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Brunch with the Birds! *Hibiscus Ginger Tea"

Brunch with the Birds! *Hibiscus Ginger Tea” (Note beaded ‘arm bands’ are made by the Kuna Indians)

Manabi Ecuador –

Barbara and I continue to squeeze as much as we can into each day of her visit, and her remarks about what I consider a normal life make me realize that my life is far from the norm!

Barb:  “This morning I am handed a wonderful looking drink…..made up of whatever Lisa has on hand….I asked her what was in it, and she assured me I did not have to eat/swallow any of the debris  …..mmm I say….debris???  and she says yes….So my mind starts thinking of natural stuff she has in her little herb garden, which I’m a little apprehensive  as it could be anything…..mint leaves…other leaves …and well maybe a twig or two…only Lisa knows…So not wanting to hurt her feelings ….(I’m such a good friend)   I ventured into drinking it and guess what??   It was great…. liquids, leaves, twigs and all!!  I drank it ALL”

Brunch with the birds!

Brunch with the birds! (Fresh hibiscus, basil, quinoa, swiss chard, tomatoes, etc etc!)

Always-positive Barbara has yet to say, “No,” to the unusual culinary options presented to her! She’s sampled chicken salad, complete with swiss chard, hibiscus flowers, mamay fruit and eagerly tried fresh quinoa leaves and immature seed heads. Lentil cakes? (Think crab cakes!) She ate them! Fresh mint-ginger-hibiscus tea, complete with leaves and petals? She drank it!

Zeebra's Chicken Salad

Zeebra’s Chicken Salad (OK, Hugh, THIS is red wine!)

Barbara is helping with a rather-large task of converting a farm workshop (bodega) into a studio/gallery.   She’s helped with several other projects,  and likes being a partner in suffering, especially when helping with hand-painted floors!  Crawling around on concrete for hours each day is often brutal on the body!  After two or three hours of painting, we usually take a break.

Sometimes those concentric lines are confusing - even to Lisa!

Sometimes those concentric lines are confusing – even to Lisa!

Because the river is about fifteen feet from the bodega, the concrete floor will forever have problems with moisture.  We are testing several options to see which will hold up best over the years.   After painting a section of the floor with a product called ‘Agua Stop,”  we painted a border directly on the concrete (below) while painting a second design (above) on vinyl to glue into the center.

P1670658 bodega floor stage one P1670917 TESTING ONE TWO THREE BODEGA CONCRETE FLOOR

People quickly catch on to the concept of Playamart, where the ocean restocks the shelves every day. Prepare for Barbara’s tales from her latest shopping excursion!

“…After 3 days of not being able to find transportation back to the beach and wondering if our “treasures” at PlayaMart would either be put back on the shelves, or taken by other people looking for treasures, we finally called Rolando who has a Pickup and provides taxi service to the locals. Not knowing what he was in for (guess he didn’t know Lisa very well. BUT he does now) he agreed to take us to the beach and back to Lisa’s house… he said he would be there in 6 min..(yes 6 min) and he actually, considering the road condition did arrive in record time. Now this is where it gets really interesting…” 

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 visited 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!

Chris absorbs the visual surprises of the Riverhouse.

Chris absorbs the visual surprises of the Riverhouse.

Yesterday my friend Xavier dropped by with Chris, a writer from Viva Travel Guides. Barbara’s refreshing summary trumps mine, so I’ll delegate the story to her!

…I said to Xavier, “You mean you brought him here, and you did not tell him anything about what Lisa does?”

He said, “No, I just wanted him to see for himself what all she can do.”

And Chris was utterly amazed and speechless and replied, “I don’t know what to say.”

AH HA… I could see Lisa’s mind running amuck…as she so sweetly asked Xavier and Chris if they would like to go to the beach too? So about half an hour later off we all went….mmmmm this is good! Or is it?

We got to the beach Rolando who is a very sweet and gentle young man…looks at Lisa and says “Donde” (where do we go?)  Lisa points for him to drive on the beach….(The look on his face makes me think  OH OH)…But he just smiled, got out of the PU looks at Xavier and Chris in their 4 wheel-drive….and they decide both pickups would be fine to drive on the beach….Since Rolando’s vehicle is not a 4 wheel-drive,  I got a little worried… ( “…Of course she might never have been in a pickup down to it’s axles in sand like I have which took over 4 hours to get out while the tide was coming in!!  ok ok  I just need to look at the bright side…we will just make more memories if that happens…yikes.”)

BUT Lisa….no way…she is sitting in the back seat clapping her hands  saying (like a little girl who is at the beach for her very first time in her life)  Lets go lets go!!”

"Let's Go!"

“Let’s Go!”

“…Anyway  off we go looking for “our treasures” we stacked on the beach 3 days ago.   The good scouts that Lisa and I are, began searching the ridge of the sand where hopefully we would find “our treasures.”  All of a sudden Lisa hollers’  “Right there!”  as we both jumped out of the PU, leaving poor Rolando to wonder what we could possible have seen….but alas!!  We spotted “our treasures”  when we saw the stacks of drift-wood we worked so hard to accumulate … Lisa just knows all the good stores at PlayaMart and where they are located…. ME?  I just remembered where my battle scars of horrific sunburn happened.”

Xavier, Barbara and Chris enjoy shopping at Playamart!

Xavier, Barbara and Chris enjoy shopping at Playamart!

“…We had 4 more stops to make and Rolando, Chris and Xavier all got into the fun of this and not only did we have one pickup loaded BUT two pickups loaded as well, and finally we were headed for a cold beer at Nettie’s.  

P1670816 chris at la division branch of playamart

Chris needs a shirt that states, “I LOVE working at Playamart!”

P1670830 xavier chris rolando driftwood from playamart

Xavier, Chris and Rolando happily volunteer at Playamart!
Our Flying Carpet Pilots, Rolando and Xavier!

Our Flying Carpet Pilots, Rolando and Xavier!

Bringing home the loot!

Bringing home the loot!

“…OH yes one more thing about Rolando…he actually drove away smiling and I think he had a good time!  But he just might be a little leery when he takes a phone call from Lisa…especially if she mentions my name in the same sentence!”

 Such is the typical day in the life of the Zeebra.   With Barbara riding copilot, this flying carpet often encounters turbulence from unstoppable laughter!  Thanks for tagging along!

This also fits this week’s theme for WordPress – A Day in my Life, though this was only one slive of a day.  Part two coming soon!