I learned how to clean vegetables by soaking them in water with a capful of Vitalin, a disinfectant for fruits and vegetables. As I watched her, Venancia asked me how I clean vegetables at home; I told her the water is clean from the tap and she looked surprised. I already know how to brush my teeth using water from a bottle, but it's harder to remember here since everything we've seen so far has looked clean.
We went to bed at 7:30 the first night (Ecuador is in the same time zone as the East Coast of the US) and slept for 13 hours! And after breakfast I went back to bed for a two-hour nap. Catching up, I guess. Plus, at 8500-foot elevation, my body has some work to do in the next few days getting me ready to live here.
What I've learned:
1. How to run a fancy washing machine with all Spanish instructions.
2. That I remember how to use a clothesline. I hung the laundry on lines strung between enormous fuschia plants. There is a dryer at the hotel, and I can use it if the door is unlocked. Not sure about the hours of operation, since Elena, the woman I met there while exploring, used words not yet in my Spanish vocabulary. Apparently Venancia has a key and will take the clothes to the dryer if it's raining, but I'm not yet accustomed to being royalty, so I feel odd having someone else do that work for me.
3. That I need a more robust Spanish-English dictionary than the one I brought. It doesn't have the word "visitor" or "guest", which is how I want to introduce myself. I'll look for a dictionary when we're out and about, or I'll write down a list of words I want to know and look them up on an online translator when I'm using the wi-fi.