Sunday, August 26, 2012

Living and loving Quito!

It is almost two weeks now, that we`ve been living in Ecuador, and we are settled in our own routine. Everyone waits for me to boil the kettle, and Marco waits for a toasted sandwich or cereal, and then we crawl out of bed. We stretch a bit, all the sore muscles of the night, and then we start with the Insanity excercise program, Jaco recommended! I will not go into a lot of sweaty detail, but we are suffering after three years sitting on a yacht! Luckily it ends some time, and then we are off, to walk off the new sore muscles.

 Of course we can`t resist the fresh orange juice along the road, and we also pop into the supermarket for fresh bread, and water and some more fruit for the day! The little bit of excercise help us not to feel too guilty about the ice creams we devour!

Johan is in heaven, tomatoe heaven in Ecuador! Nowhere on our sailing route since we left home, could we find decent and affordable tomatoes, and here we pay 1US$ for a huge bag, from a woman standing next to the road.

Visiting the Basilica del Voto Nacional!

One tower of the Basilica.

Some days we walk back home for breakfast, and school, and some days we jump onto a bus, to somewhere new! We couldn`t resist walking uphill to the Basilica del Voto Nacional! A priest had an idea to built this majestic basilica, in 1883, and even up till today, this construction job is not finished yet, but still so impressive. We loved the simplicity, and the lack of gold statues in this building. The colorful lead glass, enticed us to go further into this basilica. I found seven candles, one for each of my family, and Marco and I said a prayer for each of them.

 I couldn`t resist climbing up the delapidated steps into the 78 meter towers of the basilica, to stand in awe of the city!
See the Statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the Hill !

Coming back home, we make time for our loved ones, and we are too happy if anyone is available to Skype! Marco and Jaco keep each other busy for hours, laughing it away!


Friday, August 24, 2012

News on Joe!

Joe has been such a part of my blog, and although he walked away, I would like to share a little bit of his adventure with you. I spoke with him the day before yesterday, via Skype, and he has completed 467miles of the Appalachian Trail in USA, since he started hiking the 8th of August. His best hike for a day was 26 miles! He already crossed a couple of States, and are in Virginia at this moment, still going strong to reach New York within two months! It is getting colder, and we hope that he will be ok, still.

He has so many stories to tell, and I will only share one of them. He has seen a bear, right infront of him on his foot path, and a little cub running into the woods, and a big snake sharing the path with him, and he has met many special people touching his life.

While hiking the Appalachian, it is as if everything and everyone is looking after him. The other night it was starting to get really cold in his little tent, and he tried to roll himself in a closer bundle to keep himself warm, but his head keep on feeling the iciness of the night. He got up as usual, at about 06h00, and started to hike, to warm up, before he would find a place to set up his Esbit stove, and to use one of Martins` tablets,( Martin is one of the angels on his path) to light a fire to do some cooking.

While walking he noticed something among the leaves on the ground, and as he bend over, he found a beany! He rushed up to the stream, rinsed it, and hooked it onto his back pack, to dry. That night as the dark fell, he wore his beany, given to him by a special angel!

Joe is busy keeping a journal, and he is planning to share that with the world one day!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quito, the modern city!

We were totally adapted to the thin air by now, and decided to suss out the bussses! Of course we landed on the wrong bus first, and only saw the Statue of the Virgin of Mary going in the wrong direction. With our little bit of Spanish, we found out that we have to take the green stripe bus, going "norte!"(north)  We  thought the taxis in Grenada know how to stack a lot of people into a little bus, but I was amazed at the people just cramming in. I landed close to the automatic doors, and I was scared to loose a limb in one of them. We got off somewhere in the big city, with the sky scrapers towering, and it was such a contrast to the old "historico" little town we live!

It had a beauty of its own, with the parks for children and art all over the green lawns. Malls are not our favorite pass time, but we knew we had to see if they are any different than those in the rest of the world. They weren`t, but we found a retaurant with the best T-bone steak ever! For the first time since sailing, Johan  could enjoy a good piece of meat, like back home. He ordered the T-bone, Marco a fillet mignon, and I had a kebab with a piece of chicken and beef! Our bill came to a whole 16US$!  We will defnitely be back!

By now, following us, all over you must know that we love ice cream! It is just an awesome treat for us! We enjoyed the extra long pointy ice cream, and I had mine dipped in peanuts and crunch! I sure hope these hills we are walking up and down every day will help, because I can`t resist these delicacies!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The love of a mother!

Mom dressed up for a fairy party
This morning I sat in our condo, on the fourth floor in Quito, and my mom was with me! She sat on the other side of my computer, and we laughed and cried, and hungrily shared our stories, and then she told me....

My baby sister, not so baby anymore, is a mother of three boys, and lives a life in Queenstown, SA. Her middle son, also Johan, just like my late father and my husband and my son!  No inisiative, you must think! But any way, he came home on Friday, a little upset, telling his mother that he won`t be able to go to school on Monday! Being the very strict mom she is, she couldn`t believe this boy, being so cheeky to forsee the future!

Johan Prinsloo Fouche

After questioning him a bit, he came with the reason. "It is Grandpa Picnic Day, and I don`t have a grandfather to have a picnic with, so I will rather stay home!"  And then my sister did something. that made me smile, made me laugh, and then even cry a little bit.  She got into her car with her son, and drove to the nearest Old Age Home, and asked the Matron, if they have a Grandfather that she may borrow for Monday morning!  The wonderful women walked her to a grey man, sitting next to the window, looking over the winter grass, and as he turned around she knew, she found a Grandpa for her son!

It is Monday morning and a very happy little boy, and a very happy man walked into the school yard together, with a huge picnic basket in his hand!

I love my sister, and I love her even more today....being such a wonderful mom!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It took us about three days to really feel better, not that we were sick, but we were out of breath after j a short walk, and going up the hill burned my thighs, and I knew it was not only because of the high altitude, I think it has something to do with the parties in Trinidad as well!

We enjoyed the cobblestone streets, and Marco couldn`t believe that he was taller than most women and almost the same length as the men! I enjoyed the leather shops with all the shoes and boots, and I am definitely going to try and sneak a pair of boots onto Catlyn next year. Of course we found ice cream galore, and this time almost for free! We followed the man with the fruit on his shoulder, making sure not to miss out on all the precious vitamins in there.

The 'Historico' town is very accessible, and we enjoyed walking and snooping into all the little shops. The Plaza Grande is a great place to sit on the steps and watch Quito go by! I said a prayer for all my children in one of the Cathedrals, embossed in gold, with statues and splendor, of many years ago! I couldn`t stop thinking about all the blood which has spilled in these streets of this beautiful little town. The La Rhonda came to life, as soon as it was dark, with musicians, and artists crowding the streets, and we watched their local dancers, listened to their music, and even tried to understand the Spanish clowns! Food was all aound us, chocolate fountains were enticing us, with the energy of all the people mingling in the streets.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Quito, Ecuador!

After a connection flight in Panama`s Airport, the one with the very dirty carpets, we arrived in Quito! We stood in the lines for what felt like hours, and were relieved to see our names on a piece of paper. Lilya Bokova (our Quito Landlord) and the taxi man were waiting for us patiently. We drove to our apartment through the streets of  new country, to tired to think, and with Lilya very excitedly telling us everything we need to know as we drove. She showed us around in the flat, warning us of pickpockets, and we fell into our beds at 02h00! We were exhausted! Luckily we took some altitude sickness tablets, only a half each on the airplane, but still the walk up the flight of stairs was difficult! Johan was pale, and even Marco was short of breath. The air was not only cool, but very thin!

Waking up the next morning, we were still not in love with our new destination, and we sat around lazily in the apartment, but soon our hunger pains forced us to go hunt for food.  We live a very short walk (20 meters from the northern entrance) of the La Ronda area, and we knew that we are going to love staying here for a while.

Our view outside our Condo of the Statue of the Virgin of Quito

We walked the cobblestones,

La Ronda

and I imagined myself the feet from centuries ago walking this same street. I looked up to see the street lanterns, and the geraniums on the European style balconies. Charming, it is indeed! We went during day time, and a lot of the restaurants and shops are closed, but the families played games and ate ice cream in the street.

La Ronda

Our hunger pushed us into a little place smelling really good, and after "Hamburguesas" and lots of french fries (papas fritas), and a huge milkshake for Marco, with  bill of 7US$, we liked Quito even more. Johan had an orange juice (Jugo) freshly squeezed, for 1US$, for a big glass!

Caribe Cafe - Since 1950

We were delighted to buy big red tomatoes, a whole big packet for 1US$, and we found a Supermarket where we stocked up on vegetables, apples,tangerines etc!

If you have been following the blog, you would know by now, that fruit and veggies are of such poor quality, (if you are lucky to find some), and so pricey in the Caribbean. Ecuador is a must for a sailor, after sailing for a couple of years, the fresh fruit will get rid of our 'scurvy!'

Welcome to Ecuador, Quito!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saying goodbye to Trinidad!

Saying goodbye to Catlyn in Trinidad...but only for now! We"ll be back! And I am so grateful for that, for the wonderful knowing that we didn`t have to say goodbye to our Yacht yet!

A new Marco- hair nicely cut!

It is a very busy time to get your yacht ready for staying closed up on the hard. She will be standing there for about 6 months! She is polished outside to prevent the dust and dirt from sticking to her. We took down all the canvas, and will wash that off on our return. All the lines are hanged in the sun, to be rinsed down by the rain and dried by the sun! The previous time, I did not do that, I left the lines secure in their hole! What a mess when we returned. They were green and black from mold and algae, and I had to scrub centimeter by centimeter with a little brush!

I washed down every milimeter of Catlyn`s inside with undiluted vinegar, and even left bowls of vinegar in the cabins, to scare off the mould!  All the chrome like the faucets in the hesads, were left white with marine polish!

The canoes and windsurfer are safely stored in the salloon, and the matresses are aired for a fresh return! I even opened all the lockers and drawers and cupboards for air, hoping the installed air conditioning will do its best to keep the yacht as cold as possible. Hopefully the mould will smell the vinegar sour in the air, and feel the cold breeze of the aircon, and hopefully they will go looking for another yacht!

Happy Desert Days...

We were packed and ready to get our Maxi Taxi, with Shevah, stacking his whole back seat with our bags!  Marco said his good byes to the two girls from Jangles and the American boys! We said goodbye to Margaretha and Marese the night before, and we were ready to start our new journey on land! Ecuador, here we come!

From left : Benny, Marco, Kaleb & Canyon
ps. We have good intentions, to loose a little of bit weight after having too good a time in Trinidad! We read that the fruit and vegetables are cheap and plenty in Ecuador!

Steel pan band saying goodbye for us @ Airport

Monday, August 6, 2012

Joe and Jaco on Skype !!!

Photo snapshot while talking on Skype !!!

Many miles away, and we sit and enjoy the light in our two boys` eyes! Joe hiked close to Jaco, on the Appalachian Trail, and got a lift to his brother in North Carolina, at Cashiers. It was a whole week of sleeping on a couch, the softest in the world after three weeks on the ground! Joe hiked 260 miles so far, and is starting again tomorrow, planning another 900 miles !!!

 I am sure Jaco`s flat mates are glad to see Joe go, nothing was safe in the fridge, even old cheese tasted good.

Jaco is working at the gholf course, Wade Hampton, loving the beautiful forest and the amazing gholf courses. He was spoilt getting a visit from his little brother. Joe got spoilt with good memories, watching a BaseBall Game in Atlanta.

 When I asked them about the game, they were a little vague, but they did take a photo to show me, where they`ve been! The two luckily ended the visit safely, after gholf carting at night on the green grass!

We miss our boys, but if I see their young faces, and I hear their laughter, it gets better!
Be good, Jaco, and walk safely, Joe!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Homeschooling with

"Mighty Mama" is asking for advice on her 7 year old, already being taught by her mother, but the mama is wanting to know more!

I did write about homeschooling quite a bit already on my blog, so if you want to read more, please scroll down to older post, with the heading homeschooloing! But I can carry on about it, anyway!

Marco is boatschooling now since gr. 2! He is already in gr.6 this year, and I do not know if he would ever go back to a normal school, but of course that will absolutley be his own choice. I will even give him the opportunity to go for a term or more, just to try it out!

But let me come back to homeschooling! Let me start with Brainline! I use this program because I wanted Marco to still do a program that is friendly to the South-African culture! By the way, my older children Joe and his sister, Janlie, also used this program for gr 9 and 10!

The program is very user friendly, and easy for a mom to use and for her child. Marco enjoyed working on his own computer! The work is divided into lessons, so you know exactly how much work to do, to finish the term. We spend about two hours a day, doing school work, and we do not work every day.  If Marco has some friends on other yachts, I refuse to let school interefere with his fun! By now, Marco is so used to the program, that he learnt to summarise all his work since last year. I still keep an eye, but he is almost totally independant. Mathematics, we still do together, because he thinks he knows it all, and he will skip work to get to more interesting work!

I do have a lot of friends with homeschool children on yachts, and we love to compare. I will not name the programs, but most of the moms complain about all the reading their kids have to do, and some complain about all the books they have to sail around! With Brainline, it is easy, they only send you a CD, and all the work is on there! As soon as a new term starts, you just download the new work. I did print out quite a bit of work in gr 2 and 3, to let Marco practise his writing skills! At the end of gr. 2, he could already write in cursive!

Exams! Your little one is not going to write exams until she is in gr.3, I think. But I will tell you how Brainline works. All the tests are done on the computer, and then the response is send back via internet. Only the mathematics paper is printed by you, completed and then you have to scan it in, and send it back to Brainline! No projects are done, nothing has to be mailed by you all the way back to SA!  I`ve seen how mothers stood in lines in a post office somewhere in the world, trying to mail their childrens work to an institution. I`ve seen them standing at post offices, trying to find their childrens books on time. I`ve heard so many fathers complain about waiting at a bay, waiting for school books, preventing them from sailing.

Last year we sailed the Pacific Ocean, with vast distances and no internet, and even then, Brainline accommodated Marco and me. We also had a problem not having internet, and not being able to download his material, but again Brainline send us everything via email!

I hope I have been of help. You can email me directly if you need more information.

Brainline Learning World Website :

Nostalgic Moments !!!

It started last night! Our party planner, Margaretha, got all of us together on our invitation, for the last time, before we leave Catlyn, for Ecuador! When we come back in February, everything will be different, and she (Catlyn) will belong to Brett and Teresa! I am sure Margaretha will be their party planner too in Trinidad! Beware, Brett and Teresa!

True to Catlyns reputation, she hosted the best again, and we tried to empty all the old South-African shooters. We made 'pap' and sheba, true to our roots. and mealie tart, and sweet, sweet potatoes!

I think this is enough said....


Marese and Margaretha

Party Planner !!!