Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Old Man

You should click to enlarge this photograph as it's kind of funny. : ) Today is a big day here in Quito as people traditionally "burn the old man" to commemorate the end of the year. "Burn away the old" you might say. Festivities began in earnest on Friday afternoon as many work places celebrated together and burned men all over the city. Tonight there will be many smoke clouds in the sky, firecrackers going off (if you pay a little more your old man can come loaded with fireworks - big and small!) and all around mass celebration alllllllllllllll niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight loooooooooooooooong. Have a wonderful New Years Eve celebration and be safe!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

This is the last beach vacation photo that I will show. I was going to crop out the front lawn to make it prettier, but then it doesn't show the truth. Much of the costal area where we traveled is extremely poor and I believe this photo sort of captures well the scene.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Down by the boardwalk...

Here is a shot of where we actually spent our vacation. Our building is the one you see there on the right so you can see that it is a literal hop, skip and a jump to the ocean. The crashing of the waves all day long is spectacular!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Need a snack?

Also along the way to the beach there are many little "tiendas", or mini marts of sorts...though they're no 7-Eleven you can find water to drink and something crunchy to eat. ;)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Need a ride?

This is a verrrrrrrrrry common site on the way to the beach.
Need a ride? Sure! There's always room for one more!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


...the Pacific Ocean, this portion in the beach town of Tonsupa. Allow me to give you a small beach area tour over the next few days. :)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from Quito!

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father full of grace and truth.” ~ John 1:14 (TNIV)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Beach Refreshments
Edited to say: "See you the 26th!"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Off to the beach!

The time has come for us to head to the beach, where we will celebrate Christmas. That being said, I hope to remember to post tomorrow before we go! I have posted a beach town picture today to give you a glimpse of the town we are headed to. This is a local taxi, and based on what is costs for an average taxi ride here in Quito ($1), I'm guessing you can go places for $.10, $.25 or so. Coastal life is very different than here in the city...I shall be thinking of you all while I'm there and will do my best to capture daily life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Markets galore...

Well, as Alice said in yesterdays comment, markets are a bonanza for DP bloggers, and I agree. It is fun to see all the markets from where people live around the world. This one again is in Otavalo and is a literal color feast for the eyes. The man with the cart is selling fresh squeezed juice, a common availability.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pots, anyone?

Another street vendor selling their wares - this one seems to have everything needed to set up a kitchen. This one was not taken in Quito, rather, in a little artisan town called Otavalo.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The expanse of Quito

Saturday, December 16, 2006

There are many places to rest ones head here in Quito...hostals (hostels) are found all around the city and vary in price, quality of accommodations, food, etc. This one is located near the U.S. Embassy and is probably a pretty nice one.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Today at the mall there were several different sweet carts around - this one had chocolates for sale.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A corny photo...

This is one of my favorite pictures, though taken on the fly in the car. As you can tell, this woman has a very large amount of corn on her back...this is not a common site here, though depending on where you are in the city you might see it more than in other places.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The night sky

Fireworks are quite common here in the evening, though if they do occur you have to run to your window fast as they only last about a minute. It gets dark at 6:30 every night (we are at the equator - thus the country of Ecuador) so there are long evenings available for sky fiestas. A couple nights ago we were dead asleep, only to be awakened at midnight by fireworks that seemed to go on and on. Thinking of my DP friends, I bolted out of bed to catch a shot. ;)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Los Tres Grandes de España

This weekend we went to an art exhibit entitled "Tres Grandes de España" featuring, Goya, Picasso y Miró. It was our first time in the Cultural Center of the Catholic University so it was interesting to be there. There were a LOT of pencil drawings done by Picasso, but very few paintings and works that the common world is familiar with. Miró was our favorite as there were many paintings/colored a lot of his work is just plain silly. :) We, the art critics at hand, determined that by the end of Goya's life, he must have been going a little bit coo coo as his works got more and more out there and his subjects began to take on a look of death and freakishness.

Well, that's the art show review, brought to you by one non-artisan in Quito. ;)

Monday, December 11, 2006

The cost of a rose...

There are many, many street floral "shops" in Quito where you can buy amazing amounts of flowers for practically nothing. Twenty five roses here typically cost $2, and with that bargain price here and the outrageous prices we see in the United States, there are of course, issues (clicking that link will lead you to a recent NPR radio story on this very topic). As one of the leading exporters of roses, this is big business in Ecuador for many people, and life support for others.

Here is an article that is now four years old (I posted it this spring on my other blog)...and yet it seems that nothing has changed. People are still worked to the bone, paid little, suffer health issues because of their work environment, etc., etc.. Too often purchases are made without knowing or even caring how these items came to be available to them in the first place. Perhaps we as consumers need to become more aware...if nothing else, let today's post be an educational piece.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

And to your left, and on another street...this is most certainly the door to someones home. Notice the glass shards for protection on top of the wall.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

To your right is a close up of one of the lovely homes featured below.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Our loss is your find!

Yesterday much to my delight (and my husbands horror) we took a wrong turn on the way home. As is easy to do here because there are so many one way streets and "no u-turn" signs, we found ourselves lost and deeply woven into the south side of the city. A person will get thrown in jail for making u-turns if the police are present so we were good law abiding citizens. Fortunately I had my camera with me and so while they are "on the go" photos", allow me to give you a quick tour of another side of my city over the next couple of days. I love this part of old historical Quito. The colonial buildings are beautiful and rich with history.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Rain, rain, rain...

Lately, because of the rainy season here, we see these fabulously huge, puffy clouds that make you want to run over and try to wrap yourself in them. On this particular day, they were lying so low, just enveloping part of the city. The sun is peeking out above and I think it makes for a lovely photo.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

A Quito Spa

This is about as close as I get to the spa these days.
One must make due. ;)

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

This past weekend the organization Extreme Response threw a Christmas party for the families of those people who work and live at the Zámbiza dump, obviously living in extreme poverty. It is an annual huge event.

Monday, December 4, 2006

I am sorry that there is a street sign in the way of this restaurant shot (I was in the car afterall), but I just had to snap it anyway to show what international characters Sponge Bob and his boss Mr. Krabs are.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

And now I can post a picture! Here's the Chiva holding still. ;) The front bumber says "La Chiva Bonita" - or - The Pretty Chiva. Isn't it gorgeous? HA!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Chiva anyone?

Well, for some reason I cannot get a picture to upload today (anyone else having this problem or is it just me?), so instead I'll include a video from yesterday. This is another common site during Quito Days - Chivas. They drive around the city filled to overflowing with people, a band on top, and just generally having a lot of fun making noise! This is a very tame, under-filled one as it's at a high school. The ones that you see after dark are always stuffed with people...they have been known to tip now and then...

P.S. - Adding this at bedtime...We live near a fairly busy street and since putting the kids to bed tonight and so having a bit of silence/availability of ears to listen outside of my home, I have heard about ten Chivas go by! I wish I could capture them all on film for you (but it is pitch black out)- they are so festive!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Here is another photo from the bull fights of the 29th. I forgot to provide this link in case anyone wants to read a bit more about them. Obviously in Spanish there is a lot more information available, but this is the English version. Also, as a point of interest - all of the matadors come from Spain - they are not locals.