Welcome to Casa Loma,
essentially, House on the Hill.
And that, it is.
It's located right above a small town/village outside of the more touristy areas.
And even though, after walking only a few minutes down a VERY steep hill,
your senses are assaulted with motoconchos (motorcycle taxis),buses,cars,and the overall busyness of a people and a town and a life...
you'd never know it upon this quiet hill overlooking the bay.
Come on in.
|Other guests to the office are the neighborhood horses. I don't think anyone knows who they actually belong to but my boys are absolutely in love...of course.|
Now, before you respond to all of these children (9 to be exact) whose parents packed them into the back of a land rover then did the unthinkable...drove.
An actual distance.
Let me just give a little perspective.
Our other options for travel have been as follows...
1)Motoconcho- we only take these up the hill to our house with the kids, cause,Lord have mercy, I'm adventurous,not a lunatic. I'll consider posting a picture of this at some point if I think our mimi can see it and NOT go into cardiac arrest. She's not unreasonable,just..safe. Generally we get on 2 different motorcycles, at the base of our neighborhood. Noah gets on one,behind the driver, and a child (Aslan or Haddon) get on in front of the driver,kind of on top of the gas thingy,behind the handle bars. They think they are driving it and are now both convinced that they will move to the DR as adults to become motoconcho drivers. A win, as a parent? I think not.
Then I get on one behind the driver, with Shep either in front of me, squished between me and driver, or he is in the Ergo sling on my back. The remaining child is in front of the driver...and up we go. It's not far,at all. And if you think it's safer for a pregnant woman to walk up that hill...therefore sending her into preterm labor...if not death by exhaustion...you haven't seen the hill.
Option 2) Take a Gwa Gwa- Don't officially know the spelling on that one, but it's a run down minivan packed to the gills with travelers, mostly ,if not all, are nationals. You wait on the side of the road and wave them down,regardless of if there's room for you. You may think ,"no." They will prove, "yes."
Our first trip in a gwa-gwa, Shep and I sat next to a woman and Aslan,Noah and Haddon were behind us when Aslan pointed out audibly over my shoulder, "Hey mom! There's a chicken in that ladies purse!" Indeed the woman next to me sat stoically, tote bag in lap,hands hugging tote bag,staring ahead. While a live chicken stuck it's head out,pleading for anyone to rescue it before it's eventual demise.
My point? This landrover might as well have been a mercedes in my opinion. We stretched out,blasted the A/C, and enjoyed the ride to the beach with new friends.
|If you wonder how Shepherd felt about being crammed like sardines into the back of the landrover...just ask him.|
|We were also joined by some local friends of theirs, and their boys. Hopefully we will get much more time with them over the next couple of months. Jesus and Maria were so wonderful and so welcoming. They are heavily involved in their local church here in the area and there is much we can learn from them, I am sure. We truly had the sweetest time with all of our new friends at the beach.|
10 kids on the beach, 6 adults, and a LOT of fun. There was the few hours in there when we had 12 kids. "How," you ask? Well that's easy. When the beach vendor comes up to your husband and says, "hey,watch, my girls"(ages probably 5 and 7)
to which your husband responds with dumfounded silence and then the apprehensive, "uh,yeah,sure."
Why? I cannot be sure. He's really not the manly babysitter type, but the Spirit must have taken over for a moment, leaving him in an awkward predicament.
Beach vendor man then disappears for hours,leaving you with just 2 more minors at the beach to keep from drowning.
At one point, one of our friends who spoke spanish asked the girls where their dad was, to which they replied, "Were with him!" pointing to Noah.
Huh. They say children are adaptable.
But don't worry, we did what any sane parent would do. As soon as their father came back on the scene, we asked in broken spanish about when we could drop our children off with him for a quick dinner date.
He owes us one.