Well, if all goes according to plan tomorrow I will be heading on a bus with Sarah´s Chuffmate, Ben. I don´t know where “chuffmate” comes from but it´s Sarah´s term for “not really my boyfriend but sort of”. Cute.
I checked out of my hostal this morning and found my way to the Cuenca House which is only for Peace Corps people and friends. Everyone there could speak english except the host so it was a relief to have multiple translators. Sarah tought me the password to get in: Soy amigo de la Sarita. I am the friend of Sarah. It worked. I was just in time for hot chocalate and a long conversation around the breakfast table. People were stumbling into the kitchen at 9:00 in the morning making me feel all zesty since I had gotten up at 7:00.
We went out for breakfast at about 11:00, then I walked another Sarah across town to the bus stop. After that I wandered back and forth across Cuenca. The open markets are all open although a little slow on Sunday and I was shop hungry. I got a shoulder bag – always need one of those, I got a sort of gauze traditional shirt and whatever else. I didn´t go too crazy. For now I´m trying to stick with stuff that I “need”.
Tonight we had Chineses food which is sort of hard to fathom in Ecuador. The Chile sauce was translated as salsa, the wantons were fried chips, basically. We figured that they hadn´t actually filled the wanton shell, just fried it flat and served it with sweet and sour sauce. Anyways, my feet are dusy from all the treking and I´m all sunburnt. I forgot about that hazard.
Tomorrow Ben and I take a taxi to the bus station and a 2 hr bus ride to Jima (cost: $1). There I will share the little house with Sarah, tour around with her on her duties and find time to draw. People have suggested finding someone to actually teach me Spanish and today I learned that there is a Salsa class in Cuenca! That would be so much fun! Phooey.
I don´t know if I remembered to mention the climate or not. We are in the mountains, 8,000 ft above sea level. Jima is just under 9,000 ft. It´s a relief to know this since I am often gasping just from walking and talking at the same time. The weather is just about perfect, a little warm around noon but it´s usually that nice sunny warm, probably mid 70´s. Nice. There´s some monstrous catherdral on just about every corner, you´ve got the tile rooves and balconies spilling with terra cota flowerpots of flowers. I love the huge rolling clouds that are always in the sky. All the streets are narrow and cobblestoned. A lot of the stones on the sidewalk have smooth rounded corners. Some sidewalks are terracotta tiles. Very old feeling. There is one cantina with a rounded doorway, just like a hobbit hovel, so cute. All right. Well, I better get going. I´ll write again when I get the chance. Love the cheap internet!