Day 155 Ecuador- Panama hats

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Today the sun was shining! It has been overcast and rainy the last few days. It amazes me how sensitive I am to sunshine. With it, I feel much more optimistic and have a better sense of well being than without it.  I’m going to have to pay attention to this self-dynamic while I’m living in Cuenca, and take care of myself when I run into a string of sunless days.

The internet guys showed up this morning just before 10 am. Hello world, I’m back online! It seems silly but when I want to upload videos and pictures to my blog posts, the lack of internet becomes a major deal. I still have blog posts from the days after the earthquake that I have been waiting for good internet to load pics and vids. Those past days should be posted soon.

Panama hats for sale at the museum

Panama hats for sale at the museum

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Green machines used to shape the Panama hats line the edge of the room

Heidi, Easton, Linsley, and I went into El Centro to walk around and shop some of the markets. Linsley wanted to get a Panama hat, so we dropped into the Panama Hat Museum. This museum has displays of some of the old methods used to make the hats. It involved a rounded upright cylindrical stone where a round, plate-like woven straw piece was placed over it. Another smoothed out stone was placed over the first to begin the shaping process. Today there are machines that do all the forming of the hat. Linsley had one custom made for her, and it took about 30 minutes to make.

We stopped by Tostao’s for coffee and then headed to the Rotary market to find some bedside table lamps and baskets. Heidi found the baskets she was looking for but no luck on the lamps. Lamps are difficult to find here. As we have been looking in various stores the selection is limited, usually only a few styles to choose from. The other thing that then happens, the store will only have one, not two, of the same lamp. It is strange to me. Of course price becomes a player in the decision as well; one bedside lamp seems to run $50 to $80. I don’t get it.

The name of the Ecuadorian woman we bought the baskets from is Dolores. We told her we bought baskets from her before and then she put a large smile on her face. She introduced herself to us, and asked each of us our names. Ecuadorians have a hard time pronouncing my name. It is fun watching them try, and I have the same problem trying to pronounce many of their names. I recognize that a lot of enunciation is dependent on familiar sound to illicit movement of the tongue and mouth to create it, when the sound is unfamiliar the tongue gets confused.

Linsley is headed back to Quito and then in a couple of weeks back to the States. It was so great having her visit. After the earthquake everyone was in such a scramble to deal with their personal stuff and make arrangements to leave Bahia, that we all kind of scattered without adequate time to say goodbye and enjoy each other’s company. This visit gave us the time we needed to say goodbye to Linsley, and added one more level of closure to the aftermath of the earthquake for us.

20160614_13442020160614_134500It was a beautiful day in Cuenca. Here is a view from behind the Panama Hat Museum looking over the Tomebamba river and then across the city toward Turi.

 

Chau.

 

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