Day three has seen a lot accomplished on the house we came here to build. As of today (day three of work) the outside walls are up and most of the inside walls. Ricardo (our Ecuadorean contractor) came to put in the windows and two front doors. The house is coming along nicely. Gloria and her girls are so excited. When the frame of the house was finished she told Paul, our Extreme Response guide, that it was beautiful. The little girls apparently are so most excited about the shower. Little do Gloria, Maria and the girls know that not only are we building the house, we are fully furnishing it with appliances, beds and mattresses, furniture, dishes and other supplies. Gloria is only expecting the house itself. “Extreme Home Makeover”. We are looking very forward to that.
Other than working on the house, we have not had a whole lot of time out in the city. We have had dinner out twice and homemade dinner once. Our second meal was at the dorm where the housekeeper and her sister made us all an incredible dish. They had a beef item that had marinated for two days and was grilled for two hours. I don’t know the spanish name of it but the literal translation was “prime cut beef”. There was also an au gratin potato like dish called “yapanachos”. If you cover the beef with “aji” it is wonderful. Aji is like a thin salsa but made from a tree tomato and a spice called aji. I had been concerned about how the food here was going to treat me but it has all been wonderful. We did have chinese food tonight which tasted no different than American Chinese food.
There are some interesting things about Ecuador that should be noted. Number one: Do not drink the water, brush your teeth with the water or even get the water in your mouth while showering. I have no idea what the consequences are but since there are signs posted in bathrooms not to come in contact with the water, I will adhere to the advice. Also, toilet paper must not be thrown into the toilet. It must be thrown into the trash cans. Not pleasant but necessary. I only know this next one since we’re doing construction but homeowners must pay property taxes on finished homes. To get around this, people building homes leave several inches of rebar sticking out the corners of their houses so that the home is considered unfinished. Driving in Quito is interesting (terrifying). Red lights are more like guidelines, lane lines are non-existent and if you are not assertive in your driving, you will remained parked in your driveway forever. Horns are constantly honking and it seems as if accidents should be happening every ten seconds. We have managed to avoid accidents but there have been several times where we’ve flinched at how close we’ve come to getting sideswiped. It’s interesting.
The work is hard but the finished business will be worth the effort, aches and pains. We’re halfway through construction and I, at least, am quite proud of us as a team on the progress we’ve made. We can’t wait to show the family.
Until next time…