Monday, November 14, 2011

A weekend of foreign visits - some unexpected!

We had a weekend of foreign visits.

Friday night we invited Eric MacDonald over for dinner. Eric is an electrical engineer on Fulbright from the University in El Paso, Texas. He is teaching at the University of Santa Maria, aka Hogwarts (its a beautiful castle-like university that overlooks the ocean here).

We ran into each other on the long climb up one night and as his family had just returned to the States, we invited him for a family dinner. Here's their family blog: The Year of Three Winters. We had a great time with Eric, although he was feeling perhaps more homesick by the end of the dinner...leaving us to go skype with his six kids.

Then, on Saturday night we stopped to talk to some bikers who were clearly on a long trip - an unusual site in Chile. Turns out they are from Ecuador, doing a tour of South America over the next two years. Mario is a bike enthusiast and somewhat of a photojournalist. They are fundraising by selling stickers and bracelets $2-$3 at a time. Mostly, they are relying on the help of strangers and having all sorts of amazing adventures.

So, Mario and C├ęsar stayed with us the rest of the weekend and regaled us with their stories. Here's their blog site, check it out ::..:: BICIECUADOR ::..:: .

Opening our doors to strangers was a leap of faith for us, but we are very familiar with getting lots of help in our travels from strangers and so it felt like the right thing to do.

Our best to everyone,


  1. Nice job there Minnesotans. It was the right thing to do and sounds like a good time was had by all. Very cool. Wonder if I start riding my bike now if I can make it down there before you leave....hmmmm.

  2. I hadn't realized how much taller Gracie and Theo have grown over the past year. Compare the family picture at the top of the Blog with the first picture in this current posting. Gracie could easily stand up straight under Dan's chin in the first picture with about five or six inches to spare. That is no longer true. And it is apparent that Theo has at least kept pace with Gracie. The difference in their heights is about the same in both pictures.

    Uncle Dan Rogers

  3. Oh just might be as tall as your mom when you come back....wish you were here for Thanksgiving....I'm sure you'll be Fine...
    Keep warm!
    Love, Lynne & Linda
    ps Linda has been working north of Duluth and was driving in Will be here for Snow...nothing now...maybe it'll wait till you get back? suppose? Blessings and Light

  4. Well Gracie...maybe you'll be as tall as your mom when you arrive in Minneapolis...maybe you can stand on your toes suppose? And're getting soooooooooooo tall... oh my,I don't know if I'll recognize you?
    Linda was in Snow north of Duluth! WHEW...MAYBE IT won't snow till you come here???
    Happy Thanksgiving y'all....we'll save some gobble gobble for you!
    Love, Lynne & Linda XOXOXOXOX

  5. I checked out the BICIECUADOR website and couldn't believe their plans. Hope they make it. They are going to need the "kindness of strangers," and you came through for them. I've found that Fulbrighters often get a bit neglected, so it was good of you to invite Eric over, too. What a rich environment Grace and Theo are immersed in.

    Speaking of them, I read Uncle Dan's comments on height, and am wondering whether Gracie has pass me up. I'm counting on Theo not to be taller than I am--right, Theo?

    Love you and looking forward to seeing you, Grandma Mary

  6. Are the Ecuadorians doing the Pan-American freeway route?! I once met a reggae band in Puerto Varas who had traveled in an old beat up van along the P.A freeway all the way from Portland, Or! I almost fell over from shock when I first saw the license place!