Blogs from Ecuador, South America - page 4

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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 26th 2014

Well, this was the day we have been waiting so long for. We were able to take some prayer blankets to the children in the hospital that have cancer. First of all a huge THANK YOU!!!!! to our wonderful friends in Tennessee that have so blessed us with items to take to these children and adults in the hospital. To Lights Chapel Baptist Church, Greenbrier, TN for all the prayer blankets, clothes and games they have made and collected for us. To Kim Pitt, White House, TN for all the knitted and crocheted scarfs, hats, crosses and bookmarks. We spread most of these items out in our footlockers that we brought back to Ecuador, except for the final locker that we packed which was all prayer blankets. Let me back up just a bit to explain ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 25th 2014

During my first few years back in Ecuador I spent 3-4 months a year at my cabana on the coast, but once I decided to sell that property I boxed up all my possessions. Each year when I go back to the states I bring down another suitcase full of stuff, and most everyone who has come to visit has also brought a bag. I left a few pre-packed carry-ons in an Atlanta friend's attic and one by one those have arrived. So, as my belongings accumulated I stored them in a big closet in Shana's guest house where I always stayed when I came to Banos. Last year I moved them down into a basement storeroom, and vowed that the next time I touched those boxes it would be to move them into my own ... read more
Bedroom Window
Big, Bright Kitchen
My Office!

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 25th 2014

The last stop this day was the most beautiful and the most interesting. It was the Orquideas del Ecuador. We were told by the horticulturalist that was giving the tour that there are over 4,000 species of orchids in Ecuador, and they were working on 2,400 of them here. He first showed us some of the seeds they were germinating. They have as much as 1,000 seeds in a small bottle. Then we went down to the large building that had even more bottles of seedlings. There was a young lady taking some of the seedlings out of the bottles and transplanting them into soil. This greenhouse had thousands of orchids growing. We could take pictures through the window, but could not go into that part of the greenhouse. Then as we went to another area ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 24th 2014

Next stop this day was a 'factory' making glazed pottery, used for cooking, eating, drinking, etc. As you can see n the pictures, everything is done by hand. They had some beautiful pieces. After getting some more information about how to 'cure' the pottery, from one of the owners, through our interpreter, guide, Jessyca, Debi bought two pots with lids, two soup bowls and three coffee cups (one of them was a yapa (bonus)). The total cost was $15.00. Debi has already made chicken soup in the large pot, and home-made hot chocolate and pesto noodles in the small one. She also uses the cups for her tea every day. We use the bowls all the time for oatmeal, soup, cereal, etc.... read more
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South America » Ecuador » East » Nueva Loja June 24th 2014

When I arrived in Lago Agrio, Carlos, the guy from Workaway (website to find volunteering offers), asked me how I wanted to help him. As I said that I love children, he told me that I could help his mother at school, as she had already told him, that she could need some help. I was so happy to get this opportunity: I love being with children and teaching them, especially in another country, where I can see the differences with our school system in France. The children, we were teaching, were 4- or 5-year old and when on the 1st day, I looked at their homework done this year, I can tell you that they are much more advanced that we are at that age in France ! They can count and write the numbers ... read more
Break to eat fruits: bananas, oranges and watermelon
Outside activity: went to a lake nearby
With the class in front of our house

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I finished up at the school by playing ‘pass the parcel’ with my 6 year olds. I thought that I was pretty safe with plastic motor bikes and little dolls as my surprise gifts. It worked reasonably well until the first pink motor bike appeared. It seems that gender colours are already attributed at this age and the poor little kid got a round of laughter from his mates. Little did they know that there were 2 more to be distributed! Fortunately for me, I hadn’t done my homework on how many kids I actually had in the class. This meant I had over-catered and that I could swap the pink for more appropriate colours of green or orange…..whew!! Next was my senior year but unfortunately I missed this class. I hadn’t been given an official ... read more
still walking
Community centre
view of the street with quarry in the background

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 23rd 2014

Next we went to a pottery factory (house) in Gualaceo. Here they make beautiful pottery, all by hand. Even the wheel for throwing the pottery is foot powered, no electricity. The rocks are ground into a powder, then water is added. One man just beats and squeezes the mixture until he has the consistency that they want. Then it is given to the two men that do the throwing and actually make the various items. After they are done, a young man draws the designs by hand, just using a nail. Then they are put in the oven. This is not a gas fired kiln as in the States. It is an oven that is wood fired, and there is no top to it. Once the items to be fired are placed in the oven, they ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 23rd 2014

We went to the park in Gualaceo for lunch and to just relax for a little while. We arrived at the restaurant about 15 minutes before they opened for lunch, so we had some time to look around. What a simple little town. They were preparing for the Corpus Christi celebration. They would be voting on the Reina (queen) of the festival that afternoon. The one selected would be celebrated and later, in the evening, would have a candle lit ride down the river with everyone celebrating her coronation. We had a very nice lunch of chicken, rice, muenestra (beans), orange juice and a small cup of a fruity dessert. We went back out to the park just in time to catch the end of the high school band going through. There was a very long ... read more
IMG_0076 - Debi with our tour guide Jessyca
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 23rd 2014

When we left the park, we drove higher into the mountains to a small town which I did not get the name of. In the pictures you can see the clouds lowering. We thought we would get some rain, but it actually started warming up. We stopped at a very small home and in the front of the house sat a woman making a hat. She starts working about 6 am and ends about 8 pm. By that time she should have a hat made. Her husband was working bringing more straw to her. The straw has to be wet in order for her to weave it. There was another woman sitting on the curb outside the fence surrounding the front of the house also weaving a hat. Once the hats are completed she sells them ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 22nd 2014

We had a great tour today. We went to so many places and I took so many pictures that I am going to break it up by the places we went to. First of all, we went to La Casa de la Makana in Gualaceo. The following is taken from their brochure: "The most representative artisan workshop is owned by Senor Jose Jimenez. This rustic house where the sun shines in with difficulty resembles a museum where the years have stopped on the technique, ability, ancestral tools and on the works of art. This art has to do with a woolen cloth called "Macana" used by women of the Sierra and that serves as a protection from the cold. Due to its beauty and elegence, it is in great demand by visitors who come from the ... read more
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