August 07, 2012

Eating Chaulafan for Lunch in Salinas Ecuador

The first time we heard of chaulafan was at a Chinese restaurant here in Cuenca but there is also an Ecuadorian version of Chaulafan which is made with rice, veggies and different meats. The one we're eating in this video is the chinese version where noodles take the place of rice. Chalaufan is very popular here in Cuenca and for good reason, it's good! 


Sorry about the background noise--the TV was blaring! When she served the food, Frank got up and turned the TV down so we could enjoy our meal in peace. I think he would have turned it down sooner but the waitress was watching it with her baby.

August 06, 2012

Punta Carnero Beach - Big Waves!

The day we went to Punta Carnero the waves weren't that big but apparently they have surfing competitions at Punta Carnero beach. We were told by Jose Vargas that swimming in this part of the ocean is very dangerous; lots of currents and rip tides. The Salinas beach however, being secluded within the bay was very calm and tranquil. We do not think it would be a good idea to go swimming in Punta Carnero without a boogie board strapped to your arm or foot. there is no life guard on duty. Caution is advised.


August 04, 2012

In Cuenca Ecuador You Can’t Wear Shorts…

In Cuenca Ecuador you can’t wear shorts…

…into a bank or any other government office. Now this rule may have changed since we first heard about it two years ago, but even so, it is highly frowned upon. To the Ecuadorian authorities wearing shorts in their business shows a sign of disrespect. We have heard that if you dress in slacks and blouse or collar shirt you are more apt to get better treatment. We do not know if this is true or not but it makes sense from what we have seen so far in Cuencano society. Ecuador is one of those cultures where it is usually best to be over-dressed than under-dressed. 

Stay Tuned for more from the “In Ecuador You Can’t” series. 

On another note: Here are some photos we took of the downtown area recently. we believe they are updating the underground plumbing.

August 03, 2012

Ecuadorian Cuisine: Bolon de Verde and the Humita

Today we're sitting in a little Ecuadorian cafe enjoying a cup of coffee (Frank brings his own cocoa) and trying out a traditional Ecuadorian snack called bolon de verde. Some Ecuadorians love the bolon de verde with fried eggs in the morning for breakfast. It is made with fried green plantains that are mashed up and made into a ball and inside you can have cheese or meat. This one had some kind of meat inside, not sure what it was. 

This is the only food so far that we didn't really like too well. It could have been how it was prepared and cooked,  but it was very dry and not much flavor to it.  We might try it again but at a different cafe next time. 


We have also tried the traditional Ecuadorian Humita, which the first time we had it, we thought it was different. We didn't dislike it, but we did not love it either. and then last week our Ecuadorian friends made us a bunch of humitas and we loved them! So it really depends on how they are prepared and whose cooking them I guess. Here is the video when we first tried a humita in one of our favorite Panaderias. This panaderia usually has fresh pastries and their pan de yucca is the BEST!  We list this panaderia in the DIY Cuenca Guide.


August 02, 2012

In Ecuador You Can’t Enter a Bank...

In Ecuador You Can’t Enter a Bank

 …or other Ecuadorian government office wearing sunglasses or a hat. Sometimes, depending on the bank, you also will have to take off your back pack and give it to the guard on duty. These are just security precautions the country of Ecuador deems appropriate in this society. 

When we first moved here, we often forgot to take off our sunglasses or hat because in the U.S you can wear a ball cap or hat and sunglasses in the banks. If you accidently forget to take off your cap or hat, the guard will motion with his hands for you to take it off.

Here are some other things about the banks here in Cuenca that you may not already know. Tellers sit behind bullet proof glass. Sometimes, if there is no talking vent you have to really speak up for them to hear you. They do not like it in some banks if more than one person goes up to the teller; if you are a couple the guard may ask one of you to wait by the door. 

All banks in Ecuador and other big government offices have one or two security personnel standing guard holding sawed off shot guns. As a result Ecuador banks very seldom get robbed! 

Stay tuned for more from "In Ecuador You Can't..." Series.

August 01, 2012

Almuerzo Lunch with Jose Vargas of Anconcito Ecuador

Remember a few weeks back we shared a video of Anconcito Ecuador with Jose Vargas? Jose spent his day giving Frank and I a grand tour of Anconcito. Afterwards, he and his family invited us over for a traditional Ecuadorian almuerzo in their home. Ecuadorians have huge families. This is a gathering of a four generation family enjoying quality, family time with one another, which is very typical here in Ecuador. When we say that Ecuadorians are gracious and friendly, this is what we're talking about.


Vargas Family
We invited Jose and his family to come and visit us in Cuenca but they would rather that we visit them in Anconcito because it is hard traveling with Grandma.

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