Well, I know we've been "dark" for awhile. Sorry about that. It's been a combination of 1) busy, busy, busy trying to get things set up here in our new apartment; 2) spotting internet connections that have been plaguing a lot of people in our building lately; and most importantly 3) getting into that "retirement mode" and getting a bit lazy.
So here's a catch-up.
We moved into our apartment on the night of November 30th. We had a mattress on the floor and a tiny table and chairs that we bought for $28 at one of the mercados where furniture is the main attraction. It is still servicing as our dining room table until we can have one made to our specifications.
We have also managed to get a couple of desk chairs, one for Gil's office and one for my upcoming sewing room. We've also managed to get Gil's desk, a printer/scanner, and cookware. And we had all of our drapes installed before we even moved in.
Our bed arrived on December 1st, and we've been sleeping very well in our new home.
Our next purchase was two lazy-boys for our "reading room." The reading room is an area at the end of the hallway that opens up to a floor to ceiling window and has book shelves. (Our Kindles don't take up too much space on the bookshelves.)
I did mention that we were experiencing some laziness didn't I?
Our sofa is due to arrive on December 31st. So, although we still have a ways to go to get our place set up, we are getting there.
For those of you back home, we've just completed our first full physicals in Cuenca with a wonderful doctor who speaks fluent English. We've both been given a clean bill of health.
We've been having some fun here too. Christmas is a constant celebration from the beginning of December right through (we've been told) to mid to late February. There are a lot of parades right now with children dressed up as angels, Mary & Joseph, the Three wise men, etc. We were in Parque Calderon two weeks ago, and much to our delight a little parade went by. It consisted of decorated pick up trucks, and in the back of each was a little manger scene with the children in it. Some are also in elaborate indigenous dress.
Isn't she beautiful!! Even more beautiful than all the gorgeous flowers that surround her.
We see little angels walking down the street in groups, and lots of people carrying their little ones all dressed up as angels. We even saw a butterfly one day at Parque Calderon.
We were taking the bus home yesterday when it took a detour because, lo and behold, there was another parade blocking its way. We have been told that these mini-Christmas parades are in preparation for the big Christmas parade that takes place at Christmas.
We also had the opportunity to go to an event that was held by one of the state departments relating to visas. After the talk, there was a reception with fireworks, dancers, food, drink and music. During celebrations, there are often paper balloons lit with fire that are launched into the night sky. Well, we had to opportunity to be standing right next to the launching of those balloons.
They are really a sight to see.
There was also a fireworks tower. Beautiful and fun, and looks dangerous. Not sure how we manages not to catch fire ourselves.
So, we've been having lots of fun as well as doing lots of work setting up our lives here. We continue to thoroughly love Cuenca and here people. They have a very generous spirit and are just plain beautiful as far as we are concerned.
I would be remiss if I did not introduce you to our nearest (out of the building) neighbor. This is one of the things we really love about Cuenca. Although it is a city, the countryside is right here within it.
This beauty is right outside our kitchen window (five stories down.) There are a lot more cows dotted on the hillsides all around us. And about a block away, there is a family that has not only a few cows, but a sheep and a pig. We hear roosters crowing all the time too. City and country living all in one spot. You really can't beat that.
So Feliz Navidad to you all!!! May you all be blessed in the new year, and find much love and happiness.
P.S., I'll try to get the lazy bug to let me be a little more responsible about keeping you all updated in the future. We expect a lot of good photos in the next few days as Christmas festivities really explode.