Life in Cotacachi is going swimmingly! The longer I'm here, the better I like it. My only long-term frustration is my lack of Spanish. I know that the longer I'm here, the more I'll learn, but as with most things, I want to know it NOW!
I'm also very anxious to move into my new home. I'm ready to cook a meal, sit in a chair instead of on my bed, but mostly I want to unpack. Instead, I'm just taking a day off from all my explorations with Sheila and resting. Yesterday I stopped at the market and got beautiful globe grapes and what I thought were black cherries. They weren't cherries. They may have been coffee berries--I learned that the coffee bean is the seed inside the coffee berry. I also got a couple of rolls and a chunk of butter, so that's what I'm eating today.
Yesterday Sheila showed me more of the sites of the city, including something I can only describe as a food court. It's adjacent to the market and there's a huge variety of choices. I definitely enjoyed my lunch. After that we went to the meat market. It's definitely not your local grocery store. There were things there I had no clue as to their animal of origin or what part of the animal they came from. I'd better start learning how to speak "butcher shop Spanish" in a hurry. I definitely recognized the chickens, though. They're sold whole, with or without the feet. I think I'll opt for the the footless variety. They sell the feet separately and I've heard they make a good chicken broth, so depending on the cost, I may get some to try that out.
We also checked out a few other shops. I bought a juicer at one of them. It's the "petite" model so I'm not sure how it will work but I'm hopeful it will serve my purposes perfectly.
On my way back to the hotel from Sheila's, I saw a funeral procession on their way from the church to the cemetery. I don't know how far away it is but I hope it's not far because everyone was walking. The people at the front of the procession carried the floral arrangements. They loosely surrounded the priest, the coffin, and the family of the deceased. The streets were informally closed as the procession passed, a little like what happens in the States except there were no police escorts and it takes a bit longer to walk down a street than to drive. I would estimate somewhere between 200 and 300 people.
Tomorrow I'm going to go to the local dentist and see if I can make an appointment to come in for some minor adjustments that I didn't have time to get done before I moved here. I'm also going to see if the cultural center has a map of the city. I've been finding all these wonderful things and have almost no idea how to find them again. Sheila drew a little map and it's very helpful but I'm hoping for one just a wee bit bigger. I'm sure I won't even need one in a few weeks but it would be nice in the meantime.
So much to see all at once. It's exhilarating and exhausting. Mostly, it's a great adventure.