Posts Tagged With: donkey den

Pretend work and real play with my new friends at The Donkey Den!

After my amazing welcoming present of the fishing last night (that fun post seen here) I wake up to get a nice tour before getting started with the others.

Looking at the guesthouse from the beach.

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The view off the balcony looking back at the beach.

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A walk through the kitchen and outdoor dining area followed by a peak in our room.

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Did I mention there are 5 very relaxed dogs and 9 lazy cats?

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Here is the creator, owner and very well known, sweet Linda. A generous woman who clearly has a strong drive considering she built this guesthouse from the ground up. I really have a hard time imagining the process she must of went through being new to Ecuador and having very limited knowledge of the Spanish language. That alone speaks in volume for her patient yet feisty personality.

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We’re all here to pitch in to bring this place as far as it can go. Meet a power couple that has been here for two months already and has transformed the Donkey Den to what it is today. All the way from Australia, “just passing through” is Bernie and Trevor. (He usually doesn’t rock the pink top, but i think its a job well done).

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Ann and Colin are what I believe to be a perfect balance of outgoing and grounded. With their creative powers combined, this adorable team turns everything they touch into a work of art. The love they have for one another is shown through respectful words and kind conversation. When I grow up… I want to be just like them!

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PS: Ann has a blog too. Check her out at NeverLostAnn!

Finally, there’s Sophie. She’s laid back, naturally funny and extremely easy to talk with. Traveling through South America, we connected at the right time in the perfect place for our paths to cross and continue. Within hours of meeting we had plans to skip town together and spend a week heading south. For now, more work in the Den.

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When the days work (if you call it that) is finished, you have many options to fill your time.

There’s reading, writing or sleeping in the hammocks -aka- “Hammock Therapy”.

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Taking a walk through the town.

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Our favorite is beach time of course!

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I had a little (a lot) of fun getting side tracked with a stick in the sand and effects on my camera!

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Each evening promises a gorgeous sunset to calm the mind and welcomes another peaceful night of realization that this is my life… I am so grateful.

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Categories: Accommodations, Art, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Does it taste better when you catch it?

As I boarded the bus I to my next volunteer spot, I reviewed the directions:
“Bus to Bahia transfer towards Manta then grab a cab to Santa Marionita. Get dropped off at the top, walk towards the nice beach and look for a fence with a sign that says Donkey Den“.
Hmmm, this should be good.

Knowing the adventure I have ahead of me, you can imagine the comfort I felt when aboard walks sweet Rocio! Remember her? She was the one that helped me get to Canoa and provided hours of Spanish practice due to her lack of English. Here we are on the last bus, followed by a photo from today.

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To make it even better of a ride, I meet these friendly guys from Auburn. If you’re unfamiliar with California, they live in a city that hugs my hometown! Big, beautiful, little world out there.

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Off we go to the next bus transfer. The last seat open was passenger side to the driver, score!

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It’s a hot day and I’m pleasantly melting directly in the sun. The cure? Those silly little salesmen are back! I passed on the ice cream cone from the last bus…

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…but this time I heard the word “yogurt” and you know it, I’ll take one please!

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The man sitting next to me must have recognized my enjoyment from that frozen treat, because before I knew it, I was trying out this little delight. “Helado de Coco con chocolate” is basically homemade frozen chocolate coconut milk.

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Finally arriving to Manta, Rocio directs me away from the taxi line and signals me to follow her. We hop into a cab on the outside of the terminal as she tries to explain my next step. I really didn’t comprehend anything until I was literally jumping into the back of a moving truck that was apparently going to take me to my final stop.

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These little camionetas pack in as many as they can and head in one direction. You simple pound on the window that divides you and the driver and it stops long enough for you to jump out. This little trick costs $1 verses the $13 cab ride that I was originally headed for. Thank you Rocio!

I’ve arrived to “the top” where after a quick knock on the window and a smooth escape, I find myself standing at this view. Next step “walk to the nice beach and look for The Donkey Den”.

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Bingo!

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I’m greeted with a quick hello and an offer that made the entire journey feel like this was the experience I came for.

A few times a week, the locals gather with a enormous net and start with it out in the water to gather fish. Together, they pull against the wake for about an hour, slowly bringing it in towards the shore.

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I must of looked like a kid on the side lines wanting a turn because with a big smile, a few of them invited me over to give a hand. Priceless.

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As it gets closer, the small fish are jumping and the birds know what’s coming next… The catch of the day!

Side note: Really look at the first picture, can you see the boy in the background? Looks like he’s about to get a fish in the face!

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During the festivities, a few of the local boys were adding a little fun by throwing fish parts into the air for the birds to snag. It was like playing toss with a puppy, these birds were all over it!

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Once everyone got their share, which to my observation was just a casual distribution, the crowd disbursed and the beach cleared to a calm sunset. The end result of the towns effort was our fish dinners for the next few days!

Puts a beautiful new enhancement on the idea of “teamwork” to feed a village.

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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