Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [Travel]

Two Spanish words

I thought you all might want to know how things are going with Merry. She seems to be doing well, for the most part. She still has meltdowns once in a while but she really enjoys having so many other kids around. She sees her cousins all the time and there is also a little girl next door who comes over to visit a lot. She still talks mostly in English but the Spanish words are starting to come out. It is usually a noun here or there, mixed in with the English. For example she'll say "I want a 'galleta' (cookie)" or "I want a 'manzana' (apple). The other day she used two Spanish words together: "We have 'dos manzanas' (two apples)". Today she was playing with the little girl next door and I heard her say "come" (eat). It is really interesting to see how she is starting to pick up Spanish words. It must be frustrating for her at times because the other kids don't always understand what she is saying. Often I'll try to help her by translating or telling her what to say in Spanish. But I'm not always there so she is on her own a lot. Despite the language barrier she has made a lot of friends at school, and as I mentioned before she loves playing with her cousins.

Surprisingly she hasn't been sick much. Last week she had a slight fever and we kept her home from school one day but besides that things have been pretty good. When we were here visiting two years ago she had a cough the whole time and on top of that she got sick and she got an ear infection. But so far things have been going well. I'm making sure that she gets lots of rest and I give her vitamins every day. Lucho, on the other hand, is sick in bed with a fever today. I've been giving him teas and medicine all day.

For those of you who have been wondering…. yes, our stuff arrived safely in Loja about a week and a half ago. Lucho was able to get everything through customs without any problems. The only snag came at the end of the first day. The truck was on the way out the door and the last step was to weigh the container. For some reason the weight was about 1,000 pounds less than what was stated on the document. We don’t know exactly what happened but we think that it wasn’t weighed correctly in the States, or they estimated it wrong. At any rate, the truck was almost out the door but was turned around at the last minute, very frustrating. The next day everything was re-inspected (we were charged an additional $70 for that) and it was allowed to go. It was such a relief to call Lucho and find out that our stuff was out of the port and on its way to his uncle’s warehouse.

The next step was to get our things from Guayaquil, which is located on the coast, to Loja, which is in the mountains. Lucho’s uncle lent him one of his trucks (we never would have been able to do all this without his help) and we paid the driver and another guy to help Lucho pack up the truck and drive to Loja. The trip usually takes about 8 hours, but it was slow going because of the loaded truck and because the roads were bad due to the recent rains, so the trip ended up taking about 12 hours total. They left Guayaquil at 7 a.m. on Saturday and arrived in Loja around 9 pm that night. We had rented a storage unit around the corner from Lucho’s mom’s house so the whole family was waiting there for him to show up. We were all there to greet him when they rounded the corner, horn blaring. I took some pictures (see below) of the unloading.

Since then we have been slowly going through our stuff and bringing selected things to our place. Some of our things will remain in storage until we build our apartment. Unpacking is hard work, and we are both exhausted. On top of that we live on the 4th floor so everything has to be hauled up 4 flights of stairs (luckily we have the help of Lucho’s family for this). It’s been good exercise. To date we’ve unpacked our beds, our TV and DVD, some kitchen supplies, most of Merry’s toys, some of our clothes, and, today, the computer. We were happy to find out that our computer and printer made the trip intact and are working perfectly. We also brought a bunch of things for the restaurant that Lucho is slowly putting to use. One of the things is an espresso machine and I’m looking forward to relaxing in Siembra with a hot cappuccino sometime in the near future.

I’ll have to say that it is nice to walk around the apartment and see so many familiar things like our bed, the TV, even my knives in the kitchen! When we sent everything off in Sacramento I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about if everything would arrive safely or not. I just put everything out of my mind and told myself that if they arrived, great, if not, well, we did the best we could. So it is very satisfying to have everything arrive safely.