Lots to be Thankful for...

The vagaries of Mother Nature let our area of the Ecuador Coast be completely unaffected by the terrible earthquake up North.  The area from Salinas to Puerto Cuyo about 1.5 hour drive north of us had no damage. None of the homes, mostly mortar block construction, suffered any damage.  We believe we were spared more devastation because the fault line does not head straight south to us, but veers east toward Guayaquil.  It leaves us shaking, but with nothing but a few overturned figurines...

So...Life goes on...sunsets and dolphins keep on happening...



Birthdays, too!  Agripina celebrted her 65th birthday...



Roxanne celebrated her birthday with Rich and Nancy from Cuenca...We had a great time and celebrated a belated birthday for Nancy, also...




When we arrived home from CuencaRox was greeted with another beautiful cake and a rousing "Happy Birthday" song from our Ecuadorean family.



As we celebrate how fortunate we are to live in our area of the Coast, we hope that the people in the North continue to get the help they desperately need!

This is a group from here that coordinates with good folks in Cuenca.  They pay their own way, so your money goes directly to help the victims.  http://www.carvemag.com/2016/04/aid/#.Vyof6vmDGko

http://www.carvemag.com/2016/04/aid/#.Vyo6Kr46zIV

Posted on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 11:44AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

Fortunately, we were not affected by this terrible earthquake!

To all of you wonderful friends, relatives and guests...thanks tons for all the concerned emails!

Everything is fine here.  We had a couple of figurines fall over, but we and everyone we know came out OK.  Our power was off for about 10 minutes.  No Tidal wave, but we got some needed rain for the outside plants.

We have been in a lot of Cal earthquakes, and this was stronger and longer than any we remember.  The news says that it was six times stronger than the quake they had in Japan a couple of days ago.  whew!

It seems that damage was angled off in a different direction, than south along the Coast toward us...more damage inland all the way to Guayaquil.  We feel very fortunate...!
There is a town up toward the Ecuador/Columbia border
 that was hit the worst-it's a town of about 40,000 people-apparently lots of the homes were destroyed and that's where most of the deaths and injuries occurred.

There is quite a bit of govt. money and personnel on the ground now and more is on the way.

Anyway,  we feel very fortunate, that we,  and everyone around us,  are safe and sound!!! 
Also, we were treated very kindly by El Nino this year.  We lost about five feet of beach, but about four feet have already returned.
Thanks again everyone for your good thoughts and well wishes!

 

Posted on Sun, April 17, 2016 at 03:58PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments

Catching up on a few more December happenings...

As you can tell from our previous entries, a lot of our time and attention is spent getting the party to come off without a hitch.  This is especially true in the month of December.  Here are a couple of shots showing "non-party" December events.

First off, we had Isidro's birthday...This year our present to Isidro was a little different.  He has needed a new set of front teeth for a long time, so we arranged for the dentist to work on teeth that needed attention, and then we contacted a "denturist" who would go ahead and make the new teeth.

Here is a shot of Isidro with his birthday cake...showing no smile, as he did not have his new teeth yet...

 

Another shot of the cake...  

Here is a shot of the Denturist making an adjustment to the new plate...right at their front porch!

And...here is the handsome guy with his new teeth and welcome smile...

Yes...that is a smile!  Much of our time taking photos is trying to get our subjects to crack a smile, as the custom is to stare dead ahead with a straight face, when getting a picture taken...

Here's another shot of Papa Noel working the crowd at the Kid's Christmas Party!This is just one side of the crowd...

We also have a little get together with Agripina and Isidro for Christmas gift exchange...Posing with one of their gifts...a new stereo for their home...

Just before we sit down for Christmas dinner, a whole ton of local kids and their moms and siblings come over to serenade us with Christmas songs and dance.

 

 

 

The angels got a little distracted by the ocean...but fun!

 

After all the singing and dancing, we pass out 50 baggies filled with animal crackers and Christmas candy...

 

Since I have a birthday in the middle of all this frivolity, I am on the list for Agripina and Sonia and the family to prepare a birthday lasagna, and a really big birthday cake!

 

 

Here's a shot of Coquita just to end on a cute note!

Posted on Thu, January 7, 2016 at 12:16PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments

YES! The Kid's Christmas Party was Bigger AND Better!!!

The way to make a party for 375 kids and 225 moms look easy, is to plan, plan, plan, and mostly Roxanne did just that!  She has been making dozens of lists since August.  We began purchasing supplies and toys in the summer, because we were shocked at the price increases we faced.

Take a look at some of the photos that lead up to this being the most fun and successful party yet!

Roxanne and I loaded up 600 baggies with animal crackers and Christmas Candy, and then added a toy truck or Barbie type doll to each Christmas gift bag.  Here is the "bucket brigade" bringing down 375 gifts for the kids...

Here's a shot of Rox waiting for the start of the fun...

It takes a lot of ice to keep 145 liters of Coke cold for thirsty kids and moms...

Those hot dogs that you see cooking have all been skinned of their plastic wrap...whew!

Getting ready...Santo blew up 250 balloons...

Families arrive an hour early...




Rox and Nancy chilling out before the balloon goes up!

Finally!  The door goes up to "Santa's Workshop"!

 



Just to give you a feeling for the crowd...




 

 

 

 

 

Giving out 350 gift bags is thirsty work...

Believe it or not, the Bathroom Monitor, is one of the most important jobs of the day!

Here we are shooting the pics and placing the gifts...

 

 

 

Getting these hot dogs out to the crowd is one of the hardest jobs of the day...

Here are some shots of kids posing with gifts...

 

 


Brother Rich and wife Nancy were able to see the party for the first time.  We wish to thank them for their help and support...

We would also like to thank Shell, Marsha, Shawn, and Ami for their help.

Ace Photog Robert, who took a lot of the candid shots that will be distributed to the families.

After all is said and done...there is still time to let the good times roll!!!

Here is part of the crew...Papa Noel missed this shot as he was changing into "civies".

We wish to thank all of our friends, relatives, and guests, who contributed so generously again this year.  Without your support, this party would never get off the ground!  These families in our town will have a  better Christmas because of you!

Thanks again, and have a wonderful holiday and a great new Year!

 

Bob and Roxanne and all the Kids...

Posted on Sun, December 20, 2015 at 03:51PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments1 Comment | References2 References

We're not at the North Pole, but Mama Noel is busy, busy, busy...

Putting on a party for over 600 takes a lot of planning, but most parties don't have these "behind the scenes" shots.  This morning, we looked out our window to see Papa Noel's mom rewashing his Christmas Party uniform, and also the short skirts for his "elves".

Here is Agripina holding up one of her daughter's "Elf" skirt.

The Party is a high point in each child's year, and this year, it's more important than ever!  The "El Nino" scare and the severe drought have caused a drop in tourism and construction.  Many of the kids fathers have not had steady work in months...so Chirstmas will be a little tight this year.

The drought can best be shown by the measures that have been adopted when our local water company ran out of water.  Without cisterns, the locals must rely on a frequent delivery of water, by truck, to any bucket, pail, or washtub that they own.

Here is an example of a couple of households waiting for the water truck.

Without steady work in each household, it is difficult to pay much more for water than charged by the water company.  We know that our party gives a big lift to these households.

As the big day approahes, The "to do" list seems to get bigger and bigger.  We have been buying dolls for the girls and trucks and cars for the boys, and stuffed toys for the babies  We bought candy and animal crackers, 600 plates, glasses, and napkins, lots of mayo, catsup, and mustard, and lots and lots of cola.  Here's a shot of the the ladies making them last year...

This week, we are ordering 625 weiners for pick up in three weeks, 625 bags of potato chips, and 625 buns.  We also order stools and tables for everyone.

Then we have to put the whole shebang together!  As usual we could not do this without the supoort of our generous readers, relatives, and friends.

Here's a shot of last year's party, just to get you in the mood...To see the entry for last year's party, just copy and paste...

http://bobnrox.squarespace.com/journal/2014/12/21/our-seventh-annual-kids-christmas-party-was-the-largest-and.html

If you would like to give us a hand in making these kids a little happier this year, please send a donation to our PayPal address, which is bobnrox@gmail.com 

Please note...every red cent that you contribute goes directly to the kids

Thanks mucho,

Bob & Roxanne and the Kids


Posted on Wed, December 2, 2015 at 10:55AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment
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