Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's been a while!

Life in South America...amazing, complicated, busy, friendly, exhilarating...the list goes on. It takes a few hours each time I edit pictures and update my blog, and I've been so busy that updating has been low on my list, but here goes. Speaking of editing and updating, I'm not sure what's happening with my blog text formatting these days, so you'll likely see several different fonts in this post till I get it figured out...a technical whiz I am NOT!

THIS is how I start most the Coffee Tree in El Centro...a LARGE cappucino for $1.90. I just LOVE new routines. (You can get a beer for $ This is a WiFi cafe, so I can spend a couple of hours on the computer, or the IPOD, catching up with things back home, and enjoying as many of these cappucinos as my nerves can stand.Then I toddle off to the Kookaburra Cafe to meet with friends for...MORE coffee! The Kookaburra is currently owned by Chris and Jenny, friendly Aussie ex-pats and artists. They've recently sold the cafe to CANADIANS, and will be moving on to Paute, Ecuador, to spend more time with their art. Carol and her husband Rick will take over, officially, in May, and have promised to keep that most wonderful nutty grainy natural BREAD on their menu. Check Trip Advisor's compliments...just click the link right here.

Okay, so here's a veritable feast for the eyes...some of the beautiful architecture I've enjoyed here...again and again......the cathedrals will take your breath away, and you don't even have to be Catholic to be amazed. I'll post some pics of the stunning interiors next week. THIS is the "new" Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It's located on one side of the main inner city park, Parque Calderon, which is a wonderfully BUSY place, with new sights and sounds every single day! Sometimes, I take my e-reader downtown with me and spend a couple of hours in the park, reading and watching the (ALWAYS interesting) people traffic. History lesson: construction of the cathedral started in 1880, and was completed ninety four years later...REALLY! My land-lady's grandfather made bricks for this church. The HUGE pillars are covered with pink Italian Carerra marble. The cathedral includes three different architectural styles, Roman, Gothic and Baroque, and the roof was constructed in the Renaissance style, with a series of six blue and white cuppolas of different heights. It's an architectural landmark in El Centro (the old city), and acts as a perfect landmark for the geographically impaired (myself included!).

This cathedral takes up two full city blocks...must be SEEN to be believed.

I'm TICKLED PINK with this pic, taken from the rooftop of a friend's apartment building during a very VERY happy ex-pat party last weekend. The cathedral towers are lit up in different colours for different occasions...SO beautiful!

Now here's a smaller church, in Chordeleg Ecuador, about an hour from Cuenca...I've been here several times now...such a PRETTY village.

Last time I was there, I was so lucky to watch a dance competition. Young and old indigenous women and men...swirling and twirling...showing us their happiness in the old traditions...

Aren't these GORGEOUS...more handmade/hand-painted ceramics:

To close this post, here are pics of my new house! I've signed a lease for a year...happy happy joy joy! Who KNOWS what will happen after that...but meanwhile, mi casa es su casa...

Now you KNOW that this wee garden will be FILLED with flowers by the time you visit!
My new neighbour will have just a little competition. We only have a tiny green space, but look what they've done with it! My townhouse is the end unit, so I have another green space on the side as well, about twice this size...enough room for a little light gardening, not enough to be overwhelming.

Finally, a little "Iguana art..." courtesy of my San Francisco friend Lois...

...and just a couple more of beautiful Latina children. This little girl comes with her mother every day, as Mum works in an open air stall selling handmade jewelry. I purchased a woven bracelet for a special grandson there.

This is often how indigenous women carry their small they work all day in open air markets, or simply on the streets, selling fruit, vegetables and handmade treasures.
Have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are...wishing you time with the people you love, doing the things that you love to do.


  1. Great Pad! So happy you are finding a spot you want to put down some roots (flower roots) at :)

  2. Hi there,
    I've enjoyed reading through your blog! Could you tell me where those beautiful ceramic bowls can be found?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Holly! Omigosh, how GREAT to meet you last night...what a small world. Now that you know where the bowls are (second level, Del Rio), go forth and contribute to the economy! Hope to see you at Joe's next week for his famous fried chicken.

    2. Hi Deb. Congratulations on the new lease! What a lease on it all, hey? Love the pic of my room! :-) I'll be there somehow! Work's still a grind so to speak. Talk to you in a few weeks! Take care and love your blog. What a beautiful place! X

  3. Gorgeous, Deborah, I'm loving the updates. The churches are beautiful; I want to see inside them as well. You can't help but want to learn their history, can you? You're doing this at the perfect time -- old enough to appreciate, young enough to enjoy.

  4. Hi Deborah

    there something very appealing about having a latte here, followed by a coffee elsewhere, followed by .... and is there a siesta in there somewhere ? happy party's. yesterday I, by chance I spoke with someone from Equador, said Cuenca is absolutely stunning, the architecture etc. the photos are excellent, such a different lifestyle. kids on the back, off to work at the market.

    look forward to chatting. Lorena

  5. Deb:

    Enjoying your blog. Bernie & I loved your pictures to date. Love the cathedrals, flowers, beautiful children, gorgeous skirts on the dancers, ceramics are spectacular. Magnifico! (I always said mi casa est tu casa! Is tu only for family?) Your condu is lovely, also. Wishing you the best!


  6. The boys would like to know how to make a fern pattern in their hot chocolate like in your coffee! They loved the iguanas :)

    Connor says, "I like the buildings and the house because they're so high!"
    Avery says, "I love the volcano."
    Logan says, "Hi, Grammie!"
    Morgan says, "Cool pics!"

  7. Hi Deborah,
    It looks beautiful and you certainly are seeing and enjoying it all. The pictures and stories are absolutely beautiful. Looking forward to seeing you when you are back in NS.


  8. Hi Deb, so glad to hear from you once again, everything there is so lovely, I can only begin to imagine how beautiful you're gardens will be once you get into designing you're garden, so many new flowers you can choose that grow in you're climate.Have you started shopping for you're furniture yet? Can you ship some of your furniture over? Looking forward to seeing you on you're return. Absolutely love the churches, are you having pancakes there today, do they celebrate Shrove Tuesday there? Very Catholic there so I expect they have something exceptional there? You will have to let us know, so glad you got an ereader, great aren't they,don't have to drag around all those books when travelling, Take Care , Reg.

    1. Hey Reg...OOOOHHH YES, all the Catholic feast days are BIG deals here. I never SAW so many ashes on so many foreheads in my LIFE! Furniture? YES! I have a new fridge, new livingroom and diningroom furniture (like NOTHING I've ever had before! lol), and one queen sized bed so far. The "guest bedroom" will be furnished by the time you come :)

  9. The new space looks perfect and will no doubt be charming once you put your own touches upon it. I think I'll pack my bags and come visit! haha, just kidding....I'd have to bring two dogs, a cat and a teen :)

  10. I am totally loving your blog! Can't wait to explore some more!

  11. HEY! Long time no see, woman. Glad to see you're still whooping it up in South America! Do you have plans to live there long term now?? How are your grandbabies?

  12. This is going to be an exciting and enjoyable read. I am just starting and will look forward to every new adventure. I admire your willingness to just let go and move forward with your dreams.

    1. THANK YOU "Anonymous Anne..." whoever you are!

  13. can't figure out what I need to comment with other than anonymous so I will be anonymous Anne until I do.....

  14. what a wonderful place. No wonder you love it. Would love to go one day.
    I'll follow your blog from now on... Let's hope you are staying away from blogger hell LOL
    isa x

  15. I had no idea you had a blog! And a very well done one too! Keep posting and I will be checking in!

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