Blogs from Baños, Centre, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños July 7th 2023

Greetings from rainy Baños! July and August are the wettest months...after all, it's winter here now! Mostly it's been raining at night. There are new leaks in my master suite roof with every downpour! The add-on, it seems, didn't add on seamlessly to the existing structure...and they seem to keep popping up in new places all the time. When I awake in the night to hear interior drip-drip-dripping, it's often hard to fall back brain starts fuming. It doesn't even make sense to repair water damage of paint and plaster until I somehow get this resolved.T his week a worker is coming to 'silicon-ize' some problem areas. We shall see if there is any improvement. Shana and I continue to have lunch and play Scrabble at least 2-3 times a week. CiCi is always under ... read more
Delery & Charlotte in Orchid Paradise
My Musical Students
The Warusha Brothers

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños March 3rd 2023

Well, 2023 has been off to a roaring start! Get ready for a wild on to accompany me for non-stop fun! Warning...this'll be a long one! As planned, I helped my friend and yoga partner Julie make a move to the coast. She returned from spending the holidays with family in the Pacific Northwest and had just a few days in Baños to say good-byes before we headed to the beach. I organized a farewell luncheon for her at Karina´s restaurant, Café Hood. Twenty friends bidding her a fond farewell - so nice to all be together. Julie had been storing her stuff in my office closet, so now it was time to pull it all out and see what could be consolidated and how much we'd be able to fit in my car. She ... read more
Rooftop Jenga
Tarp on Top
Mermaids in Olon

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños January 1st 2023

What a wonderful Thanksgiving gathering! I took on the task of brining and roasting the turkey as well as making the stuffing (for inside and outside the bird), and mashing up a mess of real sweet potatoes. The turkey took longer to cook than planned which meant I was still carving when guests began to arrive, and it made for hectic, last minute gravy preparation! Turkey is only for very special occasions here and therefore is very expensive. I bought a $65 bird (yikes!) and put out a little collection tin (a decorated matzoh meal canister). My generous friends donated enough to cover the cost AND a tip for the musician! We were 25 people all together, guests from far and near! Betti and David came all the way from Mojanda near Otavalo (5 hours north!) ... read more
Up on the Terrace
Easy Access Table
Jessica's Bday Cupcake

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños November 7th 2022

Hola Hola! It's been a busy couple of months with plenty of travel and adventures!! Damaris has been one of my English learners for over two years. She's a college student who came to Baños every Saturday for her lesson, all the way from Ambato an hour away. She completed her degree in Physical Therapy at the Technical University of Ambato, and I was an invited guest of honor to her graduation. After the elegant ceremony, her parents invited me to join the whole family for a celebratory dinner in a local restaurant. Since Damaris and her mom had been in charge of the decorations and the cap and gown rentals, I stayed behind to help them collect the robes from all 26 of the graduates and to help load all the flowers and balloons into ... read more
Graduation Ceremony
Jungle Kids
Jungle River

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños August 26th 2022

One silver lining of being 'stuck' in Baños during the country-paralyzing strikes in June was that Colin and Lori stayed for a week in my rental apartment and in his boredom, Colin had tons of drone fun all around my neighborhood. Many thanks to Colin for sharing these amazing pics with me - now my blog followers can get a real feel for the magical river valley where my house is situated! Enjoy the series of pics of my home, La Cabaña de Chocolate, located on Via al Salado in the Bascún River Valley at the base of Mama Tungurahua Volcano. The indigenous road blockades lasted for about 9 days, but shortly after the strike was lifted the jungle access road was blocked again, this time by mudslides and rockslides. There are only two main roadways ... read more
My House From Above
Surrounded by Green
A Dip In The Waterfall

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 29th 2022

As promised at the end of my last blog entry, here are some pix of the finished patchwork quilt. Danielle and I worked together on it for over four months. It was a long and arduous process with many fits and starts, pauses and changes, ideas and discoveries. When we first talked about her coming down to stay in my rental apartment for six months, part of the agreement was that she would help me with the project that had been percolating in my mind for so long. I am incredibly grateful for her knowledge, skill and patience as we waded through each step of the creation of this masterpiece! First I unearthed all of the fabric bits I'd been saving for over 30 years. There were clothes from Bali that shredded after three washings, scraps ... read more
The Finished Quilt
Proud Artistes
Elegant Birthday Lunch

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 25th 2021

Making my home my own has been an ongoing labor of love (interwoven with periods of frustration and many lessons to learn). Many thanks to Zahra, seamstress extraordinaire, for helping me to re-cover my headboard with the remainder of the neckties. It completes the ensemble with the recycled tire ottomans (ottomen?) that we previously created together. It turns out that I loved my new duvet cover sooo much that I went out and bought another one and Zahra turned it into drapes. My new best friend Chris had just found some skinny bamboo pieces, exactly what I needed to hang the drapes from the top of my sliding glass entry doors. My fabulous carpenter, Leonidas sanded the bamboo and made small wooden supports to create just the look I had in mind. Two very bright street ... read more
Duvet Cover Drapes
New Brick Patio
Cracking Walls

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños November 6th 2021

I'm free!! Free of the constant banging of the worker with whom I shared a cement block wall for five years! My new master suite is complete and it is a dream come true. Is it possible that the finished project is even more beautiful and functional than I envisioned it might be? For decades I have imagined creating a liveable work of art, and I am now inhabiting the brick and mortar reality of those imaginings. I am infinitely grateful to all who helped me bring my vision into being. I am especially grateful to my carpenter whose hard work was integral to the beautiful space we created! Almost six months ago we began the flooring process with a trip to Puyo, an hour away on the edge of the Amazon basin. We selected each ... read more
CiCi Approves
My Dream Closet
Finishing Touches

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños August 26th 2021

So, it's already September and my construction project still isn't finished...almost!! But it seems like it's been 'almost' for over a month. Argh! This last little push seems interminably slow. Right now the hardwood floors are going in, even as we are still working out kinks - like persistent dampness and leaks in the roof & the staircase. It's been a journey...and in true construction fashion the job has ended up taking twice as long and costing twice as much as originally planned! As the architect told me (and I totally believe this) a remodel is much more difficult than building from the ground up -- since you have to deal with all of the existing factors. In my case it's been moisture in the walls that are shared with neighbors, rotting hot water pipes and ... read more
Glass Risers
Staircase from Below

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 22nd 2021

Hello Friends! Fasten your seatbelts because this blog entry has a LOT going on!! I've tried to put the photos in some sort of order, but my life is kind of topsy-turvy right now and so is my brain!! My home is completely "patas arriba" (paws up) as they say in Español which affects my thinking and my daily routine, but I'll make it through. Keeping my eyes on the prize! I had the good fortune to participate in birthday celebrations with several different friends! Also, special visits from other friends. My social life is reactivating a bit...and it feels good. My seamstress friend, Zahra and I drove a half-hour down to just past Rio Verde where Melinda and her partner Franco have a sweet little hostel and campground called Pequeño Paraíso. Mel wants to update ... read more
Rami and Daphna in Baños
Ladies' Luncheon
Birthday Luxury

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