How we have a Protest on the Coast!

Most of the Coastal towns, here in Southern Ecuador, have been without water for several days--some for several weeks.  Local water companies have struggled to provide water for part of each day, as they cope with drought conditions and lowering of the water table.

We are OK, as we have a 6000 gallon holding tank, which adds water when the company is putting water in the pipes.  We can also purchase 5000 gallons of water for $80, if necessary.

People on the Coast have been frustrated by the slow reaction to this problem, by the Federal Government in Quito.

To bring attention to our fogotton Coast, a decision was made to block the Ruta Del Sol, (the Pacific Coast Highway of Ecuador).  The Protest began yesterday at 6:30 am, by blocking the North-South road at a choke point right down the road from our house.

This protest was not only about the water shortage.  Our hospital here in Manglaralto is the only one for about 50 km in either direction.  This hospital serves the incredible amount of tourists generated by Montanita, the surf town right north of us.  The hospital badly needs to be remodeled or rebuilt, it needs more supplies, and it needs an immediate increase of staff, especially more doctors.  They have been told, however, that their budget will be reduced by Quito.

We walked over to the protest at 7:30 to see a large group of protesters had already stopped all traffic on the North-South road.  

An interesting side note:  The crowd was good natured, and the police were non-threatening...The crowd sang the National Anthem, and even the police joined in the singing.  In addition, the crowd chanted "We need Water"  and "The Family can't afford to buy water", etc.  The varous speakers had several good natured jokes.  The police pretty much let the course of events unfold--no rubber bullets, dogs, or shoving, etc.

Here's a photo of Fernando, who helps us with maintenance, standing on the truck taking more photos...

The main drummer and spokesman for the crowd, was as good natured as the crowd.

The police looked intimadating at times, but mostly spent their time chatting.

We had a mini sit in after about three hours.  The police had tried to move the crowd, but a bunch of folks just sat down.  It was obvious that the police were intent on having this protest remain peaceful, so they discontinued their efforts.

Several folks handed out bananas, pieces of watermelon and slices of oranges to the crowd.

After everyone had eaten, the men went around and policed up the rinds...

After the road had been closed for 6.5 hours, the police and government officials were able to negotiate a settlement, and the road was opened to traffic at 1:30 in the afternoon.

There was no violence, ever!  In fact, as the police were packing up, Roxanne saw the Captain patting one of the Sergeants on the back and smiling broadly.  He had done his job right!

Now, we hope that the newspaper and TV coverage, and the messages sent back to Quito will result in some improvement in our water delivery systems, and especially in our only hospital in many miles...

Posted on Fri, November 20, 2015 at 05:41AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

Loading up the car with more stuff for the Kid's Christmas Party!

As the date for the Kid's Christmas Party nears, we find we are filling the car more often on our weekly shopping trips.  Yesterday, we bought candy from one of the more traditional vendors in downtown La Libertad.

This store is absolutely packed with all kinds of candy and crackers...all the street vendors purchase their wares here.

You can see in the photo below, that the choices are mind boggling...We have been coming here for more than six years, filling out the purchases that we don't get in Cuenca.


Mi Comisariato supermarket in La Libertad had a sale on "Big Cola", So Roxanne purchased 137 liters.  She also purchased 500 baggies for the kid's candy, 600 plates, 600 drink glasses.  That funny looking white bag in the bottom of one cart is 500 dinner plates, right out of the back room...

By the time we got all of these party items bagged up, we needed four carts and two more bag boys to help us get it all out to the car...

Rox took this shot just as I was beginning to offload all the goodies onto the counter.

This year the party is even more important.  As our tourist trade has slowed down, many of the kid's fathers have been out of work for months.  For many of the kids, the presents and Christmas goodies they get at our Party, will be all they receive for Christmas, except for maybe a little fruit or a candy bar.

So...again, we are asking the loyal readers of our blog to pitch in and help us keep the smiles on the Kid's faces.

If you would like to help, please send your donation to our PayPal address, which is:  bobnrox@gmail.com 

Note:  One Hundred Percent of every donation goes directly to the Kids!

Thanks to all of you for your support in past years, and for your help this year!

Bob & Roxanne and all the Kids...


 

Posted on Fri, November 13, 2015 at 10:14PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!!!

We're already getting ready for our 8th Annual Kid's Christmas Party!  Little by little, we have been buying affordable trucks and dolls--anywhere we could find them, all year long.

 We've just returned from our annual trip to Cuenca, buying more toys and dolls, 88 pounds of animal crackers and about 80 pounds of Christmas candy, and a bunch more decorations.  We wish to extend a special thanks to Rich and Nancy for putting us up, and for being such great hosts, and for being especially playful with Coquita as they performed baby sitting chores...

As most of our regular readers know, each of the 350 kids in our area, receive a doll or truck, a baggie full of animal crackers and Christmas Candy.   We also serve them and about 200 moms, hot dogs, a bag of potato chips, and Cokes.  They also get a 5 x 7 photo of them recieving their Christmas bundle from Papa Noel.  For many of these children, this is their only photo for the whole year.

Here are a couple of shots of us shopping this week...

 

 

 

 

Here is Alex carrying one of the big bags of Animal Crackers.  He has been coming to the party since he was a little boy--this year he is too old, so we will be giving him a Santa Hat, and making him into one of "Santa's Helpers".

To get you in the mood, here are some shots of last year's party...

Here's Papa Noel taking a well deserved break after personally handing out 350 gift bags to happy kids...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As all of our regular readers know, there is no way that we could do this party without the help of relatives, friends, and all of the great readers of this blog.  So...if you would like to help this year, please send what you can to our PayPal account, which is bobnrox@gmail.com


Also...every cent donated goes 100 percent to the kids...

 

Thanks to all of you for you wonderful help on previous parties, and for your support this year,


Bob & Roxanne and all the kids...

Posted on Sat, October 17, 2015 at 07:09PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

We celebrate the beginning of our Ninth Year in Ecuador!!!

The constants in our lives for the past eight years have been the beauty of the people, the scenic country, and our lifestyle living here at the beach.

The changes:  We're eight years older, as is our extended Ecuadorian family, our great little friendCoquita, and of course, the beach...

Here are a few shots to illustrate the difference...

This is our first lunch in Quito the day after we arrived in Ecuador...

Agripina and Isidro over for a few birthday goodies...

Here they are a few years later...

Our first Kid's Christmas Party featured Alfredo as Papa Noel...

We believe that we only had 47 happy kids that first time...Boy has that changed!!!

Now Papa Noel has a fancy new "Suit", and we serve more that 500 kids and their happy moms!


Alex, Agripina's grandson looked like this then...

Here he is with mom and cousin later...

And here he is this week--a growing young man!

Coquita is aging right along with the rest of us...

When she was younger...

Here she is today...

This is the group shot of all the people who did such a great job on our new roof, new floors, and repainted interior walls...

Also, they are all related, with Agripina being the Mama Bear...

And...the beach keeps on changing...here are a few shots of some projects just south of us...


Just finished...

more...


The beach itself is always beautiful and unchanged.  Private, lots of room to play, and no fog, no seaweed, no jellyfish, and no ugly driftwood stumps...just bikinis...

Here's our place..


And here we are getting ready to Party!!!

We're all looking forward to many beautiful years in Ecuador!

Posted on Fri, October 2, 2015 at 03:21PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments4 Comments | References1 Reference

Whales frolicking north and Dolphins feeding south!!!

Rox and I were enjoying our Sunday morning coffee watching the sun brighten up the waves, when we saw huge splashes directly in front of us...

We grabbed the glasses and saw Humpback whales jumping almost all the way out of the water, to fall back with terrific splashes.  As you know, counting whales is like watching submarine races, sort of difficult to see...

But...we think there were a few mamas, and several babies, all spouting and splashing...a great start to a terrific morning!

However...that's not all!  Pretty soon, we were treated to a bunch of dolphins swimming south right in front of us.  There must be lots of fish in the waters now, as there were also pelicans floating just behind the waves calmly gobbling up fish.

The clouds were right of of a renaissance painting.

Here's a shot of the beach and waves--we were too slow to catch the whales and dolphins...


Not a bad way to start a Sunday...

 

Posted on Sun, July 26, 2015 at 07:16AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments1 Comment | References13 References