Saturday, May 28, 2016
We were invited by Paul and Janet to have lunch at Fabiano’s. They are having lunch there with Dave and Victoria, and Susie. This is the first time we have been to this restaurant, and it served great Italian food. There was a lot of laughing and talking around that long, heavy wood table where the eight of us sat.
All of us had lived in Bahia; Dave, Victoria, and Susie still live there. As I enjoyed our gathering, I decided that living through the earthquake in Bahia created a bond of understanding with one another, and a shared sense of thankfulness. It was good to spend time together.
It is raining in Cuenca today and there is a damp chill in the air, so after lunch we all headed over to Tostao’s for lattes and cappuccinos. Dave and Victoria found this place while they have been visiting here. I think it serves the best cappuccino I have had since arriving in Cuenca. This place is a winner! There are two young dudes running Tostao’s who do a great job. I love their coffee art!
Victoria and Dave wanted to visit the Pumapungo museum, so Heidi, Easton, and I went with them. We arrived around 3:30 pm and the museum was closed. Strange that it closes early on the weekends and during festivals. There was a guard at the door who explained this to us.
While we were standing under the overhang to avoid getting rained on, some musicians showed up and went inside. Victoria, who speaks great Spanish, asked one of them what was going on. She was told that they were having a discussion/performance of the Churango, a local Andean stringed instrument. She asked if we could attend and they said yes.
This was awesome because not only did it get us out of the rain but we got to be part of a really cool experience. The discussion was all in Spanish and I didn’t understand a word. There were three different churangos on stage, as well as a guitar. The two men leading the discussion would pick up a churango and point and talk about different aspects of it.
Even though I didn’t understand the words, I could tell however the passion these young people shared around music and this instrument. They did show a short video of a churango being made by hand. It was fascinating to watch. After the video, different people in the audience went onto the stage in the front of the room and played for the group.
It was a pure delight listening to what seemed like an impromptu jam session of these young local musicians playing this culturally important instrument. I had a sudden appreciation for being in Cuenca. What I am experiencing right now is part of the charm and uniqueness that this historic city in the Andes offers. Enjoy these sounds from Cuenca.