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barb nelly not only makes earrings did yo pay your bill

Nelly, at nearby La Division, asks if we remembered to bring small change to pay for lunch!

When the bipolar internet connection allows, I will be sending random updates while my friend Barbara is here for a two-week visit.  Barbara and I have been friends since the year 2000, when I moved from Mississippi to Costa Rica, where she was a neighbor.   She now lives in the Republic of Panama and is using a few of her air miles for a two-week pass on the Zeebra’s Flying Carpet Express!

Like a good student, Barb arrived in Ecuador with plenty of one-dollar bills.  Many people do not heed the warning to bring lots of ones.  A large hotel or restaurant can easily make change for a twenty, but a small “Mom and Pop” restaurant usually struggles when you pay for a six-dollar lunch (for two) with a twenty-dollar bill.

Remember to bring lots of  one-dollar bills!!!

Remember to bring lots of one-dollar bills!!!

Thankfully Barb is a seasoned traveler and understands the woes of poor internet connections.  My neighbor  Jody (four miles away!) confirms that her internet service is horrible as well, and she also awakens early so that she can upload images.   She, like me, realizes that our service could be worse:

“… But then I remember Honduras where there were 3 important factors which had to come together to get an email out. 1) electricity, 2) a working phone line,  and 3) a server who chose to serve.  The last was always a crap shoot!  When all three were there together at the same time it was a cause for joyous celebration!!!”

Jody added, “While in Honduras one of our friends had a baby in the States and sent us a picture which while it took forever to down load,  and it clogged up our entire Internet connection for days as pieces of the gargantuan baby appeared….an eye one day, an ear the next!!  Needless to say we contacted the proud parents when the Internet was open again and asked them please not to send us anymore photographs, no matter how cute their new baby was!!”

Yes, it’s often difficult to wait long slices of time for an email to open – only to discover that it’s a forward or a huge image file that drags the system down to an earthworm’s speed.  Many people are not aware of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of an email that not only takes time to load but often is costing a small fortune at a cybercafe as well!

Barbara’s visit is going great, and I am slowly uploading ‘breaking-news’ images to share with you!    Here are a few to illustrate a summary she penned this morning. Enjoy!

Barb leaving Malecon 2000 (Guayaquil)

Barb leaving Malecon 2000 (Guayaquil)

“…I am having a fun time here with Lisa….We are painting her floor in what is going to be her “Artist Studio/Gallery where she will paint and have her Paintings on sale.  My body is a little sore from all of it but the work is worth it… 

While the paint dries, Barb and Lisa explore the area!

Concrete floor in studio gets a facelift; while the paint dries, Barb and Lisa explore the area!

…We walked to town late yesterday…..about 3 miles .. but hopped one of the little taxi’s (kind of like the ones in Thailand) to get home. The day before we walked to the beach (2 miles away) and collected driftwood for her to make tables and chairs (yep…I did write that right) tables and chairs!!

Yes, Barbara finally visits the closest branch of Playa Mart, where the shelves are restocked daily.  The only problem is that it's hard to find a checker to help you!

Yes, Barbara finally visits the closest branch of Playa Mart, where the shelves are restocked daily. The only problem is that it’s hard to find a checker to help you!

…Anyway it was so hot and yes I did get sunburned….so we conned a dump truck driver that was headed back past Lisa’s place to drop us off…that was fun!! Mmmmm and I am wondering WHY I am so sore?????”  (Barb Seibel)

How many people have the honor of riding in a dump with an FBI chofer?

How many people have the honor of riding in a dump with an FBI chofer?

How's this for a first-class co-pilot seat?

How’s this for a first-class co-pilot seat?

Because the bodega floor carried scars from life on the shrimp farm, it was first scrubbed numerous times with a special cleaner and then received two coats of ‘Agua Stop’ as a barrier between the concrete and the custom designs.

barb floor progresses

A first-class upgrade with Hibiscus-Ginger-Mint tea enhanced this particular segment of the Flying Carpet Ride!

barb floor progresses more

Using the back side of a strip of vinyl, we are testing several experiments on this studio floor.

I will close with Barbara’s narration:  ” Yesterday after a quick break from painting…(popcorn … yummy but is this lunch??) Lisa walks down a couple of steps into her “Studio” and screams…..”A SNAKE!!”  – Am not sure who scared who the most … Lisa scaring the snake,  OR the snake scaring Lisa ….. OR ME from her scream!!  So what does Lisa do? She recovers, grabs her camera and WALLA ( voilà!) does a photo shoot!!  I on the other hand am still recovering from “heart failure” from her scream!!   But alas…all was good as the snake wanted away from Lisa as quick as possible and slithered out the door. WE continued on with our painting as if nothing had happened.

A surprise visitor sneaked into the studio to get a sneak peek at the artwork!

A surprise visitor sneaked into the studio to get a sneak peek at the artwork!

Barb has many years' experience as copilot in the floor-painting tasks!

Barb has many years’ experience as copilot in the floor-painting tasks!

Did you enjoy the postcard?

Barb with an incubating sunburn...

Barb with an incubating sunburn…

More soon,

Z (and Barb!)

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