Now THESE little beauties grow in well tended gardens at the only "western style" shopping centre (the Mall del Rio) near where I'm staying in Santa Ana de los Cuatro Rios de Cuenca.
Now, if you're interested in seeing more orchids, with MUCH better photography than mine, just click on this link, which will take you to an orchid farm just outside the city, where I've decided to be a frequent visitor. For the obsessed (and relatively wealthy) orchid lovers out there, you can also do a ten day tour around Ecuador, including the Andes mountains and the Amazon. Step right up!
Yosef-the-son also at the outside cooker...OH...and if you need it, young Joseph is also a trained hairdresser and a trained computer tech! One stop shopping!
They are the most gracious hosts, and their soirees are usually booked SOLID within a day or two of their e-mail invitations, so we have to hit "reply" as soon as the e-mail comes in!
Now a story...the first dinner I attended there, Joe-the-Dad came to chat with me, heard I was from Halifax, and said
"HALIFAX!? I just KNEW it!! Do you REMEMBER me?"
Okay...deer-caught-in-the-headlights-time...I was scrolling back through my faulty memory, thinking (with more than a little consternation)
"Ooohhh, was this guy a SAILOR? Was he a CLIENT!?"
(I was an Air Force social worker in a previous life, and NO, I do NOT remember every single client...)
So Joe waits as I grow ever-more-uncomfortable, then says...with this sad (accusing!) face...
"You really DON'T remember me, do you?"
Had to 'fess up.
"No I really don't, I'm sorry...please remind me how we met..."
to which he responded
"We never did. I've never been in Halifax in my life...but I sure am glad you're here!"
Well, that was my FIRST experience at his Secret Garden, and I was hooked right away! If you're interested in getting on his mailing list for your next trip to Ecuador,
This was their watermelon punch today...laced liberally with Vodka. YUM!
This is Rucci, my landlady, who has heightened my experience in this beautiful country by leaps and bounds!
The vista during the day, of the city in the valley below.
...and at dusk...
I have met so many WONDERFUL, kind, helpful people here...Ecuadorians and ex-pats alike. The taxi drivers and and I practice our fractured English and Spanish together, and eventually get me where I need to go...often with great laughter.