Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The apartment

Took a few photos up and down the street to try to give a sense of what it’s like here on the northeastern edge of Otavalo. Nice quiet street, eg no busses or barking dogs or roosters immediately adjacent. The first shot shows two prominent neighbors: the vulcanizadoro (tire fixing guy) with the truck parked out front getting help, and across the street that tiny awning is where the elderly woman has a huge skillet simmering every single day. Not sure it’s public, but I dropped in for lunch one day and met the folks. The contents are, pause for emphasis, the same every single day. That family (including the automechanic shop out back and its workers) eats the same lunch every single day. That is, no joke, a big part of living the low-consumption reality here – tolerance of sameness. I can’t imagine eating it every day, though it was yummy the once I had it. Papas con cuero (Potatoes with leather, ie pigskin) over rice. She asked if I wanted the $1 or the $2 plate, I said $2. I think if I had said $1 she would have fished out only potatoes and left the skin in the pan. With a 7 oz Coke. Real life.

Other shot shows the 1.5 blocks before the street ends in a steep lane which quickly becomes dirt – great local hiking. And the backside is this vacant lot which today contains 3 cows grazing (I guess the zoning must be Cow-3), other days smooching teens or goats. Quiet, lovely. P


Brent Emmons said...


What an amazing experience. I enjoyed viewing your adventures in Ecuador! I was an exchange student while in high school. It can be a difficult experience living abroad. Be patient with yourself. Taste, smell, listen, and participate as much as you can. This experience will inform your choices and knowledge for the rest of your life. Be well.

Brent Emmons

Those Bartons said...

I often marvel at the number of passes the street sweeper makes here in Hood River to keep things tidy. As a culture we seem to value order and privacy..maybe interdependent of povery? A few chickens, a goat, city projects under construction for years, and an edible landscape may seem a chaotic scene..but it would be a nice change to have such a lively street culture. Eleanor missed having rosie attend her rollerskating party. When you come back, maybe we can talk you into an Oaks Park rollerskating date in Portland.

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