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Well, June was about as calm and normal as May was full of excitement. We spent a whole day cleaning the boat, settled back into life on board, and got the next twenty lesson segment of school done. The second weekend we were back (Fathers Day), we went to a cute beach town (Canoa) that is about an half hour up the coast. To get there, we take a bus, a small ferry across the estuary, and then another bus ride. It was a fun day of sun, surfing, beach walks and visiting with a couple of other cruiser friends. About once a week there is a group that does beading. Dana has been joining in with another girl and several other cruiser women, and she is really enjoying this activity. The boys have been using the kayaks that are available to explore the estuary and get some exercise. Nancy stays on board, correcting school, catching up on bookkeeping and computer stuff, and baking. It has been really nice to be in a cooler climate. Nancy has been inspired to bake almost everyday. It is nice to not worry about the heat. One would think that being on the equator would be hot, but it is really pleasant here. This time of year there is usually cloud cover during the day, so that keeps the temps down. The next weekend was Mike and Nancy's anniversary. They had reserved a room up in Canoa to have a private getaway. The kids were very excited to have a night to themselves. (There is another kid boat about 50 feet from ours, so they were not totally alone or unattended. Plus, there were some planed group activities while we were gone, so there really wasn't even that much time alone for them to enjoy.) We had a room with a private balcony and a huge bathtub. It was right on the beach, so we could see and hear the waves. We had a relaxing, rejuvenating two days. It was wonderful. The whole weekend of meals, cocktails, hotel and transportation cost a whooping $70. (And we stayed in the most expensive room in town!) During this month we got some very sad news that one of Mike's dear friends had died suddenly, leaving a wife and two kids. While it really shook us up, it validated our lifestyle of living for today and spending lots of time with your kids while you are here and while they are young. Another thing that the kids have been doing is volunteering a few hours a week to help teach English at a local school. They have worked with the pre-school to third grades. This is fun for them and for the local kids. During the summers, the school gets volunteers from the states to come down and teach English. They get room and board provided and weekends off. They have a great time and are doing great work. It is good for the kids to see that opportunities like that exist for later in their lives. Dana was invited to spend a weekend with a local family and had a good time playing with all of the kids there. She was exhausted by the end from having to concentrate so hard to speak and understand Spanish. The last week of the month was spent polishing up the kids term papers. Dana picked Peru, and Fletcher picked Ecuador. They had been working on these reports since April. As part of the assignment, they were to give an oral presentation including using power point! They both did a great job. Their personalities really came out, both in the written and oral reports. We had about 15 folks (cruisers and locals) for their oral presentation. They both were dreading it, but they really shone when it came time to speak! Even with all of this, we have been having a bit more free time in the evenings. We have been playing games, cards, reading books aloud and watching movies. It has been nice to be settled down for a short time.
Please click to enlarge!
On the ferry across the estuary, Fathers Day on the beach in Canoa, Ecuador
The anniversary penthouse suite
The kids at the school where they volunteer to teach English; the peacock mating dance
The Peru and Ecuador Reports oral presentation
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