The drive back to Guayaquil was long and slow yesterday. We headed home along with half the country after the long holiday weekend on a two lane highway that turned into a four lane parking lot- with all four lanes going into town. Anyone who wanted to get out of town had to drive on the sidewalk....it was hilarious. Eduardo Sr. had his Sunday drive with plenty of natural air conditioning (aka no windshield!). On the way home from the party Saturday night on a dark street in Canoa Beach, he backed into a gigantic hole the town had been digging for days....and this was really a huge hole! I had seen it every day walking into town to the internet cafe and had even thought to myself that it was so big it could swallow a car. Well, it did. The SUV slipped in and rolled onto its top, breaking the windshield and denting nearly every panel. It took 5 guys, 2 4wd cars and 3 hours to get it out again. The next morning they dusted it off, loaded the gliders on and put it back into service.
All week in Canoa we watched two birds in a cage hanging from our patio. They belonged to one of the caretakers of the hotel and each day he would open the cage that was barely big enough for them to turn around and toss a piece of fruit in for them to eat. It was breaking our hearts, especially under the circumstances. We were out flying our butts off all day, every day and they were trapped in there. So, Dustin headed up the effort to free them. We all pitched in a little and offered the caretaker $50 for the birds and the cage. We loaded the cage into the back of the truck and headed far enough out of town that they wouldn't be found again. We freed them out on a dirt road we had flown over every day...all the while thinking they might immediately be snached up by a hungry hawk. Still, it seems a better way than the imprisonment they endured before.
I hate saying goodbye. Here is our international gang this year (Ecuadorians, Colombians and Americans), from left to right, Eduardo Jr., Mike, Garrillo, Claudia, Dustin, Raul, Me, Jack, Sharon and Eduardo Sr.