Earlier in the month we headed up to spend some time in Cuenca for the first time. We went to take care of applying for our 6 month visa. After taking care of the paper work we were told that we had to return on October 25th. So this time we headed up on the 24th, and were able to stay with some friends we had meant at the english assembly. Nathan and Samantha were in the states when we came up the first time to Cuenca. They had just returned and were more then willing to have us.
We arrived Thursday evening and were able to grab dinner with Nathan and Sam at a kabob shop near their house. We took care of the Visa stuff on Friday morning. Everything went smoothly at the visa office this time, although there were a lot more people waiting this time. Our “appointment” at 10:30, really meant; show up at this time, and you will wait. It is really a lot like going to the DMV, you take a number and sit in the waiting room, then you are called, you pay some money, go back to your seat, and repeat the process a couple of times. Just like the DMV, you don’t go and plan to be “in and out”. Not surprisingly, the most impatient and rude people there were North Americans. After a couple hours, we got our VISA, which means we will be here for 6 more months at least! Afterwards we were able to go into downtown Cuenca again with Nathan and Sam. We went to a really good “Yogurt” place, and had yogurt, and “Pan de Yuca” that was really good. Yogurt here is really more like a milkshake, we all had banana chocolate flavored. We also found a great little cafe that serves, tamales, and humitas. Nathan and Sam took care of us all the rest of our stay, cooking breakfast, as well as almuerzos.
We were able to spend time with the sign congregation in Cuenca this time, and really enjoyed our time. The congregation has many baptized deaf. We went in service a couple of times, and really enjoyed it. We also really enjoyed the meeting, especially meeting all our deaf brothers and sisters. Much like our congregation in Loja, a hearing brother gave a talk in Spanish, and it was interpreted. One afternoon we went to one of Nathan’s calls a ways outside of town. It was a great little town nestled against the mountain. Much like all the towns here, there was a town square, with an ornate church.
It was very nice spending time with fellow americans, with whom we had a lot in common. We certainly love the congregation here in Loja, but we are hindered in our communication, and therefore it is difficult to establish deep connections. We know it will come in time. This was not a problem with Nathan and Sam, like us, they also had drastically changed their lives to come here. Leaving behind friends, family, and a well established life. And like us, they have faced many of the same challenges in living here. We were able to learn from them, as they have been here closer to a year, and have found good ways to adapt to life in Ecuador. We also picked up a new diet (paleo). So if we get sicker, or put on a bunch of weight, we know who to blame. Just kidding, we like it so far.
Sams paleo diet website:
Another good paleo website: