Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dick and Val bring a maravilloso regalo or marvelous gift to the orphanage.

As I have mentioned in the past many people have very generous hearts when it comes to the orphanage (Hogar para ninos centro la mision.)

Here are two of those generous hearts!


Over the past couple of years Dick has wanted to help Geraldo and Lupita who run the orphanage by providing them with a vehicle.  IMG_2729

Today it happened and Dick returned to the park with his purchase.  Val gives Dick a big hug and says….honey you did it, I’m so proud of you!   IMG_2731

Dick and Val with their purchase.  It is older but in great shape inside and out with new tires and new brakes.  There is lots of room inside for the children to be transported to school if needed, trips to the doctor, mercado (grocery store) and much, much more.  A large amount of money is spent on buses and taxis and now that money will go to fuel.  IMG_2773

So today we were off to deliver the van.  Frank/Sandi and I are in the jeep and Dick and Val bring the van.  The plan was for everyone but Dick to go into the orphanage while he waited down the street with the surprise.  As we got close who spotted us but Geraldo on a small moto coming back with a bag of oranges.  He was expecting us at 11am and thankfully he didn’t recognize Dick and Val in the van so that was a good thing. IMG_2774

Dick parked around the corner and Val came with us to the gate. IMG_2775

Val goes inside with Ruthie and David. IMG_2776

At this point they are all told to wait in the cocina or kitchen, cover their eyes and ….. no peeka!  Lots of laughter here. IMG_2777

Val says….surprise and at first they don’t really understand what the gift actually is.  They think there are presents in the van and don’t realize the present is the van!IMG_2778

Geraldo can’t believe it!IMG_2779

Lupita is so overwhelmed that she starts to cry.  Willie is just plain amazed and even the very shy Brian cracks a smile.IMG_2780

To start with they thought that the van was from all of us until I explained in my broken Spanish that it was from “solo Dick and Val!”   Geraldo said…..Oh Dick and then there was a big hug!IMG_2781

The main work uttered by everyone was…..”Wow!, Wow!, and more Wow’s!!!   Wow in English is Wow in Spanish!IMG_2782

Geraldo and Lupita’s adult son Willie speaks good English and he was there to translate as Dick gives them a run down on the van. IMG_2783

Sandi and Frank have a look in the back.  At this point the kids have loaded themselves in and are having a good look.  I told them….no Wally (the dog) and as a chicken was passing by… pollo in the van.  Lots of giggling about that!IMG_2784

Geraldo is crying at this point.  It is all very overwhelming for them and beyond their greatest expectations.  IMG_2785

Geraldo and his new ride!IMG_2786

Ruthie has seated herself and Lupita and Carla have a look.  IMG_2787

Ruthie and David waving.   Ruthie has her mouth clamped shut so I can’t see she has no teeth!   A little game we play. IMG_2789

Now it’s time to explain the paperwork. IMG_2790

Sign here.IMG_2791

Later today Geraldo will transfer the van into his name.  A big day for him!IMG_2792

Dick explains everything to Willie and he translates.  IMG_2793

Ruthie was so happy she forgot to keep her mouth closed. IMG_2794

Dick, Brian,Geraldo, Ruthie, Carla, Val, David, Laura, Willie and Lupita.  Thumbs up and they are all thrilled.IMG_2796

Ruthie’s snazzy jeans.  People donate very nice clothes to the kids and they are appreciated and passed down. IMG_2797

It was decided that Geraldo along with Lupita and Willie would bring Dick and Val back to Las Jaibas so Geraldo could get a feel for driving the van. IMG_2798

Geraldo is still smiling!IMG_2799

Dick and Val with Geraldo, Willie and Lupita. 

This was a most generous gift from Dick and Val to Geraldo and Lupita. 

It warmed everyone’s heart!

P.S. -  A few days ago Gerardo, Willie, Brian and David came to the park in their new van to see Dick.  They had a question or two about the van but the purpose of the visit was to bring a thank-you letter. 

Below is their lovely letter.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ladies Dinner at Topolo

I had mentioned a few times in the blog that I would like to eat at Topolo.  When Ruth saw this she asked us all if we might like to try a dinner out together.  Yes!


There were ten of us going so we hopped into an auriega or red truck to head downtown.   IMG_2737

Angie, Diane and Jeannette. IMG_2738

The malecon and a lovely evening.  It has been an extremely windy day and the humidity is gone.   IMG_2739

Topolo is on Constitution street about a block east of the Plaza Machado.

IMG_2741  Jeannette, Ruth, Eddie, Marion, Sharen, Connie, Diane, Angie,         Johanna and me down in front.


We are greeted and seated by the waiter. IMG_2744

Our table is set up in the courtyard with the open sky above. IMG_2745

Marion picked up a business card. IMG_2746

When we were seated and had ordered drinks the waiter asked what kind of fresh salsa we would like.  A bowl of medium and a bowl of mild.  Freshly made just for us. IMG_2747

Piña colada’s for some vino blanca and vino tinto for others.  IMG_2748

We chat while we wait. IMG_2749

Molcajete pots of fresh salsa and menus to order. IMG_2750

My choice was tuna with a wasabi coating.  Very good but after eating it I would order it without the wasabi as it overpowers the tuna. IMG_2751

Marion and others had the chili relleno and shrimp.  Good but the poblano chili inside was a bit crunchy.  IMG_2752

Connie had the pork shank and she said it was delicious. IMG_2753

Ruth had seafood with lots of olives. IMG_2754

Everyone has their meals and the waiter hams it up!  IMG_2756


Some of us ordered dessert and Sharen picked the flaming banana’s to share.  While this was being prepared Jeannette and I had cheesecake and Marion had the chocolate mousse.   Yummy!  I am always a sucker for cheesecake and this one was very good. IMG_2758

While trying to get a picture of the flaming bananas I got a picture within a picture on Diane’s phone.  Artsy, don’t you think!


The restaurant has lots of ambiance with it’s trees, plants, lights and artwork.  Very nice. IMG_2760

A strip of vanilla that Sharen will light on fire.  A big production and he wanted to her to stand to the side so she wouldn’t light his hair on fire!  Lot’s of laughter.   IMG_2761

Just about ready.IMG_2762

"TADA!!".  The good news is no one lost any eyebrows! IMG_2764

You need a reservation to eat here and the tables were full.



Dessert is done and now it’s time to build some Irish coffee.  More flames needed here.  No coffee for me this late at night or I wouldn’t sleep at all. IMG_2767

Marion and Jeannette horsing around with the flashlights they gave us so we could see our bills. IMG_2768

Spooky……I told you I was going to put this on the blog!


Benito Juarez runs on the east side of the restaurant and that’s where the buses pass by.  But….we decided to take an auriega or red truck home. 

So what was the consensus on the Topolo restaurant.  In my case I think I expected more of the food because I was so excited to go.  Most people had a good meal, some very good and some excellent.  The attention by the waiters was superb, the preparation of salsa and desserts/coffee interesting and the ambiance lovely. 

A good dining experience and I would return.  Reservations are always needed here.