My friend, Trish, has only been here for two weeks and already we have to say “adios”!
I have enjoyed her impressions of Cuenca (quite entertaining!), and also what she misses about the States. When I asked her what she missed most about the U.S., she said, “Wawa!” She went on to elaborate, “I miss the large 79-cent coffee and my morning cinnamon roll.”
“That’s it?” I asked. “You mean you miss Wawa -- the convenience store?"
Latin America is the largest exporter of coffee beans to the US and yet, we are sometimes deficient in the coffee department.
Since Trish is fluent in Spanish, she’s been a great companion to prowl around the streets of Cuenca with. She’s been invited into homes of Cuencanos, has been invited to expat dinner parties, and has volunteered for a local orphanage (until the head lice on one of the kids scared her away!).
Her latest observation caused me to double over in laughter when she said, “I think some of these folks have too much money and too much time on their hands.” I guess she ran into some expat "high rollers" who expounded on the fact that they owned six homes and were buying another one in Cuenca – “just because.”
I explained to her that “yes” there are many wealthy folks in Cuenca who invest here, but many come to volunteer and to do their best to make a positive difference. I don’t think I’ve convinced her in that regard!
Hosteria Nuestra Residencia where she receives breakfast; she has the rest of the day to spend her $5.00 which includes a $2.00 lunch and fruit and yogurt for dinner. Trish is still in awe over the fact that you can ride the bus all day for 25 cents—unit until it stops—and they tell you to get off. And she marvels at the fact that you can get a manicure for 5.00 (or pedicure). At the top of her list is how helpful the Cuencanos have been and how they keep her safety in mind (she’s 5’11” and blonde!). Today she wandered off to Baños (not realizing the time) and one of the ladies on the bus told her it was too late for her to be out and quickly escorted her back to Cuenca!
Tomorrow we leave for the coast and it’s with great sadness that I have to say “goodbye” to my friend, but I know she’ll be back. And I will certainly do my best not to post too many pictures of the sunsets while we're in Puerto Lopez!
Until next time…adios amigos!