Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving gone, Christmas coming!

We just finished our first week off after two weeks of Spanish classes and we have mostly vegged out. Stu did meet with the US Consulate from Guayaquil last Monday when they came to Cuenca. He needed to renew his passport so we won't get caught trying to come/go with less than 6 months on it. They said it would take about two weeks, maybe a little longer due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. How's THAT for service. He will need to travel to Guayaquil to pick it up and get the old one punched. Then he will need to get his Visa stamps moved into the new one.

We had a delightful Thanksgiving day with friends, eating out at a local eatery and having a traditional Thanksgiving day dinner. We didn't take any photos but our friend Al did and you can see them on his blog. He is a professional photographer so I will honor that and not post them here.

We have gone out shopping a couple of times and the local stores are getting all dolled up for Christmas. Here are a few shots I snapped with my old iPhone.

Here is our current contribution to the holidays....Hedgie sits outside our front door on one of the benches Stu painted. Stu also made his little sign. Isn't he adorable?

While at the big mall, Mall del Rio, we also stopped to peek at the puppies at the pet shop in the mall and saw this adorable little guy. Can you saw Awww....

The kiosk vendors change often at the malls but we were really suprised to see this one peddling ice cream products and desserts. Hmmm....

Now, it you are at all squeamish - STOP READING NOW!

That said, we still aren't feeling 100% since arriving back and diving into Spanish classes. Nothing specific, just low energy and motivation for the most part. We blamed it on the altitude, then I got a real 24 hr tummy bug and we started to talk about the possibility of having parasites.

One of the downsides of living here is just that - parasites and amoebas. We have been careful, not eating from the street food vendors, not eating in restaurants recommended by others and avoiding salads (lettuce) completely. We also soak/wash all fruits and vegetables in a water/vinegar mix before eating.

We know that most locals and many expats take medication twice a year, whether they have been tested for parasites or not. Well, we decided it was time for us to do the same. We followed the advice in this post from Bryan Haines, GringosAbroad host. Since I was already dealing with issues, I postponed taking mine for a day, but Stu started yesterday. He's had no side effects other than some additional fatigue. I take my second dose tomorrow. We hope that by week's end we'll be feeling more like ourselves.

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