Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A different world.........makes me smile

If you look very closely, you will see the oxen between the
first and second pole near the top

I have a secret mission and it took me on an unforgettable journey. I'm basically a suburban city girl so there are many things I have never seen in rural life. When I was a child I was privileged enough to be able to spend weeks at my grandparents dairy farm but even then, in the 50s, they had a tractor.

Working her thread through the fields.

I have had two amazing
trips into the mountaintops
of Paute.  I have seen men 
plowing their fields with 
oxen. There were children 
herding a flock of sheep and 
freshly shorn wool hanging 
to dry. There was a woman 
walking through the fields 
working her wool into thread. 
 I saw wild grouse.

Unfortunately, I missed seeing one of the very small bears that lives near the mountaintops as it was on the other side of the truck. Ironically, they are endangered because of the very rural nature of the land since the farmers' livelyhood depends on the well being of their livestock and crops. When there is a choice of earning a living or saving a small bear that may eat their pig or their carrot crop, the bear will lose every time.
Look at the cuties I found around the corner!

This horse carried a fair burden
bringing rock up from the mines.

There is a rock mine in the top of the mountains where beautiful slate type stones are hoisted by horseback and sold for use as walkways and for gorgeous house sidings. I managed to get one piece big enough to take to a carpenter to make a table. The natural coloring tells stories of many milleniums of rising and receding waters.

Two black sheep getting to know one another.

I met a soulmate of sorts in a black sheep on one lady's farm.   That was one Ecuadorian with which I had no problem communicating.  All black sheep have a lot in common.

Ruins of a 400 year old house.

I was amazed that people live in houses with
baked mud thatched walls. Not far from that
house were 400 year old ruins of another mud
thatched house from the forefathers of the very
people living nearby.

A mud thatched house where someone lives today.  
Notice the pig in the front yard.  Future meal.

If you are in the Cuenca area, make a day trip to Paute on a Sunday.   See the chaotic Market in the morning and hire Rodrigo in the afternoon to take you up to a world few Westerners have seen.  That will be the day you see the true Ecuador.

Wild Grouse.