Saturday, March 30, 2013

Photo Roundup -- March 30, 2013

Time for another Photo Roundup.  I love gathering photos and sometimes they just don't go with a whole blog post so you get little bits and pieces of life as I see it.

Even the police use internet cafes.  These three police officers as well as another one who isn't visible in this picture, are busily typing away on the computers in one of the tiendas we have that serves a multitude of purposes.  There are a few computers to rent for 50 cents an hour, they sell minutes for phones, make copies, and have "Cabinas." Cabinas are little phone booth things where you tell them where you want to call (local or long distance) and they charge you by the minute depending on where. I think they may have a beverage cooler ("cooler" is what it's called when they keep a beverage around 50 or 60 degrees).  Ah yes, one of the ads is for "Red" juice.  I think that's a high caffeine drink.  They also have someone who sells Avon here.  Oh, and there are the gum machines out front.  All of that is in a space the width you see in the photo and it only goes back another 5 or 6 feet from the wall you see to the right of that last police officer.  They are very good at squeezing in value for your dollar.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Market Trip -- Fruits and Vegetables

We saw lots of fruits and vegetables on our little market trip as well.  In fact, we started down at the Indigenous market.

Before we even got to the market there were folks setting up their wares on the sidewalk.  In the foreground are bags of strawberries.  I didn't get a chance to ask how much hers were but they are generally $2 (for a kilo--2.2 pounds) in the market so I'm going to guess hers might be as low as $1.50.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Market Trip--Butcher Shop

Not long after our last cooking class, Dan took several of us on a trip to the mercado--the fresh foods market.  The butcher shop isn't part of the actual market but it is said to have the best reputation in town so off we went.

Most of the meat markets here carry both bulk (sometimes made fresh right there) and packaged sausages.  Unfortunately, what they seem to lack is any kind of sausage that doesn't resemble bologna or mealy hot dogs.  It's sad but true.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Microfiber and Such

Something it never would have occurred to me to do is bring things here to sell to expats.  Fortunately for us, Judi thought about it and brought her H2O at Home products when she came to have dental work done here.

(The salt bowl isn't part of what she brought but it adds a nice touch of color, don't you think?)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cooking Class with Dan

I suspect I've told you this recently but here it is again.  My life is so busy I hardly have time to take a deep breath.  That's lovely but I find that my blogging tends to suffer.  I love blogging and miss it when I don't make time to do it (or to edit the photos I've taken to put into posts).  So, here goes--let's see if I can be a little more consistent.

Earlier this month friends and I took another of Dan Delgado's cooking classes.  We primarily focused on dishes with a slightly spicy, somewhat Mexican flavor but with a few interesting touches.  Well, of course there were interesting touches--Dan taught the class.

We started working with purple potatoes.  Aren't they lovely?  The skins are so dark they almost look black but I absolutely love the way they look inside.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Story of Inspiration and Support

I love this story!  It is so indicative of the support system we expats have developed that I had to share it.

There are two part and I'll start with the part that has nothing to do with today's story but was going to be here as a blog post anyway and has direct bearing on what's happening.

A friend of mine, Caroline, realized that one thing we really need here and didn't have was a more formal emergency support system amongst those of us who live in a new condo complex as well as a few other close friends.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What's Happening In Cotacachi

Once again, Dan Delgado has provided us with information that's helpful for all of us living in Cotacachi and I hope it is informative to those who either plan to move here or just want to know more about what's happening here and how things are the same or different than where you currently live.  Enjoy--

Adorable Puppies

I know this isn't a blog about finding homes for dogs but I'm making an exception because I just fell in love with these little girls.

I got this email from a friend of mine a week ago and fully intended to post it the very next day.  Obviously that didn't happen.  They are now nine weeks old and still adorable.  Here's the email she sent me, along with photos of the pups:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Photo Roundup -- March 5, 2013

More odd and sundry photos for your enjoyment:

I was telling someone what it costs me to have my dirty laundry picked up, taken to the shop, washed, dried, folded, and delivered back to me on the same day.  She agreed it was something fun to put in a post.  Here's the laundry I just got yesterday.  There was a set of sheets, a full-sized blanket, bath towels, and a couple of small piles of clothes.  Total cost--$7.30.  I have to tell you, that dose not make me unhappy in the least!  I figure I would have paid between $5 and $10 for the machines in my apartment building back in Minneapolis just to wash and dry them, not to mention the soap.  Then there's just the general luxury of having someone else do it.  What a treat.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Morochos Musical Group

Last Sunday we had the opportunity to go listen to a group of musicians from Morochos.  Paige, the Peace Corp volunteer who lives up there, has been instrumental in bringing the expat community and the community of Morochos together and it has forged a bond between us that will last far beyond Paige's time here.

Meet the band.  The man playing the violin is the leader of the band and after saying a few things in English, which he had obviously practiced very diligently for quite a while, he told us, in Spanish, translated by Paige, that they wanted to come here to share their music with us because we are now an important part of Cotacachi and they welcome us here and we are to consider ourselves a part of their community.  It was very touching.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Behind Closed Doors

I remember when I first showed you photos of my first apartment in Cotacachi, you were amazed at how huge the back yard was.  So was I when I first saw it.  Since then I've had comments from people that centered around the size of various spaces, especially those things you find behind all the tiendas and even the apartments.  I recently took a few photos of some examples of how it sometimes works here.

First, a few of my original photos from my first home.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Another Of My Neighbors

There are so many sides to Cotacachi that it's difficult to portray the complexity of it at times.  These photos give you a slightly different view of life for some people here.

This is the front door of one of my neighbors.  She lives about five doors down from me. It's a little hard to see but there is an open space at the top of the bottom right panel in the door, not to mention the huge gap at the bottom of it.