For Ecuador With Love and Squalor

Cañar Indian Woman in Alausi

Cañar Indian Woman in Alausi

Late last night, I returned from Ecuador to another Los Angeles heat wave. It was yet another wonderful South American trip, with a number of highs and one very big low.

That low had nothing to do with Ecuador, and everything to do what happened to our country last Tuesday. Watching the election returns on CNN from my hotel in Quito, I spent a sleepless night twisting and turning, only to wake up early to leave for the airport.

But then, the Trumpster is our own American nightmare; and Ecuador for the most part cheered me and even amazed me. Even on the way to Mariscal Sucré Airport, my taxi driver pointed out the snow-covered Mount Cotopaxi looming to the south in a moment of extreme clarity. (It is not usually visible from Quito.)

Ecuador is a country with a number of viable indigenous cultures. In Otavalo, Alausi, Cuenca, and even Quito, I saw a number of what we incorrectly call Indians. I took a number of candid pictures, such as the one above.

One special feature of this trip was that I spent the first two weeks with my brother, and the last week alone, as Dan had to return to Palm Desert to fulfill some construction obligations. It was fun sharing my vacation with him, and it was a very different experience for me. I am not used to sharing the decision-making process during my trips; but here it worked out. We may be very different people, but there is considerable overlap in the matter of preferences.

It’s good to be back, even if it is to a Frankenstein-Dracula America. We’ll just have to see what happens.