Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sitting in Cuenca, sans sewing machine ...

I have been sitting here in our new apartment, here in Cuenca, Ecuador with much time on my hands.
Our new home for the next couple of months:

I am between classes and have yet to start my next volunteer position. New class starts next Tuesday and still do not know what I will be taking. Am currently negotiating with the university over transfer credits. They want me to retake classes and I am rebelling. Oh, but have I ever been itching to get my hands on some sewing. I do regret not bringing my tonka toy sewing machine to at least do some piecing but we decided to travel with only 1 suitcase between the two of us and I was a much a part of the decision as Danny was. I really thought that I could manage to keep busy enough studying, volunteering and touristing to not miss it. WRONG!

As reported earlier I did bring two blocks for my Merry Merry Snowmen appliquéd quilt and I will pull them out and get started tonight. But in the meantime, I also brought a couple of small needlepoint projects. When I unpacked them however, I found that one of them was one that I had already done:
 so then I got out the other. I knew that I had only done one so this one would be available for stitching. Loaded it up and got started ... wait I need a photo so even though I had started to stitch, here it is. 
 These are from the Golden Christmas Crackers by Melissa Shirley that I got. I can't wait to get them finished and sent off to the finisher - they are gorgeous and my Christmas dishes have gold trim to them. 
 The crackers will make a lovely addition to the Christmas table. Will have to make another set for DS and family and then adapt it to silver for the other DS and family.

So what do I do when these three projects are all done? Oh my, oh my, hopefully my next class will more than keep me busy along with touristing.

Our arrival to Ecuador found us first in Quito. What a lovely old heritage city, with many wonderful sites and colors.
 "I am part of Quito, take my photo!" says the fella who came up to us and spoke English.

From Quito we traveled to Manta, on the coast
where we bought some Panama Hats in Montichristi:
 No they are not made in Panama!
and visited with friends from Colombia, the fish market.
 Frank, from Colombia, our guia for the day
 from the boat to the middleman, who sells the whole fish ... 
to the vendor who sells it by the pound ... 
 Albacore tuna
and yes, that is $3.50/lb, freshly caught ... 
Manta is where the canned tuna comes from, we even saw a Sunkist truck. There is also an active, flourishing boat building economy that accompanies the fishing industry.

 the tools were the same as some of the very old ones, not electric by any means, but rather the ones that were manhandled and swung by the best.

Then on to Cuenca. From 9000+ft to sealevel to 8000+ ft, man my head doesn't know which way to turn. Still suffering from mild headaches and sore legs. Cuenca is an UNESCO heritage city and has a wonderful old town as well as a new one. 
 The "new" cathedral in which you can certainly see the Spanish/Moorish influence. The inside is phenominal. 
 and yes, the yellow is gold leaf
 notice how high the ceiling is as compared to the tourists on the floor.
 the front arches, there are 3 of them, are made of marble in varying shades. It sits in a valley with mountains surrounding it. Although we are now in the "dry" season, we still get rain as can be seen in the photo's background. 
 The temperatures are wonderful - love them: 50's at night and 70's during the day. Even at that, the sun's rays are very strong and I have to be very careful.
Everywhere one turns there is colour and inspiration. The children are adorable and the people very friendly, especially if you buy something. :)

 Love the sound of the music from this native flute, even if they are playing modern songs. Of course we had to buy a CD.
 I wish I could sit like a bump on a log and get photos of the many faces that are under the hats. They are priceless and I didn't bring my big camera!
 The inspiration abounds at every turn. Wouldn't these make fabulous quilts? And some of the photos would translate into them as well.
Now here is an unique idea: take an old tablecloth and sew cut-out pieces of metal to make a wall hanging. Somebody has a vivid imagination.

And so we head out ... tomorrow Danny heads to the University de Cuenca for a teaching gig and I await a call from a midwife ... the weekend we will head out to surrounding towns to visit and get more inspiration. In the meantime, I continue to work on my needlework ...


  1. Wonderful pictures of a beautiful country. We have some of the old architecture now that we are retired and living in Mexico in a town of 2700 people.

  2. Where in Mexico? We are thinking of going back to San Cristobal after this.