Wednesday, March 17, 2021
I arrived in Ecuador on Sunday, March 14th of 2011 to begin my new adventure of living in a foreign country. Monday morning, I visited my attorney in Quito, and on Tuesday after spending the previous day touring the historic area of Quito, I flew to Cuenca.I always thought when my ten year anniversary arrived that I would do a post on the changes in Cuenca over the ten years of life here. However, I would be writing a book, and I decided instead that I would simply post a link that captures much of the essence of life in Cuenca for me. Adventure, beautiful mountainous scenery, friendly welcoming people, a big city with a small town feel, a feeling of being alive, social life as much as anyone can handle or desire, and friends upon friends.
A special thank you is extended to Maria Rosa, who is Mathias and Esteban's mother, and who brilliantly compiled the link above of Mathias, Esteban, and me capturing the spirit of Cuenca.
Bella Ciao is an Italian song which is a favorite of ours, as the three of us were caught up in the NetFlix series entitled, Casa de Papel, an exciting series of about five years running that takes place in Spain, and does a fabulous job of combining action with character development, in a timely fashion with all that is going on in the world today. Some of the predictaments are preposterous, but never boring. Mathias learned Bella Ciao on the guitar, the center piece song of Casa de Papel which was one of the songs he played at his brother, Esteban's birthday party.
Mathias 18th Birthday Party
As many of you know, if you read my last two blogs I have the two older Rios brothers living with me, and we recently celebrate Esteban's birthday in December when he turned fourteen and we had the Paella party with friend and Chef Michael Wagner, and now in late February we celebrated Mathias eighteenth birthday.
It was a surprise party. Mathias birthday was actually on Friday, the 26th of February. However, he and Esteban had English language classes until 8:00 p.m. Esteban and I deliberately chose not to wish Mathias a Happy Birthday, since his surprise party was the next day. Mathias traveled home to his mother's that evening, and disappointingly told his mother that James and Esteban did not remenber it was his birthday.
Saturday, and Mathias arrives with his brother, Andres, on the pretext that I was injured and needed his help, since I had recently torn my rotator cuff. Mathias arrived to a chorus of Happy Birthdays. We really pulled this surprise off.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
The ninth of December 2020 was a most enjoyable celebration of Chef Michael Wagner's culinary wizardry, as he and his two assistants, Mariano and David, prepared tapas and a champagne seafood paella dinner for approximately fifteen guests at my home.
Long before I arose from my night of slumber, Chef Michael arrived early in the morning to deliver all of the food needed for preparation as well as the grill for the cooking of the paella. Michael, as his two assistants began preparing the creation of the tapas, would return later to explain and demonstrate the step-by-step process of his paella preparation to the guests, after they arrived and feasted on the tapas.