Friday, August 31, 2012 – Cotacachi, Ecuador
Today we received our order of fresh ($1.35/lb) and smoked ($3.71/lb) chickens. On advice of a friend, I had placed the order a few days ago. Shawn delivered them right to our door. He was with his girlfriend. The young couple were very friendly. We chatted for a few minutes before they headed out. I’d love to have them over again sometime, when they’re not busy making deliveries. The chickens were beautiful. I tucked them into the refrigerator before we headed out to meet our neighbors, DJ and Cindy.
God has really blessed us with caring, friendly, and fun neighbors. We talked yesterday about pie and burgers and decided to head down to Otavalo to savor the fare at Shenandoah’s located at the Plaza de Ponchos. We headed out on the bus ($.25 each).
First stop a paint store where I purchased a couple of tubes of Grumbacher acrylic paint ($5 for 3fl oz) and a roll of 1/2” masking tape ($.45). I plan to paint a floral design over the mantel in the living room and these supplies will get me started.
After the paint store we stopped at Santa Maria, a new grocery store with a good meat case and other basic supplies. They also offer very competitive prices including discounts on bulk purchases. We buy a few items, including fresh raw shrimp, shelled and deveined ($4.75/lb). Just the way I like it. I also found whole wheat four. Something that can be hard to find in this area.
The walk down the street was enchanting. The buildings, the stained glass street lights, the shops – they were all beautiful.
Finally, the pièce de résistance, Shenandoah – The Pie Shop. They had several fresh baked pies. DJ, Bruce, and I all had the Apple Pie a la mode. Cindy had the chicken sandwiches (yes sandwiches – two). She only ordered one, but they were out of their traditional huge buns so they brought her sandwich on two standard size buns. She ate them both, although to be fair she did let me have a small piece, and I completely understood why she ate both. They were delicious!
When we were done we headed out the door and across the street to the market: Blankets, hammocks, caps, scarves, hats, and so much more. And all the vendors were ready to deal. I just wasn’t ready to buy, so we headed back towards the bus terminal.
Back at home Bruce and I worked on a budget. I’ve been told by magazines, fellow expats, Ecuadorians, and bloggers that we could live on $1,000 per month. However, Bruce and I have hobbies, and other expenses that are not part of most people’s budgets, so I wanted to see it on paper. I was pleasantly surprised. Our extra expenses have our budget topping $1,000, but it’s still a manageable budget.
Through September we have decided to keep track of every single penny we spend and report it here so you can see if it’s a budget you can live with.
LESSON LEARNED: Trusting in God includes with our finances.