Friday, November 5, 2010

out of the city - 2!

It seems as though every little town has their item they sell that is their claim to fame.

We have a hard time trying to figure out why someone doesn't go, "Hmmm. These things sell really well in this little town, and there are already 29 places (every single family that lives there) that sell them. We are all selling the exact same thing. Maybe if I go to the next town, where they all sell something else, I could do better business."
But that doesn't seem to happen.
One town sells bizcochos.
The are little sticks of what is somewhat like pie crust.
You can see them here, all piled up.
If you went to the place right beside this place, you would see the exact same thing.
And they are rather tasty little treats.
You can buy about a dozen for $0.75.
But I am pretty sure that you can not buy bizcochos in any other town in Ecuador.
It must be illegal.
There has to be a law that says "one item per town".

Actually, I think they just have a completely different business sense than North Americans.
And notice I didn't say anything like "inferior" or "stupid".
Because, while it may seem that way, it is only because North Americans seem to be focussed on making money.
And the more money the better.

The focus is different here.
It seems that it is more about survival, simplicity and the enjoyment of life.

Yes, North Americans are definitely focussed on the enjoyment of life as well.
But the enjoyment is different.
NA's enjoyment is based on stuff.
SA's (that is: South American) enjoyment is based on relaxation and people.

I could delve into this pretty deeply but I'm going to leave it here:
Which do you think is better?
Which do you think is eternal?
Which do you think fills one with true happiness?
And finally
Which do you think was intended by our Creator?

Moving on.
I just took and posted this picture because it had a Canadian flag - and it was the flag closest to the pretty cathedral.
These were my pants after this:
There is this beautiful waterfall close to Otavalo called Cascada Peguche.
We hiked up to the top of the part that you can see here. Then, at the top, Maddy, our neighbor girl and I, all climbed into the pool at the top (plenty far away from the water pouring over....) and waded through the water, under an archway of rock, to see another waterfall behind that one. I still haven't got the picture from my neighbor of us doing this, and I didn't take my camera with me for fear of dropping it. I didn't fall, but I probably would have if I had the camera with me, if you know what I'm saying.
I did have my jeans rolled up, but just not quite high enough.
It was so pretty in there.

While there were many other things that we saw and did, one of the most striking and memorable was of something I didn't capture on film.
And I was so sad that I didn't.
Remember, this is on the Day of the Dead.
When we were first driving through these towns, we saw hundreds of people, all in their traditional clothing walking with huge packs on their backs (mostly the women) or bundles in their arms. Many were stopping at stands to buy wreaths made of purple, silver, black and white.
Then we saw where these people were all headed.
To the cemetery.
This picture was taken after most of the activity was over.
When it was prime time - like 10:00 - 2:00 or so, the whole place was swarming.
It looked like an ant hill:
When you are far away it just looks like a hill.
This hill looked black, white and purple.
Then you get closer and it seems that the hill is moving.
Then you get closer still and see that it looks like it is moving because it is filled with people (ants).
There were hundreds of people on this hillside graveyard, setting up for their afternoon meal.
Ready to eat and celebrate their dead relatives.
And I was mistaken.
They don't eat the guaguas de pan and colada morada here.
They typically make the deceased's favorite meal, bring it there, eat it together, hang out most of the day, and then leave a plate of food for them.
For the dead person, that is.

It was an incredible sight.
One I don't think I'll forget.

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