day four in cuenca and we have found our permanent home:
Ricardo Barquea 2-104 y Victor Albornoz, (Puertas del Sol).
you might think we rushed into it, but one knows when a place is right.
david replied to an ad in the Gringo Post yesterday and we met with the realtor and the homeowner this morning.
we knew immediately–even katherine– that this was the place for us. a two story home that offers two separate living spaces. we can live downstairs and have a complete separate apartment upstairs for guests. until guests arrive, katherine has laid claim to the 2nd story bedroom. we’ll use the upstairs living room as an extra reading area. the second bedroom downstairs will serve as my sun-drenched art room.
at the front of the house, tucked in among the small garden is a shed that will serve as a club house for katherine. the landlady said with a grin that she’d clean it out as long as katherine doesn ‘t invite her boyfriends. our niña was horrified! to kat’s dismay and our gratitude, no pets are allowed.
the landlady couldn’t be nicer. her name is susana and she speaks quite good english. i feel we’ll be friends as well as tenants. she will move into a third apartment in the back of the property with a separate entrance and driveway. we will share a small patio. she mentioned that her past tenants and she have often had coffee in the mornings. sounds like a plan!
susana has a business out of her home–she and an assistant make tortillas, empanadas and humitas (sort of like a tamale but different. maize, butter, eggs, cheese wrapped in a husk and steamed). she sells these to offices and businesses for employees’ breaks. she also makes homemade bread which she is happy to provide for a small fee. yes indeed!
she’s younger than we are, a peaceful presence and very gracious. her husband and daughter currently live in germany. she remains here to help her brother and sister care for her elderly parents. susana has a warm personality and very tender heart. she teared up when we told her we would take the house. it is hard to move out of this home she has built up over the past 30 years, but she doesn’t need the space. as a person who cries easily, i felt an instant connection! all of us feel we’ve found a good landlady and friend. our ecuadoran community has begun.
we will move as soon as she can get moved out. April 1, 15th or 30th! we will see if we can remain here at our short-term apartment for a bit longer than our 30 days. if owner can’t extend it for some reason, we’ll store our suitcases and travel as we had originally planned.
we’re in a country we love.
we’ve found a house that allows up plenty of room guests to stay as long as they want in privacy and comfort, and gives katherine a club house, her own bedroom and close proximity to her school. plus we have a possible new friend in the process–one who cries easily no less!
things i love about this country so far:
*all children get an education. high priority. if families are poor, books, uniforms and meals are provided.
*taxi across town costs $1.40.
*no mosquitos (at least where we are.)
*we had excellent Hong Kong Chinese last night with menu written in spanish. our very good meals were served with salsa caliente just in case we needed more flavor!
*our new landlady also makes homemade bread and will provide as much as we want.
*cook and cleaning lady (five days a week) comes with the house. oh. my. goodness.
*parque de la madres nearby is lovely. as i sat and watched katherine play, i noticed the absence of cell phones. college age kids have their cell phones out and look at them frequently. but on the streets, in the parks, in the restaurants–everywhere–you see people talking, walking and living without eyes or ears glued to technology!
me gusta Ecuador!
next time: the challenge of the 72 steps.