Saturday, May 1, 2010

Market Day

We took the bus to Otavalo this morning in pouring rain. The sun peeked out for a short time during our two hour ride, but when we arrived the clouds threatened again and we tried to find shelter from the rain throughout the day. We met Eric's parents and three of their friends at the 'Shenandoah Pie shop', where we all indugled in naranjilla, banana, lemon and mora pie! I like the mora (blackberry) pie best because it is tart and sweet at the same time. The lemon, banana and naranjilla pies are meringue pies and equally delicious!

I am always confused when shopping in the market, because I want to look at merchandise and buy things, but I am distracted by the people selling their wares. I am watching their faces and their interactions and their children, and I am interested in photographing them without offending them (many are uncomfortable with having their photo taken and either shy away or wag their finger at me, or ask me for money or are truly upset). I have become very timid about taking people's photographs because for so many it is truly an intrusion and offensive. My father in law, Jeff, has a camera he can use at his hip, far more surreptitiously and therefore far more successful in his efforts. I still have to look through my viewfinder to shoot, and with the very long lens and obvious shooting, I am more hesitant and am therefore missing all sorts of good shots. It may be time for a new camera!

The hour we had for shopping was gone too quickly. Next time I visit the market, I must focus on shopping or shooting, not both. We joined our inlaws in their small bus/large van, and went for lunch at the same hacienda we had visited with the students in January, half of whom had fallen ill soon after the meal. We had no such problems today and afterward drove to the Mitad del Mundo site near Cayambe. This is the simplest monument located on the equator site determined by the French expedition in 1734. Of course, the location is 200 metres off the GPS located center of the world, where another monument was erected just a few years ago. Eric and I climbed onto the globe for a photo, and debated visiting the other monument, but piled into the van instead and made our way back to Quito in the pouring rain.

I will have to return to the market without a camera and have a very specific shopping agenda to make any progress in stocking up on Ecuadorian handicrafts before we leave.

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