One of the gringos in Montanita is starting up his own micro-brewery and was selling tastes during the game last night. (By the way, the term "gringo" is used widely here to refer to any foreigner, particularly of the white variety. This can include people from the States, Canada, Europe, even the South Pacific; it's not usually derogatory, just identifying).
Gringos rarely pass up the opportunity for a party - especially one involving football and good beer. (If you want to hear my "theology of party", email me or comment:-) We were invited and made our way over - looking forward to the guarantee of Monday night football and hanging out with some fun people! The hosting restaurant is called "Por Que No," directly translated "for what no?," or, "Why Not?" Coincidentally, this is also our favorite Spanish phrase.
We enjoyed conversation with a wide variety of people, some of whom we have met and spent time with before, others we met for the first time last night. Conversation ranged from things we love about living in Ecuador, to how amazing the kids here are, football, and even the land of the Bible and how cool it is to read the Bible from a cultural perspective - something expats can appreciate! All sorts of reasons come up for people to move here - tired of politics, cheap living, beach life - and sometimes people simply move here to experience something other than traditional U.S. living expectations. It's not that people necessarily dislike the U.S. (though some do); they just believe there's more on earth than the culture that the States promote.
It's nights like last night, with different languages, cultures, races, and nationalities mingled together that make living here so much fun! We love the "small town feel" of seeing someone we know no matter where we go, and making new friends whenever we arrive! When we were last in Cuenca we met a family who were staying at the same hostel we were, checking out the possibility of moving to Ecuador, and then we ran into them last Wednesday night in Montanita! They were at the party last night, along with several Gringo's we've met on previous occasions, and lots we had never met!
During Spanish lessons yesterday our tutor mentioned a good place to get fresh organic eggs at $3.80 for a tray of 30...without a car, though, some of these places are hard for us to get to. We showed up at the restaurant last night and she was there with a pallet of eggs on the table that she picked up for us! Friends are good. We love the open air restaruants here, with the town dogs running in and out begging for scraps or love or taking naps by your feet.
As the party dwindled at Por Que No, we wandered over to the "Chicago Wings" restaurant that a young industrious couple (from Chicago, believe it or not) just opened in Montanita this week. We were able to watch the last half of the fourth quarter on their VERY nice flat screen! We felt so spoiled.
One last note: I really don't want to pick on the substitute NFL refs too much (there's enough already!) but I couldn't resist this picture in light of the final call of the game last night! I feel sorry for the refs. Poor guys - they're doing the best they can!