Sunday, February 17, 2013


On Friday morning, DHL Express delivered our apostilled marriage license from Oregon.  So, "express" was a one week turn-around, and now we're another $170 out-of-pocket in this visa process.  Not too bad, I think!  We're thankful we had a family member who was able to take care of this for us in one day.  We've also decided to move forward in an expedient manner and have all our documents re-translated by someone more reliable since there were so many errors on the translations farmed out by our not-so-expedient expediter. So by Thursday, we are hoping to have everything notarized and ready for attempt #2 at immigration, which we'll continue on our own.  The immigration office will be closed through Wednesday (updating of computers and who knows what), and we really need a break from this process anyway.

Michelle (isn't she too adorable?) has her first English Lesson and can now proudly say her ABC's.

We had a fun Saturday with our friends who came over, first to have Dora's 10 year old daughter begin English Lessons, and secondly for Dora to teach Bo and me how to make Humitas from scratch - and I mean scratch!  We so enjoyed meeting and hanging out with Michelle who is hungry and excited to speak English, and she is inquisitive and adorable beyond words.  In one hour, she was familiar with the alphabet, and after much repetition she was able to proudly say her ABC's.  All afternoon and evening she would ask Bo or me, "How do you say__________in English?"  She's going to be a quick learner like Danny because she wants it that much.

After our English lesson, Pedro headed for his brother's to borrow a grinder for the fresh choclo.  Bo, Dora, Michelle and I headed for the 9 de Octubre mercado to buy Humita ingredients and to learn new tips on where and how to shop more economically (Dora showed us which tienditas and vendors to hit).  Our Ecuadorian friends are always educating and helping us with all our questions about shopping and cooking.    We shopped, headed back home, and then spend the rest of our afternoon and evening making Humitas from scratch and then savoring them with cafe con leche.  I must say, Dora's humitas were the best I've EVER eaten yet (sorry Sr. Zoila, but you still have the lead on Tamales so far).  Until recently, Dora owned and operated her own restaurant, and humitas was one of her specialties.  Each of her Humitas were incredibly moist, abundantly filled and generously packed with cheese, perfectly seasoned and mouth-watering delicious.  We ended up making about thirty or more so we would have lots of leftovers.  Dora said they're better the second day.  She's absolutely right!!

Today, Sunday, We had a full-house again for another English lesson and a big "Bo's Seafood Chaulafan" feast; Pedro, his sister and family, and Dora and Michelle.  They each repeated their ABC's until their tongues were curling and their eyes were crossing.  How we laughed and then clapped together when progress was made so quickly.  At the end of today's lesson, there was a genuinely expressed desire from those who sincerely want to learn our language.  Without that 100% desire, we'll see who continues to come faithfully.  For now, it's been an enjoyable weekend having even more Ecuadorian friends coming over and being hungry to learn from each other.  Erika who is 18 and in college, and her mom Lola wants to help Bo with his Spanish. Just being around our Spanish- only speaking friends has personally helped me to improve my Spanish tremendously as I carefully listen and continue to learn new words and sentences.

Yes, after our immigration and passport week, this weekend was refreshing, inspiring, and Ecuadorian delicious!  It's days and times like this weekend that remind Bo and me why we are here and continues  to give us the motivation to push on persistently and patiently in the tasks ahead.

Dora takes us to her special vendor friend who helps her cut and prepare the choclo and husks for humitas. (Photos top and bottom)

The choclo is cut and bagged, the husks are bagged, and we next head to the cheese vendor stand. (Photos top and bottom)

Onward to Dora's favorite tiendita to buy the butter, sugar, baking powder, manteca, and anis.  (Now I know where to get my quality butter for so much less - yea!!!)

And an egg vendor!  Here we can buy 36 eggs (Una Cubeta) for $3, or a bag (una funda) of eggs for $1.  We bought una cubeta.

We meet up with Pedro back at our apartment, and while he sets up the grinder for the choclo, and Michelle applauds his success.......

......Dora begins to melt the butter and manteca and prepare the other ingredients.

Team work cracking the eggs!

Preparing the fresh cheese with some Achiote.

Now, this is what I called a generous cheese-filled choclo husk......

.......wrapped and stacked and ready to steam!!!

They were cooked to perfection and delicious beyond words!

Michelle wanted to capture us feasting on Humitas.  It's a bit out of focus, but not bad for a 10 year old, and she surely captured the joy of the moment. 

Does this look like a couple who experienced their first Visa rejection visit at Immigration and then had a meltdown at the Passport extension office (okay, I had the meltdown, not Bo)?  We're just happy because we love our Ecuadorian friendships, and every day in Cuenca is another adventure!  (Photo by Michelle)


  1. Hi Linda and Bo, What a fun weekend you had! I will have to try humitas when we come to Ecuador next. Last night, I made Locro de Papa for my family. We usually have soup on Sunday night. I used goat cheese and mozzarella and $1.50 aguacate - that's obscene, isn't it? Keep having and posting about your special times. Vicariously, it's helping me get through winter one more time! God bless. Mara

    1. Hi Mara,
      Yummm....Locro De Papa sounds delicious, especially for those cold winter nights! What a great idea, to have soup on your Sunday family nights. Personally, I love soup year round. I remember how a hot soup on a cold RAINY Oregon winter hit the spot. I can't even imagine paying $150 for an aguacate now since we buy them here for 4 for $1. I haven't priced them yet at Feria Libre, but I'm sure they are probably less there. And they are perfectly ripe and soooo delicious here. When are you coming To Cuenca?

  2. Hi Linda,

    We will be in Cuenca on May 28 through June 13. We are staying in two different apartments just because one wasn't available the whole time we needed it. We don't mind. I really hope you would like to get together. You sound like a kindred spirit. Let me know how the visa status is coming along. Mara

    1. We would love to meet you and get together, Mara.
      Do stay in touch and let us know when you arrive so we can make
      definite plans. Until then, stay tuned for the next visa update.
      Thank you for continued prayers.
      We cherish them.


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