Ecuador Days 4 and 5

Day 4:

Not much done today, my poor husband is sick sick sick with a temperature of 103 (no, it’s not the water, thank goodness), so my translator/helper/cook/thing-finder is off duty, which means there’s not much I can do.

The girls are amusing themselves with the chickens, which they love much more than anyone should love something that dirty.

(Problem: The chickens won’t come to me.)

(Solution: I’ll tear off this leaf to feed them. Wait, where’d they go?)

Our missing suitcase is still MIA, but that seems to be the way things go in Ecuador; everything takes much longer than you think it should, and nothing ever goes exactly how you planned it.***

Before getting really sick, my husband was undertaking to plant trees, till the soil to prepare some ground for a garden, and build a chicken coup. My most ambitious plans included going shopping and organizing my suitcases. But all that will have to wait for right now.

Day 5:

It gets dark around 6:30 every day, year round. That’s the oddity of living on the equator; there is not much change. We’re visiting for the first time in the “summer” months (the last two times we’ve come here, we’ve come during their “winter”) but nothing is noticeably different except it is probably hotter, but coming from Utah winter to here just feels plain hot. Period. The days feel the same as I remember them from the last two times I was here. Morning and night come much sooner than I think they should; and I can never get myself into bed or out of it as soon as I think I should.

At night I lay in bed nursing my 13-month baby who will eat anything except cows milk, and who loves to lay in bed nursing more than pretty much anything else. It makes for a lot of time to sit and listen. The night sounds are different here. I notice them much more than in the states. Cinder blocks and plaster do little to keep the outside world from penetrating the interior of our quarters, and the noises, even more than the insects and heat, seem the most obtrusive. A fan is an absolute must-have for sleeping to cope with the noise as much as the temperature, but even the loudest fans the department store has to offer can’t completely mask the ruckuous going on all around.

I can’t even think what forms the night sounds of my home in Oregon. I guess we hear dogs barking occasionally, but even that is most often a single dog singing an unsolicited solo. Here it is packs of dogs. Think of the scene in 101 Dalmations (animated, of course) where the dogs are sending their distress message across the city with barking; at the close of that scene the whole city is going crazy with barking, yeah, that’s exactly what it’s like.

I know that I’ve never hear a rooster crow in Oregon, but they are a common addition to the night sounds here. Every country movie I’ve ever seen tells me that roosters crow at dawn, but I’ve learned that really, the crowing will start any time after 1 or 2 in the morning. Maybe the roosters don’t realize what time zone they are in; I still haven’t adjusted.

***We just got our bag today, only 10 days late! Oh well, we were just grateful it finally got here, and in one piece, too! Yay for small miracles! (I know I just used three exclamation points in the last three sentences, but seriously, this bag thing merits it.)

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