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 days...at the Coffee Tree in El Centro...a LARGE cappucino for $1.90. I just LOVE new routines. (You can get a beer for $1.50...lol) 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 children...as 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.