I wish I knew how to get the text to be next to the pictures.  If anyone knows how to do this in wordpress, please tell me!   No matter where I put the pictures, they change when I publish it.  Below is the street on which I’m renting a room.  The blue house, with flowers flowing over the fence.  The family here is everything I could have wished for.  The young daughter and I have an hour every morning doing cultural and language exchanges which I enjoy very much.  If I want help getting somewhere they will go with me.  In fact anywhere I ask for directions or what bus to get on or where to get off, some very friendly and helpful Ecuadorian not only shows me but walks with me, and the girl who accompanied me today even offered some of her lunch.  I think it must be much more difficult if one can’t speak some Spanish.

La Casa Villa Alvarado     The internet connection is perfect.  The hot water does not really exist.  After three days of cold showers, in which they have been telling me there really is hot water if I wait long enough, or if I get in right away, or if I don’t turn the lights on  (its electric, and heats on the spot–if it were going to heat)  they have finally said I should use their bathroom!  Because the weather is so perfectly comfortable the cold shower is not too bad.  Some famous beauties like Katherine Hepburn always bathed in cold water–I tell myself.  It doesn’t seem to have made me more beautiful yet, though.

The church which is all gold leaf inside         Quito Central 008

This church is all intricately decorated with gold leaf.  The girl next to me called it pan de oro, which would translate bread of gold.  I think that must be gold leaf.  Its amazing.  As far as I could tell it is the church of San Judas Tadeo, patron of impossible work and impossible causes.  I like that!  And all in gold!   Clearly imposible causes are made possible by an impossible amount of work.

A whole street of yarn shops   Street of Children's Clothing    Quito Central 009

Street of Children’s Clothing

In the Old Town of Quito each street has different shops, so one whole street for yarn, another for clothing, another for jewelry, one street to sell gold, one to buy, another street for children’s party supplies, another for shoes…..just as in the countryside around the big cities of Quito and Cuenca there are whole cities dedicated to producing and selling one craft: Panama hats, weaving, silver jewelry, leather.  I’m going to see one of those tomorrow.  Quito is a beautiful city with wonderfully helpful and friendly people but because of its high altitude the fumes from the diesel buses are too much for me.  I have, though, been walking up and down hill for hours on end, so I suppose I’m doing ok with the altitude.  I will be glad to get away from the diesel exhaust.

Went to see museums of artwork, pre-colonial and colonial today.  I like how many of the paintings seem like Catholic paintings from Europe, but to my eye the Amazon creeps in and influences the artists, so saints and holy family are more sensual, backgrounds either very dark or have growing things, giant very alive vegetative backgrounds.  I couldn’t take pictures, and they did not sell postcards or pictures, nor was there any explanation.

Travelling alone!  I think I’d rather have a travel companion, but its nice to see I can do it and enjoy it.  And it certainly is a better way to learn Spanish.  I haven’t yet met 0r seen a person from the USA.  Usually if I think they may be and then I say hi in English, it turns out they are German or Scandinavian.



2 comments to

  • i was thinking quinto was near ortavallo – i went for a market day – just across the border from when i lived in columbia – must find map. love the vicarious travel and to hear your practical expereince – like the diesel/altitude report. love be with you.

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