Bus to Guayaquil and a hospital stay in Panama

First off I am fine. Sitting here at the Courtyard Marriott in Panama City, Panama. We were supposed to fly home yesterday but my blood pressure spiked on the plane and I may have also eaten something that my stomach didn’t like and it revolted. Needless to say I was very sick on the plane including almost uncontrollable tremors. Anyway, Copa Airlines really took care of me. Went to the clinic in the airport and when they couldn’t get my blood pressure down they arranged for ambulance transport to a nearby hospital and had a Copa rep with us the whole time who then arranged our taxi, hotel stay and new tickets for our flight out today. I got an IV to calm the nausea and blood pressure issues and deal with the dehydration. All in all a good experience. I highly recommend Copa, plus they picked up the hospital tab as well…a whopping $2 for everything including the ambulance! The hospital waived the medication fee. If we get tired of Cuenca we’re coming to Panama!

Feeling better at the hospital in Panama. Julietta (pronounced hoo-lee-etta) and I. She is a gem!
Feeling better at the hospital in Panama. Julietta (pronounced hoo-lee-etta) and I. She is a gem!

So we took the bus to Guayaquil, Super Semaria, from the Terminal Terrestre in Cuenca. $16 for the 3.5 hour trip. A much better experience than the van we took to Cuenca. Much, much better. Lots of leg room, a bathroom, that I didn’t use but observed they kept locked and only allowed women to use! Yeah, Chet found that out when they stopped the bus and all the men had to file out and stand by the side of the road. Glad I only heard about it as I was asleep. They also played a movie, some violent Thor type picture in Spanish so I skipped that too but if that’s your thing you’ll enjoy it.

On the road to Guayaquil
On the road to Guayaquil
Love the view of the mist on the mountains
Love the view of the mist on the mountains
Our too cute neighbor on the bus, checking Chet out!
Our too cute neighbor on the bus, checking Chet out!

IMG_0196

Little towns along the way to Guayaquil
Little towns along the way to Guayaquil
Banana groves along the road to Guayquil
Banana groves along the road to Guayquil
More banana groves...
More banana groves…
living conditions of some in Ecuador can be difficult to see
living conditions of some in Ecuador can be difficult to see
a small tienda/restaurant
a small tienda/restaurant
another little restaurant
another little restaurant

IMG_0207IMG_0209

3.5 hours later we reach Guayaquil, a good trip on the bus and a safe driver!
3.5 hours later we reach Guayaquil, a good trip on the bus and a safe driver!

Finishing up this post at the Panama City airport. Soon we will be back in Alabama. Already feeling like home is in Cuenca but there is still much to do in Foley. Hasta Luego!

 

mmmmmeltdown!

Sugar makes everything better so I ate this after my awful morning…I ate a lot of other stuff too but this was the remnants of it. Lol.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cloud from Popacuchu|Fire & Sugar café y pasteleria
Raspberry White Chocolate Cloud from Popacuchu|Fire & Sugar café y pasteleria

…way before I ate the above I had a meltdown outside the Banco del Pichincha today, big main branch of the largest bank in Cuenca. For those of you who know me, I can be a bit emotional…for those of you who really know me, BE QUIET!! However, my husband has said I’ve done very well on this trip as we’ve had to negotiate so much with so little Spanish. Anyway, we attempted to open a savings account on this our last full day here. NO GO. First we were in the wrong line, then we were on the wrong floor and then we did not have the right documentation and finally we couldn’t understand what documentation we needed because it was all in Spanish. Then the crying started…mine to be exact.

All the frustration over not being able to make myself understood completely for 3 weeks and how long it can take to get things accomplished came out in big splashy tears. I stood on the steps of the Banco and bawled. At one point a young woman walked by staring to beat the band…and that’s when I realized I was frustrated and sick and tired of the staring too! So I yelled at her. Yep. I. Did. “What!? What? are you staring at?!” Of course she probably didn’t know what I was saying but I think she got my drift. She scurried away, probably thinking “another crazy gringo!”.

We went to another bank and spoke to an English speaking bank associate who translated the document we got from the other bank. She let us know we needed passports, utility bills and 2 letters of reference to open an account with most banks here. That’s what we need. Someone else may have a different experience. Met a man outside the bank who saw our distressed expressions and who turned out to a brother. He has been here 17 years with his wife, they are from Texas. He said that we will have ‘I Hate Ecuador’ days, but it does get better. Well, glad mine only lasted about an hour. Another friend said on those days find a nice café and order cake and a coffee. And that’s what we did! With some friends no less. If you are ever in Cuenca, look us up and we’ll take you to Popacuchu|Fire & Sugar Cafe’ y Pasteleria. You won’t hate anything after an afternoon here. Check out their website to whet your appetite. What a nice way to spend the last day of our 3 week sojourn.

Bonebreake family (yes, correct spelling of their name) minus Dad Michael and the Hardings who are headed to Australia.

Great friends, great food. A perfect afternoon!
Great friends, great food. A perfect afternoon!

The past few days & anyone wanna buy a house?

It seems like so much has happened in the past few days, first off Chet is feeling great! His ulcer flared up and he had gastritis. Nothing else. NO Parasites or bacterial infection, Yay! The brother who treated Chet also works at the branch a couple of days a week. The doctors here overall really take their time with you. Cost of visit $40, medicine that is a curative less than $6! Also, met with his brother and his wife who will be our attorneys and they are also regular pioneers and work at the Branch in Guayaquil too, once a week? I think. They have been super helpful already as we prepare to get our visas and permanent residency. We were referred by a sister who has moved here with her husband and 4 young children from the States.

We worked some with the English Congregation since they had their Circuit Overseer in the search work. We got a chance to see more of the city and realize that each day we appreciate more and more how much this area has to offer. Realistic expectations and being realistic overall is important. It is not the States and sometimes what we take for granted that we can pick up in Walmart or Walgreens, etc. just isn’t available here, but so many other things are or being resourceful and digging a little you can find something just as good, better or realize you didn’t really need it after all!

Yes, it is feeling like home already…we now have an apartment,furniture, appliances and some nice odds and ends thanks to the wonderful couple who are leaving (unfortunately) to go back to Australia in July to care for her elderly parents, life in this system, eh? We are leaving most of what we brought with us in the apartment and hopefully be back here as of August 1st, so it’s back to Alabama on Wednesday to sell a house…mmmm, hmmmm we will take the prayers!

This time I captioned the pictures….Lol!

View from a friends apartment in Cuenca.
View from a friends apartment in Cuenca.