I always associate an overabundance of sweets with the Christmas holidays, but in Cuenca, the holiday of sweet abundance is in June, coinciding with the religious celebration of Corpus Christi. For one week, vendors line the streets surrounding the New Cathedral in central Cuenca, tables laden with cookies and candies of every color and flavor imaginable. Just walking down the sidewalk is enough to give you a sugar high and make your teeth ache. I feel like I’ve stepped into my favorite childhood board game, Candyland, or like I’m touring Willy Wonka’s factory. Continue reading
When you get away from the noise of the city, and climb winding roads through the clouds into the high Andes, this is when you can begin to imagine what life was like for the Incas. It amazes me how they were able to control such a large territory, from Chile, well into Ecuador, with a system of roads that probably would have made the ancient Romans nod in appreciation. Ecuador was in the northern reaches of the Incan Empire, and about an hour north of Cuenca sit the ruins of Ingapirca – the largest of the Incan ruins in Ecuador.
A little over one year ago I began my very first (long-awaited) sabbatical as a university professor – four months ago today I arrived in Ecuador. I get lots of well-meaning people saying things like ‘Time must be whizzing by for you,’ and ‘I can’t believe you’ve been away X amount of time – I’m sure you can’t either!’ I nod and smile and laugh (or do the equivalent in FB and email). This sense of time escaping us is something we all share. But the truth is, this has absolutely been the longest year of my entire life.
One year ago today, my Mom left this Earth.