Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Special Event at Morochos, Part II

As this is magically posted for me, I'm enjoying a visit to Mindo, in the cloud forest.  I will be writing about my trip there in upcoming days (or perhaps weeks, who knows?) but if you'd like to take a quick peak at what the area looks like in the meantime, if you'd like to take a quick peak at the area, the Cloudforest Ecolodge has a great site for learning more about the area.  That link takes you directly to the page for the Cloud Forest but the rest of the site has more information.  I'm not staying anywhere quite so grand but it's a lovely place to start.  If you are less interested in the descriptions and more interested in what it looks like there, just go to Google, put in "Mindo Ecuador," and click on the link for Images.  Tons of fabulous stuff there.

OK, back to Morochos!
Did I mention food?
Of course before we could eat the food it had to be prepared.  I didn't see if this cooking pot broke many moons ago and it's what they use because it's what they have or if it broke that day but it was a great lesson in making do with what we have available.

They quite expertly put the pieces together in a way that allowed them to wire it all together...

...and as you can see, it's working just fine.

There were lovely examples of the hand crafted clay dishes made locally.  I don't know about the greet bowl but the rest of this can be put over a fire, in the oven, and is used to eat on.  I have one bowl like this and I love it. My goal is to eventually have all my dishes from this material.  It's not cheap but my bowl was $5 at a tourist-y store so I suspect I could get the pieces for less if I look around.

There were women set up all along a series of tables with various kinds of dishes they served.  Here they were setting up the bread and different varieties of corn.

Beans and potatoes

The potatoes before they got inside.  If you look in the background and under this man's feet, you will see where they drained another pot of potatoes before they got carried inside.

Here they have some kind of roasted leaf that had a kind of smoky, bite-y flavor; local tortillas which are very thick; and chicha, the locally produced corn beverage that is lightly alcoholic.  It only has 3% or so alcohol content so it's not strong, just a little bite to it.  It's in the bowl in the center.  The bowl itself is made from a seed pod (I think--or a kind of nut) and has a smaller bowl inside it for dipping and drinking the chicha.  I had some and it was quite lovely.  You drink from the common bowl.  If you'd rather not share with others, it's best not to try it because it would be considered very rude to ask for a glass.

I wasn't able to get a photo of the full plate meals being sold as a fundraiser for this event but it included alpaca meat, corn, and potatoes for $1.50.  The meat was, as all meat seems to be here, very tough and the dogs got most of mine along with the bones.  I also shared some of the corn and potatoes but not because I didn't like it--more because the dogs looked so hungry.

We enjoyed speech-making, where all the honored guests of the event were presented and invited to say a little bit about the program where people can go live with an indigenous family for a period of time for very little money and get to know life in the village, help with growing the vegetables, etc.  It sounds like a great program and one I had never heard of before.  I want to get more information about it so I can share it with all of you.

The women of Morochos (along with the assistance of two young men) performed a traditional wedding dance.

The woman on the left--the one who doesn't exactly look like an indigenous woman--is Paige, the Peace Corps volunteer, who was invited to join the women for this dance.  She has been fully integrated into the community.  Paige not only had to learn Spanish but also Kichwa since she's been here.  There are still many people in the communities who don't speak Spanish--just their native Kichwa tongue.

Of course no blog post of mine where children were present at the picture-taking opportunity would be complete without the children.  Here in Morochos there is a playground built by a program that helps the local communities.

This woman may be the grandmother or even great-grandmother to the little boy she's holding. The little girl just outside the tent is just so cute.

This little sweetie wasn't quite sure what to do with all the cameras and expats wandering around.

This is something that is traditional here.  They build this tent-like thing and put different kinds of foods on the outside.  There are horns up where the head would normally be and a kind of tail from green leaves.  The man inside gently charges the children as if he were a bull.  If they can win the "bullfight" he falls to the ground and the children get to eat what is on the tent.  Here a little boy is waving a scarf that has red in it as if it were his bullfighting cape.

School was out and the kids were being brought into the village by the alternative to a school bus.

This woman was getting ready for a part of the musical performance and she just kind of struck me with the traditional dress combined with her telephone from which she is texting like crazy.  I understand it's no different for her to wear her traditional garb than it is for me to wear jeans but I still see her clothing as "old" rather than contemporary.  That's another of those things I'd like to teach myself to get over and remember that this their "modern" dress--it just happens to be the same as it was hundreds of years ago, possibly more.

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