When a great many people come to town for the holidays or vacation, the noise level is a bit of a problem. Our home is right on the street and our windows stay open all the time.  Mind you it is not a busy street normally but during this time of year many folks are in vacationing and the number of cars, trucks, and people walking by increases a great deal.  Joe found these little beauties at Fybeca Pharmacy in the SuperMaxi shopping center in Portoviejo.

San Clemente 1.2.2014 001If you are a light sleeper or have street dogs that just hate new cars on their street you may want to find these silicone ear plugs.  These are the children’s size because they did not have adult size. But they do the job and we get a good nights sleep using them. They did not block out all the fireworks but muffled it enough so that we were not awakened each time they were set off.

A good nights sleep is important to us old fogeys…

New Year’s Eve Effigies

Effigies are a part of the New Years Eve celebrations all over Ecuador. Every city that we have lived in had its own assortment of plaster of paris heads or complete characters from politicians to something out of a horror movie. From as small as a baby doll to as large as a dragon and everything in between,

For several days before New Years Eve you will see a parade of vehicles with their effigies propped in the back of their truck, peering out a side window or even better sitting in a chair on their porch.

San Clemente 10.31.2013 011The above photo is the neighbors across the street from our house. They are ready for a big night.

San Clemente 12.31.2013 001Our Mototaxi driver stopped by to wish us a Happy New Year with his effigy attached to the back of his mototaxi…how much fun is this?

Tonight is the night effigies will be dragged to the center of town or onto the beach or the end of their street and set on fire. Most will be filled with a written list of the bad things from 2013 and some will be stuffed with fireworks.  Then the bonfires will be lit – stand back and enjoy!

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve, San Clemente Style

It was a beautiful evening to take a walk downtown and see how San Clemente celebrates for New Year’s Eve.

It was a great time, we arrived downtown even before the sun set, Joe laughs at me all the time, we are not night people, we are not party people so when it gets to be 8:30pm Joe calls it Nancy Midnight.  But last night it was different, we sat at one of the outside areas, Fredy came over, El Gato visited for a few minutes and a few more of the local folks that we have come to know here. Then some of the expats arrived and the crowd started to get into the celebrating mood.

San Clemente 12.31.2012 003 San Clemente 12.31.2012 004 San Clemente 12.31.2012 008 San Clemente 12.31.2012 010 San Clemente 12.31.2012 011 San Clemente 12.31.2012 012 San Clemente 12.31.2012 014 San Clemente 12.31.2012 015 San Clemente 12.31.2012 017 San Clemente 12.31.2012 018 San Clemente 12.31.2012 021 San Clemente 12.31.2012 023 San Clemente 12.31.2012 024 San Clemente 12.31.2012 025 All of the effigies have a personal meaning for those that built them, they are filled with the bad things that happened in 2012 and were burned in a huge bonfire at midnight.

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Mary and I were trying to learn the basic moves for the San Clemente Shuffle or Samba or Salsa from Fredy, who knows at this point we were just having a great time. I did get to dance with a few of my neighbors, Jorge (Tu tu ta) who lives behind us and Nellie whose home is across the street from ours.

San Clemente 12.31.2012 030 San Clemente 12.31.2012 031 San Clemente 12.31.2012 033

Patricia served us all tasty homemade eggnog. Below is a link to a short video of the crowd. It was great fun and we were back home way before the fireworks.