Holy Anemometers, Batman!

Just in time for Easter, this post has a little religion and a little science all in one! Not that I ever mix the two, but sometimes it’s interesting when they stand side by side.

Last Thursday I took my first pilgrimage up the mountain with colleagues to check out one of the weather stations. We drove about 30 minutes up toward Cajas National Park, west of Cuenca. I was excited to get out in the countryside, having been cooped up from all the rain these past couple of weeks.

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The anemometer is an instrument that measures windspeed – the little cups rotate in the wind.

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Favorite Spots in Cuenca #3 – Puro Cafe

I’m not a coffee drinker. But I will purchase a cup of good coffee now and then – especially if it means I can sit at Puro Cafe, on the terrace of Iglesia Todo Santos, and watch the rain showers pass by. I discovered this place about a month ago, on my first big walk through town. The terrace at Todo Santos is one of the best views above of the river Tomebamba. The Tomebamba divides the old, central part of Cuenca, which sits up on a hill, from the newer, modern part of Cuenca, sitting below, in a valley. 2015_0322b Continue reading

El Niño is here!

(A post for the science geeks! And for anyone who’s curious!) After a very hesitant start, the folks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made it official earlier this month: El Niño is here!  If you remember back to my post on Why Ecuador? I’ve always wondered, what would it be like to be in the tropics, in a country heavily impacted by El Niño, during an El Niño event? El Niño is one of the reasons I’m interested in weather and climate in Ecuador.

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Three storms on the move in the warm waters of the Western Pacific in March 2015. This image was taken two days before Pam plowed through the island nation of Vanuatu . Warm tropical waters fuel storms like this. During El Niño, the Central-Eastern Pacific has a greater chance of seeing these types of storms (NASA image from 3/11/15).

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Favorite spots in Cuenca #2 – Rio Yanuncay

When I need to escape city life, I can retreat to this amazing river only a 5 minute walk from home. I walk or run here whenever I can. The Rio Yanuncay is the second largest (of four rivers) in Cuenca, and urban planners must have had a field day with this one as there is a walkway along the river for several miles. Along the way, you’ll find benches, playgrounds, nice landscaping, and (this was new for me) exercise machines.

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Or, rather, the title of this post should be: Taxis, Buses, and Pounding the Pavement

As the sightseeing tapers off a bit while I get ramped up for my class and try to get some projects underway, I’m becoming more adept at making my way around the city and thought I would share a little of my daily life. In Colorado I commute to work via a Prius, listening to my favorite tunes, a new novel, or practicing my Spanish along the way. Here, I breathe diesel fumes and hang on for dear life to a bar above my head while we trundle over cobblestone streets and careen through traffic circles or over speed bumps.

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I’ve become very familiar with these beauties in the past couple of weeks! Best to avoid a big lunch right before hopping on board.

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