Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pretty flowers

We made our way out on Tuesday, (first taxi ride in two weeks -- gotta get back on that horse!) to go with Sonia to the gallery and home of artist Eduardo Segovia.  As we were leaving, Sr. Segovia gave us a couple of flowers to take home with us out of his beautiful garden.

The first one looks like a hummingbird, and he told us that it was one of his inspirations for some of his amazing pottery.

The other was gorgeous.  The center was multi-colored and surrounded by beautiful petals.  I'm afraid the picture doesn't really do it justice, but here it is.

This was our third or fourth time at Sr. Segovia's home.  He is a lovely man and an amazing artist.  As always, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

On another note, outside our windows we usually have a couple of cattle that are tethered and grazing.  Well, one is tethered, and the other is a calf so is allowed to roam.  But he doesn't go far, because always with these two is a dog that is keeping watch over them.  If the calf wanders too far away, she goes and retrieves him.  She is always with them.  She's the "cow dog" and she keeps close track of her charges.  Here's a picture of her loving protection of her herd.  That dark clump behind her is one of her cows, and she's keeping an eye on the calf.  Sometimes we see them all napping close up against each other, and we've even seen them all nuzzling each other.  It's really a sight to see.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wonderful Cuencanos

On Tuesday evening, while on our way to our friends Brian & Shelley's place for dinner, our cab rear-ended another car that had stopped suddenly to make a turn.  We were only a few blocks from home.  Gil was in the front seat wearing his seat belt.  After searching to see if the latch was available and finding it (some cab driver's hide them or cut off the back seat belts), I was in the process of putting on my seat belt when the collision occurred.  Since I did not have on my seat belt yet, I slammed into the back of Gil's seat. 

Gil received a pulled muscle in his lower back.  I have contusions on both shins, my chin and my right bicep, and pulled muscles in my right trapezius.  Other than that, we are, fortunately, both fine.

Immediately after the collision, we exited the car and went over to the curb.  Gil was obviously in pain, and I had a softball sized swelling on my left shin, and I was hardly able to speak due to the impact on my chin.  A wonderful Cuencano man stopped, got out of his car and asked if he could take us to the hospital.  (He spoke English.)  The cab driver said he needed to call an ambulance for insurance purposes.  So the other man had us sit in his car (with his two middle-school aged daughters) while we waited for the ambulance.  He took care of getting the insurance information and providing whatever of our information was needed for the police or insurance report.  His little girls were sweet and lovely toward us too.  He provided us with his contact information in case we needed anything further after the ambulance took us away.

When the ambulance arrived, the emergency personnel were sweet and professional.  One of them also spoke English.  They took good care of us and transported us to the hospital. 

When we arrived at the hospital, the staff was also very kind and professional.  After x-rays of my leg and chin, it was determined that I, thankfully, had only contusions.  Gil's x-rays were also negative.  The emergency room doctor also spoke English.  (However, I must say, our Spanish was good enough that we were able to communicate with and understand the staff that did not speak English.  Thank you, Sonia, for all your wonderful teaching!!)

The taxi driver's daughter and her husband came to the hospital to look after us.  They paid all of our expenses, retrieved our prescriptions for us, and brought us home.  They offered to go buy for us extra ice for icing our hurts, but we said we had enough in the freezer.  They came upstairs and provided us with the directions for what we needed to do with our medications.  Again, they provided us with their contact information in case we needed anything further.  Fortunately, the taxi driver was not hurt, and we don't think anyone in the other car was injured either.

The people of Cuenca are so kind, generous, thoughtful and caring.  We feel very, very fortunate to be living here among them.

Thank you to all of you who helped us in our time of need. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wonderful New Gallery

Our beloved Spanish teacher, Sonia, stopped teaching in September to pursue her dream of opening a gallery and arranging visits to artists's studios.  Last night, she had her grand opening of her Art Cuenca Gallery.  The gallery is located on Simon Bolivar and Miguel Heredia. 

Featured artist was Miguel Illescas.  Miguel does work in wood and metal.  He is known around the world, and his work has been shown in the National Geographic Gallery/Museum in Washington D.C.  We love his work, and have several pieces of our own.  And to top it off, he's an all around very nice guy.  Here are a few pictures of the event.

Miguel Illescas and his wife Sondra

Artist Eduardo Segovia (in the back)

Sonia, the happy gallery owner

One of Miguel's wall hangings

Gallery crowd


Miguel is now making jewelry too.  Guess who bought one!  Got one of the seahorses.

Some of Miguel's world renowned animal sculptures.

Another wall hanging. 

Paintings on metal.

A mask.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


It's election season here in Ecuador.  It's mercifully short.  While I was out shopping for fabric with my friend Rhonda, Gil ran across this little political rally in Parque Calderon for a candidate for the National Assembly.

And here's the candidate herself.

This supporter found a way to see over the crowd.