el doctor”) and his wonderful wife Cecilia.  There are several different apartments/duplexes/homes for rent on the property, and this month will be the busiest it’s ever been.  It’s crowded, but we are loving getting to meet new people from all over the world and spending time with them.  There is a shared lounge, dining, and kitchen area for several of the apartments and one of my favorite things to do is spend time in there chatting with people as they come and go.  Everyone has been very supportive of us traveling with Carter, which has boosted our spirits, and they are all working hard to try to be his favorite 🙂

We are living in one of the duplexes and it is very spacious.  There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a large kitchen, dining, and living area.  The couches are far from comfortable, but we don’t have too much time to just be sitting on them anyways so we appreciate the artistic factor of them.  It is a very cozy accommodation and it has been perfect for us!

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As nice as our apartment is, the property is what is truly amazing.  Carter just roams and runs, digs and collects rocks all day.  He loves it here!  I’m not sure how large the property actually is, but it’s big.  There are all different kinds of trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and any other plant you could think of growing all over!  It’s a really beautiful place, providing Carter with a lot of entertainment.

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While living on this farm we participate in contributing to the compost, which has been a new experience for us, and we actually love how resourceful it is.  Granted, we just dump our little bucket every morning into a very large, nasty pile of leftovers that someone else has to deal with (maybe mother nature?).  We are also doing most of our shopping at a local farmer’s market and in small local shops that sell their own produce and meats and breads.  Ecuador has banned GMOs, increasing the consumption of local products, and we love how everything we buy tastes.  The food tastes incredible and fresher than anything we’ve had in the States!  We are learning a lot about having a garden and animals and are constantly talking with each other about what we want out of our dream home and property.  I never in a hundred years thought that a garden or farm animals would be a part of my dream home—I’m horrible at gardening!  I guess we’ve just realized that for us being self-sufficient is rewarding, and something we want to be able to attain.

Ecuador is a great place to learn about healthy production and eating, but almost at a disadvantage to us since pretty much everything can be grown here easily and it’s in high yield all year round because of the climate—not necessarily something that can be found in the States!  So all of this continues to rattle around in our heads as we try to consider where we want to be within the next 5 years… until then, we’ll enjoy where we are now.

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Welcome to Ecuador!