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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Special Tourists

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I were fortunate to play tour guides to some very special tourists this past week.  These tourists, Mark, Teresa, Martin and Marion have been traveling together for over 15 years.  Mark and Teresa live in Santa Rosa, California and Martin and Marion live in London.  Every two years, for the last 15 or so years, they and their children have vacationed together somewhere in the world.  This year they picked Ecuador.

They spent some time in Quito and then flew to the Galapagos to cruise the islands.  Lucky for us they decided to do a whirlwind, one day, Cuenca visit before returning home. We know Mark and Teresa through Audrey and Jim (Chuck's sister).

We started the tour in Parque Calderon, visiting the new cathedral and then went to the flower market.


We showed them where the cloistered nuns live and where and how they sell their goodies.  Mark decided to be a customer and bought some figs and jam.  He put his money on the turn stile window and in a moment he had the jam and figs.

We, of course, took them on the famous double deck sightseeing bus.

After lunch we went to the museum of aboriginal culture.

This was great for us because, although we have lived here three years, this was our first visit too.  We had a great tour....the displays were fantastic.

After the museum we went to the Panama Hat Museum where we were shown the techniques of how Panama hats have been made through the years.

They rewarded us with a wonderful dinner at Tiestos.  We had a great day and appreciate their kindness.

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What else have we been up to...

I told you in our last post that I would share some pictures from our trip to Saraguro.  Unfortunately my camera battery died and I couldn't take pictures.

Here is a picture I made after we returned home.  This is a picture of a necklace I bought for my sister, Mary Anne.

We bought some art for our vacation rental condo.

And yesterday we spent the day with friends in the Yunguilla valley.  Retirement life in Ecuador is pretty great.  Look at these ain't a bad life!

I am going to the U.S. next week to visit family.

I'll share about that with you next time.


Friday, July 22, 2011

FINALLY! The Pottery Showroom is Open!

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I headed out in Puff-Puff for Loja this morning.  We have gone to or through Loja several times over the last couple of years hoping to find the ceramic showroom open.  The ceramic showroom is located at the University Technica Particular.  The students make the ceramics and pottery.  We have bought from them in the past and love their work, but we have had bad luck in buying more.  Each time we go to Loja the showroom has been closed for remodeling.  Well, my friends, it is remodeled and open to the public again.

Here is Chuck entering the new showroom.

They have two products: clay pottery and ceramic dishes.

The clay pottery is called Nakanchik which translates to Ours.

Here is a picture of a small sample of the wide variety of pottery available.

Their ceramics are called YAPACUNCHI which means Give something more.

I had my trusty camera ready but after a few shots the battery died!  But here are some of their patterns.

I love the bright bold colors they use.

They had some beautiful ceramic figurines of women from Saraguro.  They are spinning wool.  Notice the beads at their neck....they are real beads.

We decided on some dishes to go in our short term rental condo.  Since most of our renters will be visitors from the U.S. or Canada, I think they will enjoy the choice we made.  It is quite a cute Ecuadorian sierra pattern.  Three women sitting in the Andes mountains. Take a look.

Fun dishes for our renters to enjoy!

At this moment I have my camera battery recharging.  We plan to stop in Saraguro tomorrow on the way back to Cuenca.  I hope to get a few pictures there to share with you next time.

Happy weekend nos amigos.

Nancy and Chuck

Sunday, July 17, 2011

River Wash-a-teria

Dear Family and Friends,

We have been having fun learning to be land lords.  Our second set of tenants left on Friday and we have new tenants arriving mid week.  This is a new adventure for us and we want to do it right.  So good.

This morning we left our apartment to meet Rich and Nancy for our Sunday stroll to Kookaburras for breakfast.  I looked across the river and enjoyed seeing these three people using the river.  They were just yards from each other and busy washing....

a bicycle....

 a car floormat....

and this lady, using here feet as an agitator.

We love being observers here...after three years we are still entertained by the little things.

Hope your week is a great one.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Right in our own Backyard!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday, our friend, Gerard took Chuck and I to see the property that he and his wife are going to use to build their next home.

It was about a 15 - 20 minute ride out of town and up the side of the mountain.

They have a wonderful view of all of Cuenca.  We had never seen the Cuenca valley from this vantage point.  It was breathtaking.

We've been here about 3 years and didn't even know we had this wonderful sight right in our own backyard.

Thanks so much Gerard.  We had a great time.

Nancy & Chuck