Sunday, November 24, 2013

Photo Roundup November 24, 2013

Many of you have been missing my blog posts--I've been missing putting them up as well. These past few days have given me an incentive to want to get one up for all of you but especially for my Mom.

Mom fell and broke her hip on Thursday (not to worry, she's a tough woman and is doing fine) then had surgery to repair it on Friday--her birthday. As my middle sister said, "What do you give a woman who has everything?" Well, I'm giving her a blog post. It's a little late but here it is.

By the way, she went home from the hospital today and rumor has it she's ready to take on the world--well, maybe not the whole world but at least her little corner of it.

The raffle afghan our needlework group, Loose Stitches, has been working on is finally complete! There will be a whole blog post about it but here are the photos to start you off. I took them when I was kitty sitting and Little decided there was no way I was taking photos without her Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval in full evidence.

While we're talking about animals, these guys looked so cute up on their roof. Dogs frequently live on roofs here, especially when the family doesn't have a back yard for them to play in. Thus they are called roof dogs. These two were keeping a close eye on the folks walking past on the sidewalk below them.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quito Kids

Of course I took tons of photos of kids.  These are my favorites.

 Such intensity--he's not exactly sure what he thinks of the camera.

 Need I say anything about this one?  I think not.

Three kids sharing a popsicle is frequently going to end up with someone not getting what they want.

Behind bars--it was just the security gate at their apartment building but it makes a cute photo, don't you think?

I think that's pretty much it for my trip to Quito.  I loved being there and I loved coming home.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Final Quito Pics

After spending so much time in little Cotacachi, life in Quito was so very different.  I loved it and as whoever it was who said it's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there reflects my feelings totally.  Here are some of the fun shots I got of life in the fast lane.

Wherever we went, there were people wandering up and down the streets--in traffic--selling things. They do it here out of baskets and wheel barrows on the sidewalks but not in Quito!

Fruits...vegetables... so much, much more.

Not everyone was happy.  This poor, little shoeshine boy was sitting in the plaza crying.  I don't know why but he just moved me so much.

Here's my homage to Alfred Hitchcock--for those of you who are too young to remember it, look up The Birds.
I HAD to take this photo!  I couldn't resist.  This is a public bathroom in Old Town Quito.  The attendant is sitting under the canopy with her little change box, watching her tiny TV that's in the space between the two baƱos.  You may note a distinct lack of toilet paper.  Not that it's always the case but it's always wise to BYOTP.

Look carefully at the furniture this one man is carrying on his head. There's a sofa, two chairs, and a table of some sort.  You really can't see all of it but I was watching someone else load it on.  I'm not sure where he's taking it.  He's in the center island and there's another wall just like the one in this view on the other side of the street.  He is obviously going quite a ways.

One of my favorite public pieces of art.  I really wish I knew what they were hold onto but it was too small to see while driving past.

This is much better viewed head on but that wasn't possible so I got what I could.  These are women of import in Ecuador.

The public art is everywhere and quite impressive.  If you look at the sign above this mosaic, it gives you some idea of just how large it is.

I suspect this one was commissioned by the building owners.  This building is about eight stories high.

The police can be very helpful.  This woman needed a hand crossing the street.

You know me--I love the falling down stuff and I think this public art is as important as the expensive, commissioned stuff.

I discovered I had a little more than I wanted to put on one post and I think they're all photos of kids.  You knew I had to do it, right?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dinner, Anyone?

I have some fabulous guys out in my courtyard today, digging up all the weeks and other stuff that is making it ugly.  They're going to come back on Thursday afternoon to plant new stuff.  This is very exciting!

When I went out to answer a question Humberto had, I saw some kind of giant worm-like thing.  You might notice that I'm not exactly a gardener.  My technical knowledge stops right around needing to water things when it's dry.

Of course out came my camera.  Here are the beasties:
I put a key down there with them to give you something to compare them to.

Ah, they found another one.  Of course Humberto is much braver than I.  He just picks them up and tosses them over to the place where he's collecting them

Collecting them?  Yes, they're going to take them home with them.  This is a traditional food in the indigenous community.  Yep, they're going to eat them.  Humberto explained to me that they cut off the slightly fatter back half and throw that away and then eat the head and front half.  From the relatively translucent qualities of them, it appears that the back half has something like intestines ad/or poo in there.

I now know that they're call curso.  I tried to look it up on my Google Translate but there wasn't a translation for it.  When I asked, I found out it's a Kichwa word.  Kichwa is the language of the indigenous people here.  It's so beautiful to listen to.  It includes a lot of "sh" sounds and is almost musical.

I recently learned a bit of trivia.  In Star Wars, the language of the Huttites (as in Jabba the Hutt) is based on Kichwa.  They had this guy who could listen to a language for a period of time and then come up with narrative--it didn't include real words, just the sound of that language.

Watch for more landscaping photos and then it's time for Inti Raymi photos once again.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Good Friday in Quito

Yes, it's been a very long time since Easter (more specifically Good Friday) but I still haven't shared these photos with you and I truly want you to see the images of the day.

I recently learned that the procession that takes place through the streets of Quito is the second largest Good Friday procession in the world.  Wow--impressive.  Even more impressive are the sights the presented themselves that day.  There are two images that are almost haunting in their beauty.

Are these not the most amazing faces?  I just love both of them.

These fellows are called cucuruchos and there are hundreds if not thousands of them!  They have something to do with signifying penance.  I want to do a little more research but for now I'm just interested in getting the photos out to you.

I wish I could have gotten better photos but being in such a huge crowd made that nearly impossible.

There were dozens of men carrying crosses as Jesus did.  These were light and they carried the for three miles.  That's no small thing.

There were also floats carried by more penitents.  Again, they carried these for the whole three miles.

This is one of the largest crosses I saw.  It's almost impossible to see here but there are a couple of people helping him carry the cross.  Many of them have helpers but the men actually under the cross were obviously struggling under the weight.  We were much closer to the end than the beginning so no one was as fresh as they were a couple of hours before, when they first got started.

I don't know if you can see how old this man is but I would encourage you to enlarge the photo (just click on it) to get a feel for that.

Another of the floats.

This is a man portraying one of the thieves who was hung next to Jesus.

 I LOVE his face!

...and a final float.

It was an amazing day.  I still have photos to share but they're the odds and ends that didn't fit in with a specific day's theme.  Enjoy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What a Beautiful Day

Yesterday was a fabulous day here in Cotacachi.  Of course, there are far more fabulous days here than there are challenging ones but yesterday seemed particularly good.

When the skies are clear (or almost clear) we get up to views of the mountains that are stunning.  I took this photo while pet sitting just a few blocks from home but you can see them from all over town. What a beautiful view!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Seniors in Ecuador

Something came up very recently that started lots of us thinking and I thought I'd share it with you and see what you think.

We have a man here in Cotacachi who is very, very ill.  In fact, he is likely in his last days.  He has no family we know of either here or in the States, is one a very low income, and (this is the very hardest) can't remember his PIN for his bank account so someone else could take his money out to get care for him.

People here, both friends of his and other concerned people, are cooking food for him and visiting with him for several hours a day, making sure he gets the correct meds, cleaning his sores, and helping him bathe.  We took up a collection for his rent for May.  Now what happens?  People will help care for him for quite a while but it's a difficult thing to do for any length of time, especially for people who have other things they do in their lives.  I can't help right now because I'm going to a pet sitting assignment tomorrow that is out of town and it would cost me money to get to and from and that's not in my budget--not to mention I would have to leave my little charges to their own devices while I was in town.

A friend who is very interested in this from the standpoint of being a nurse and thinking in the longer-range terms of what about the rest of us talked to me yesterday about what my plans are and whether or not I had considered these issues before coming here.  She told me she has talked to quite a few people who came here with the understanding that health care is free here.  Uh, sort of.

OK, first, here's my plan, part of it figured out before I got here and part of it as I have discovered more about what is and isn't available here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Quito Market Trip

One of the high points of the trip was a quick trip through a neighborhood market.  This is the market Sarah generally goes to when she can.

We were driving down the street and all of a sudden, there it was, the beginning of the market.  The vendors set up all up and down the streets in this little neighborhood.  It's amazing.

Squash anyone?  There were trucks and displays of squashes this big and even bigger.  It appeared they would cut a few of them in half or even in quarters but it was still enough to feed a small army.

Textile work isn't all for women here.  In fact, when it comes to weaving and the fibers used in it, women spin but only men weave.  Here a man is doing mending or alterations, not sure which--maybe both.

More squash--oh, anyone want a pair of shoes?

These fish heads were the size of large dinner plates.  I would have gotten more photos but the fellow who was running the stand was furious with me for taking pictures.  I have no idea why.  Maybe he's in the witness protection program and thought I was taking his photo.  OK, he was just grumpy.

Crab legs anyone?

When I say you can get just about anything here, I'm not kidding.  Padlocks, knives, scissors, and other assorted items, all on this little cart.

As I said, I was in Quito for Santa Semana, Holy Week, and one of the traditions here is a dish called fanesca.  It's absolutely fabulous (I had some Sarah made herself) and I'll be looking for it up here next year.  At any rate, one of the things in fanesca is salted fish.  There were any number of stalls at the market selling salted fish when we were there.  This is just about the only time of the year they will be there.  Once Easter has passed, the fish disappear--who knows what happens to them.  I know one thing, they don't go to waste.

Are these not the loveliest chickens you've seen in a very long time?  They're huge.  Of course there are the feet and heads right out in front.

Ecuadorian tortillas are very different than any I've ever seen anywhere else.  I've only eaten them a few times--they don't seem to get any better with exposure.

Squash in the foreground, clothes in the background, pots and pans, plastic ware, and a little glass ware in the center.

I love the stacks of tomatoes.  That's one dollar's worth of tomatoes.  The bags of limes in the lower right-hand corner are a dollar as well.

Then we arrived at the street where all the live animals were sold.  There was quite a variety, starting with chicks,
moving on to adorable puppies,

cuy anyone?  That's a guinea pig.

There were lots of kittens (she brought them to market in the bag she's holding),

ducks, chickens, roosters, geese, more guinea pigs in the crate on the right, and chickens almost ready for the stove on the sidewalk.

Turkey anyone?

Roosters by the bag.

Bunnies by the dozen--this one was sharing his temporary home with a few ducklings.

It was quite a sight.  It was easier to see and take pictures if I didn't think about where all of these little guys were going to end up.  I was fine with ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, and such but it got a little tougher with some of the animals we think of as domestic pets.  I can stay in denial and think about them becoming pets but there's part of me that knows it isn't so, at least not for the majority of them.  Ah well, different lands, different cultures.  Sometimes it's easier to accept the culture than others but it just is what it is.

More to come, of course.  There will be at least one more museum and another church in the future.  I really love this stuff.