Blogs from Ecuador, South America


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 » East » Misahualli April 17th 2022

Hello loyal blog-reading friends! It's time for another exciting entry. This one is packed with travel pics! I usually spend hours and days writing the text and arranging the fotos so each picture coincides with the paragraph of text which corresponds to the image. SORRY! That isn't as likely to happen this time. You'll just need to scroll to the end to see all of the pics that didn't fit in with the text. I chose and captioned the photos weeks ago, but I can't seem to hold still long enough to finish writing and publishing it. How did I get so busy in retirement? One of the reasons I've been unable to work on this blog entry is that I am unable to sit comfortably. I had a fall and am in quite a bit ... read more
Unbridled Joy
Danielle and Amy
La Rinconada

South America » Ecuador » East » Misahualli March 1st 2022

We started the New Year off right, with a ladies' brunch to celebrate our dear seamstress friend, Zahra. She has done so much for our group of gringa friends and refuses to charge us very much if anything at all! Julie hosted the brunch on a sunny morning. Her living room/dining room/kitchen area has a glass roof so it's a bright, joyful space (where we also practice yoga together 3x/wk). She set a beautiful table and the gathering of friends was filled with laughter and affection. I enjoyed a three-day getaway to the jungle with three of my yoga buddies. CiCi came along as well. We went to Misahuallí, a place famous for a large troupe of resident capuchin monkeys who rule the town square. They can be very agressive, grabbing water bottles, cameras...even hats and ... read more
Huge Tree in Misahuallí!
 A Bend in the River
Puka Urku - Red Rock

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

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños April 3rd 2021

Even during a pandemic I managed to enjoy my bday! The day before (which is always Valentine's Day) fell on a Sunday so I arranged for an outdoor luncheon with 10 friends. The best restaurant in Baños, Swiss Bistro, had just re-opened in their new location -- the gardens of a lovely hotel (Ali Samay) - centrally located but not well-known (they mostly work with tour groups). I wanted to help the owner (my dear friend Patrick) jump-start his new and improved dining experience by re-introducing our gringo group to this formerly favorite establishment. A couple of the attendees didn't feel comfortable dining at the same table with so many others, so we arranged for a separate table for them a few meters away from the group. It was a bright, sunny day as we gathered ... read more
Scary Caves!!
My Fave Family!
Fly Niton

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