Monday, February 6, 2012

Casa Quinde and About

An Ecuadorian potato dish was on the menu for last night. Venancia had asked me for $5 for the potatoes; when she arrived, she gave me a dollar in change and a plastic bag containing at least 100 potatoes! Venancia made chicken, broccoli, potato pancakes and a salad. And a salsa for Art, from a chili and a fruit called, I think, tomato de arbol. He pronounced it delicious. I took a taste on one fingertip and my mouth suffered for 10 minutes.

We are reading, mostly, as our bodies acclimatize. Our hosts have a small library full of books I'd thought about reading but never got around to. I just started The Time Traveler's Wife and wonder why I didn't read it when it first came out. Art is reading a recent issue of The Sun where the theme is work and lack of work; we're both interested in this as we watch our children dealing with the current economy.

In the back yard of Casa Quinde I can't help taking pictures. Someone who lives in this house has a wonderful eye for placement of plants, and the God of this area has blessed it with spectacular scenery, both close up and distant. I hope we can drag ourselves away from the house and explore the surrounding area.

Bird feeding station, Casa Quinde front porch, clothesline amid the fuschias

We walked into the village of San Pablo this afternoon. It's just outside the gate of our compound. I noticed the adults didn't make eye contact with us as we passed. I wonder if that's part of their culture like it is for the Lakota Sioux we learned about last spring in the Black Hills. We stopped at a panaderia (bakery) for a couple of pastries for which we paid a total of 60 cents. At a tienda (small shop) we hoped to buy an onion, but I didn't know the word for onion and my dramatic rendition of cutting one and then weeping elicited giggles from the children gathered around, but no onion.

Out of respect, we didn't take any pictures of the people we saw, except for one: I sat on a bench and behind me four teenage girls sat on another, talking and giggling, and Art set up a camera shot of them that looked like he was taking a picture of me. Sneaky, but respectful!



We shared the road with cars, pedestrians and animals.


We explored the cemetery as well. We'd been told the indigenous people are buried at the back of the cemetery, in the ground, but mestizos (mixed indigenous and Spanish from colonial times) are buried in the front of the cemetery, above ground in niches.


As we were returning to the gate, a young boy approached, kicking a soccer ball. I blocked the kick and my return went straight into an empty niche! The boy and his friend backed away. I looked around for a long stick but didn't see one, so I crawled in about four feet and retrieved the ball. When I emerged, the boys were at least 15 feet from me, watching. I tossed them the ball. "Lo ciento," I apologized. I think I might have violated sacred ground or something. I did check my hoodie and my shirt to make sure no large venomous spiders had attached themselves to my clothing.

At the wi-fi I found a google translator and began my own little dictionary: onion is cebolla; dessert (so I can ask Venancia to make us a local one) is postre; ice cream (so I can find some!) is helado. This is called just-in-time learning!







11 comments:

Ms Sparrow said...

It sounds like you are immersing yourselves in the place and your followers are reaping the benefits!

Linda Reeder said...

You're already getting about and about. And it certainly is very important that you know how to ask for ice Cream!

Out on the prairie said...

With just basic spainish background you will be surprised how fast you pick it back up.

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad your are out and about enjoying the culture and taking us with you. I have the feeling that someone on a modest U.S.income could live quite well there.

Chantel said...

Sounds like a lovely day! I laughed at the soccer ball! (SO something I would do)

Deere Driver said...

Just catching up on your trip. You are having a wonderful experience already. Imagine by the time you get back to the airport! It will be another book!

DJan said...

It is so gorgeous there! I love the pictures, and I can see why you would have a hard time tearing yourself away from that place. Smart move to take a picture of you while also getting the teenagers in, too. Lovely pictures! I am enjoying this trip, too. :-)

Teresa Evangeline said...

You had me with "clothesline amid the fuschias." It sounds like you are having wonderful fun. It sounds like a good place to spend the winter.

Dar said...

Learning a new culture can be exhausting but you seem to fit right in, in no time. So happy you are taking us along on your stay at such an intriguing place. Onion...I'd be asking too...love them.
BlessYourHeart

Retired English Teacher said...

I do love your casa. It reminds me a great deal of one that I stayed in for a couple of weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico. Venturing out as you are doing makes very good sense. Soak up all the language and culture that you can.

rosaria said...

This is so much fun!