Since moving to Ecuador, specifically the town of Samborondon, I’ve learned to be a street-walker. Now, I know what’s going through your head. No, I did not move to Ecuador to become a “lady companion”. I mean, quite literally, I walk in the street rather than on sidewalks.

Now my parents are thinking, “We raised our daughter better than that!” Yes, you did. You also taught me to be careful and practical. Let me show you why the sidewalks in Samborondon are many times a no-go.

Sometimes, there’s just no sidewalk.

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Or the sidewalk is too narrow.

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Sometimes, it’s a restaurant…

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…or a parking spot…

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…or a semi covered garage…

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…or a garden.

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Sometimes, it’s obstructed by a “speed monter”,

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or a pop-up tent and tables,

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or a bamboo fence,

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or bamboo scaffolding.

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Sometimes, people are making or restoring furniture,

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or working on a canoe,

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building a house,

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or drying rice.

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Sometimes, there are scary holes.

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Sometimes, the scary holes are hidden.

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During certain times of the year, the sidewalks may be crowded with law-abiding gringos who don’t know any better. (Shout-out to the ladies at Canyon Hills Community Church!)

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And there’s always that one little boy who wants to bathe outdoors.

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By the way, I took most of these on my way to school one day.

Food

I tried turtle yesterday! I like turtles, so I had to approach the dish as meat and not think about the cute animal it used to be, especially since I was a guest of the kind church lady who prepared it. I was surprised by how dark some of the meat was (darker than beef) while other parts looked more like chicken. Tip: Have dental floss or toothpicks handy afterwards!

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Last weekend we celebrated the “Dieciocho”, Chile’s Independence Day with Samuel and Paola. Samuel grilled a huge piece of meat (asado) and Paola and I made salads to accompany. Oh, and we also had “marraquetas” from a Chilean bakery to make “choripan” (French type bread with sausage, mayo, and Chilean pebre – think salsa with more garlic and cilantro and less peppers). YUM!

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We also got ahold of “pastel de choclo” (corn pie heaven).

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One of my favorite snacks that you can purchase off a street vendor is a peeled orange. I was urged to try it with salt and pepper. Oh. My. Goodness. My mouth is watering just as I write this. It was a hot day and we were at a concert in the park. So I had two.

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Odds and Ends
This is my friend Marley. She (yes, Marley can be a girl’s name; you should see my student roster) belongs to Paola and Samuel. Whenever I come over she likes to sniff my face.

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Well, that’s all for now.

Peace,

Erin

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