Friday, May 22, 2009

We have visas!!!!

We drove up to Chicago on Wednesday to get our visas from the Ecuadorian consulate. I was a bundle of nerves, worried that I would have forgotten or overlooked something, or that roadblocks would be thrown in front us us once we got to the consulate. To some extent my fears were justified...they needed 4 passport photos for each of us, not 2, and the fees were $60 higher than what we had been told, but fortunately we had brought extra cash with us, and there was a CVS right around the corner that took care of us in no time.

We got in at 11:30am, went for lunch at 12:45, toured Millennium Park, got more photos taken, and walked out of the consulate office with our visas at 3:15pm. All in all, not too bad. I'm just so relieved that we got it taken care of and that it was pretty painless. Now we just have to worry about registering the visas once we get to Guayaquil...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kiddie Accomodations

Since Baby Girl just turned 18 months and is not yet bed ready, we were confronted with a bit of a problem when it comes to a sleep solution for her in Ecuador. Fitting a pack-and-play in with all our other gear into just four pieces of luggage really didn't seem feasible, and while friends in Ecuador graciously offered to have a crib ready for us, we'd still be without a portable sleep option. We plan to do weekend trips to other sites and to visit friends, and if the three of us had to share a bed then none of us would get any sleep. Finally, with the bug situation mosquito netting is a must, and I'm not certain that Baby Girl would be able to resist thrusting it aside.

The solution? The PeaPod, by Kidco. It's basically a kid tent, so the mosquito netting is integrated into the structure of the "crib". There's a self inflating mattress that zips into the bottom, so Baby Girl will be up off the floor and nicely padded. At 4.5 pounds it's not a super light weight option, but certainly light enough to strap to a backpack for the short bouts of walking that we might need to do to get to villages. It also folds down to a 14" circle that aids in the portablility. All in all it seems like an ideal solution, so we got one and set it up in the living room for Baby Girl's approval.

The verdict? Tepid at best. We have now learned that Baby Girl is not a fan of enclosed spaces. At 47" it's long enough for her to sleep comfortably (I even wedged myself into it), but it's not quite high enough for her to sit easily upright, and I think she really dislikes being scrunched up against the roof of the tent, but who could blame her. We'll leave it set up in the living room, full of toys, so that she can get accustomed to it, and hopefully she'll soon recognize it as her new sleeping space (which may be helped by the fact that we're moving her crib into storage this weekend). I still have hope for the PeaPod, but only time will tell.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making Progress!

So, in the past week we've bought our tickets, got vaccinations, bought excavation equipment and other trip supplies, and begun the culling/packing process. I can't believe that we only have another month left in this country! On the one hand I feel like there's a lot of time left, but I know there's soooo much to be done. The semester's nearly over, and so's my job, so I'll have a little more time on my hands to hang out with Baby Girl and get stuff done.

On the to-do list this week: write the permit proposal, buy travel insurance, and treat myself to a 90-minute massage. I think I deserve it :)