Monday, April 27, 2015


Well, just one actually.

I was the first one to spot it as it scurried across the kitchen / laundry room / entryway to our bach.  It was my first live encounter with such a creature.  Later that evening, he showed up again to help himself to our garbage.  I was not impressed.  

Saturday night was an interesting night.  A pick-up truck with grandiose speakers came and parked itself under our window around 7:00.  We vibrated to the sound of Latin music accompanied by drunken amateurs until 10:00 or so, at which point, the truck, thankfully moved on.  The music in the barrio, however, did not end until 6:20 on Sunday morning.  Not exactly the greatest conditions for getting rest!  Anyway, Jill and I both drifted in and out of sleep all night.  At one point, when I awoke, I quickly realized that the music was not the cause of my awakening.  The garbage can, approximately twelve inches from my head, was rattling.  Yes, I used the word "rattling" on purpose! When I sat up, our furry nemesis decided he'd better hit the road.  He scuttled out of the can, across our bedroom floor and under the door into the darkness beyond.  I didn't exactly pop right back into dreamland after that!  Eventually, however, sleep claimed me again.  Until a second "rattle, rattle, rattle" rudely interrupted my slumbers.  The rat was back.  Same drill.  I sat up; he ran away.  This time, I got brave enough to venture out into the room beyond ours in order to place our bedroom garbage can at a greater distance from my bed, making sure not to block the route to the bathroom, just in case.  Needless to say, after the adventures of the night, neither Jill nor I were extremely anxious to get out of bed on Sunday morning.  

When we left the bach on Tuesday morning, we decided that we would like to rat-proof our bedroom so that we wouldn't have any ugly surprises when we returned.  Our ideal idea was to put wire mesh at the bottom of our door.  However, finding none, we went for the next best thing - dryer sheets.  

We taped them to the door and put them in the closet, in our suitcases and under our mattresses.  While we are sure that the rat was, indeed, in our room while we were away, we are also sure that he wasn't there long.  It must have been a little too fragrant for him!  

At the present moment, we aren't sure if he's dead or alive.  We haven't seen him - dead or alive - so we wait with baited breath!  In a spring meadow scented room.

Yes, we're easily entertained

In our last visit to Jipijapa, one of the children had brought a toy to Grandma and Grandpa's house and left it.  It kept us entertained for the evening as we visited.  It was one of those spinning circles on a metallic track.  You have to get it going just right and make it loop around so that it will keep spinning without getting caught.

It's harder than it looks!
Jill gives it a go.

A curly-headed pistol

A little look at our field

I have this map on my phone so I can get a general idea of which direction we're going when we take off on a bus somewhere.  

A peek inside

Where we have one of our studies
This is the living room.
We sit on a bench opposite the front door. (where the light is entering in at the right of the photo)

This is to our right.
Hammocks are a common fixture in coastal homes.

Sra. Trinidad has a lovely flowering tree in her front yard along with various and sundry other plants and flowers.  Her gate is quite colorful as well.  

What we do in between studies

Well, once anyway


At least there was a seat

On April 16, Jill and I headed toward Manta for a couple of studies before meeting up with Warren & Karen McLean in the city for supper.  

Our first study went very well.  Our second study did not happen.  Jill and I arrived at the house, and no one was home.  We waited for about 20 minutes, and after trying a couple of times to call, we decided to go on.  

This lady lives with her family at the top of a hill next to a church.  There is nothing else there.  Kindly, the church "provided" us with a place to sit while we waited.

That's the house to the right of the church.

Buena Vista

Jill and I are both picture-takers, as it turns out, so from here on out, I'll probably have some of both of our pictures on this blog.  
Because it takes too much time that I don't have, I'm not going to bother and sort these photos in chronological order.  Hopefully that won't bother any of my readers too much.  :-)
This first batch is from Jill's "camera."

The initial stretch of "road" back to Buena Vista

Rodolfo rode the horse with our backpacks, and Jill and I walked.

No texting and driving...oh...well...go ahead I guess.

Rodolfo and Nancy's beautiful home way back in the "bush"

This picture does not show:
a) how red my face is
b) how I am dripping sweat EVERYWHERE!
c) how dirty I am
But I am smiling.  I think you can see that.  :-)

Up the ladder and into our bedroom

The living room
Notice the fancy chandelier?

The dining room

Lilia and Blanquita

A cute little bench

Looking back at the house from the "road"

This little donkey followed us for a little ways on our journey but eventually headed back to his mama who was tied up at the side of the road.

Here's the start of my pictures, so we'll go back to the beginning.
This is where you get off the bus to enter Buena Vista.  Or off the motorcycle, as happened in our case.  The bus we were on broke down, so Rodolfo came and picked us up (one at a time) and brought us here.  I think everyone on the bus was wondering how two foreigners had such connections out in the middle of nowhere!  

Our road

Looking across the room from my bed

Looking down between the wall and the roof next to my bed

Jill and Blanquita

Kelly, Jill, Lilia and Blanquita

The complete ensemble

This gives you a tiny idea of my filthy condition after our walk in.  :-)  

A study in La Flores

The view from the "porch"

don Narciso & Sra. Anatolia
Fancy wheelchair, no?
Don Narciso was baptized this past year at convention time.  Sra. Anatolia welcomes us warmly. 

Looking up at the house from the road

Waiting for the bus