Category Archives: Cuenca Daily News

Life in Cuenca – Tranquilo and So Interesting

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This tranquil baby is my daughter’s second son, Logan, at 2 months. Of course I am prejudiced but I think he is such a darling little fellow.

I was talking with a cab driver today (all in Espanol!) about life in Cuenca.  He lived in Columbia for 26 years and is so happy to be back in Ecuador.  He said it is much more tranquil here, people are friendly, the temperature is not extreme hot or extreme cold.

He asked why I like living in Cuenca so I told him as well as I can with my limited Spanish.  I love learning about a new culture and a new continent. There are so many kind encounters with Ecuadorians.  Their attitude toward life is generally joyful and thankful.  Lots of good stuff.

There is a lot of national pride in Ecuador.  Football, or what we call soccer is only one sign of national pride.  Many people in Cuenca enjoy talking about the national parks, various villages nearby with specialities of interest like weaving,  breeding orchids , leather purses or making filigreed silver jewlery.  Their pride comes out when they hear that I, as a newcomer, enjoy the people and the sights of Ecuador.  It is nice to see.

No gun toting.  No road rage. There is a national election next month and there are not huge amounts of money being spent by competing politicians. No frantic phone calls or even lawn signs.  Ecuador is a democracy.  I am sure there is corruption in many places (as there is throughout the world) but there are so many things they try to do right.  The contrast is very sharp with the many struggles the US is having with partisan politics, financial issues and gun violence.  How will the US get things turned around when citizens are so divided?

OK, its safer to talk about quilting.  I have been making different quilt blocks to go with the Ohio star blocks for small wall hangings or table runners.  In some cases, a block can be framed and hung on the wall.  In other cases, I plan to string some together, add borders to others, and most of all, I am having fun trying out different fabric scraps to see what contrasts well.  Results are sometimes surprising. Its fun.

Here is a block I will complete tomorrow. It was an interesting one to do.  Sewing curves is not my strongest skill as a quilter but I am proud of the results.

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One thing I want to say about Cuenca: the community of extranjeros or “ex-pats” is surprisingly connected and very supportive.  Sure, the people who make up that community run the usual bell curve of interests, opinions, experience, personalities, etc. The number of English speaking people living here from the US or Canada (and a few from other places like Germany, England, France) is constantly growing with newcomers.  Estimates are 4,000 to 6,000 in Cuenca.  It is not difficult to find some people you like. Since most of this group of ex-pats are retired, many have time to socialize, explore the city and the country of Ecuador.  There are people who play bridge, a fly-cast fishing club, weavers, artists, conservatives, liberals – runs the full gamut.

So my point is that it is nice to arrange a dinner on short notice, ask for help in locating someone who repairs lamps, search for a dog to adopt, seek a source for organic tomatoes, find volunteer opportunities, locate a hairdresser, learn about eating raw food, and so on.  Many people who have lived here even a short time can suggest resources and answer a few questions.

With that in mind, my husband Lenny Charnoff, and another ex-pat Paul Fine, have begun a free

e-resource/exchange called Cuenca Daily News to help people in a new culture communicate about things like this.  Both seeking information and offering information.

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On a different subject:  Some of you recall that my 17 year old cat, Fesity, died in 2012.  I am now seeking two young , healthy orange-and-white kittens to add to our family.  I prefere short hair.  Gender does not matter as both will be neutered/spayed. If you hear of anything that might fit the bill, please let me know.

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Some little kitty like this one would be purrrfect!

Hope you enjoy a fresh new week after a satisfying, relaxing week end.

Sharon

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