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"Teo, Heather, and Fernando are traveling to Ecuador to finish a design on a chocolate factory for Kallari, thanks to a grant from Architecture for Humanity and the support of RATIO and RAYae."

Pachamama, Shopping, Radio...

Yesterday we headed out to Otavalo after our breakfast meeting with Veronica, a local architect that is starting an AFH chapter here in Ecuador.

As we passed through the countryside, heading towards the city, the scenery was beautiful, the landscape changed as we went over each hill. Fernando had the day off from translating, so I did my best translating from Italian or Spanish...I'm amazed how my languages have come back to me. A requirement, when not much English is spoken anywhere.

Otavalo is a shopper's paradise, especially when that shopper is me. So many beautiful crafts and textiles, and paintings, and sculptures, and bags, and jewelry, and beads, and silver, and chess sets, and wow…I might have to go back… Teo mentioned Pachamama in his blog…and let me tell you, she is present in this country. She is all around in everything you look at and in all the faces you meet. As I walked with everyone down one aisle, we came to a booth with beautiful masks (I have a collection from around the world), one caught my eye in particular and as the artist described the work, is ending statement was “this is the face of Pachamam”, I knew right there and then, that she had to be mine. So now she is wrapped up tightly waiting to come back to America with me for awhile.

On the trip back we each took our turns dozing off, while watching the scenery pass by…seeing how Pachamama can do amazing things in this world. We ended the day with an interview with Marco from a local and very popular radio station…his voice made me melt…and it was fun talking with him about everything chocolate (he loves some chocolate). I wish I could have spent more time with him, he has done some amazing things in his life. (he had a nice German Sheppard too, that I couldn’t help giving some lovin’ to, I miss my dog!)

Today we spend 6 hours in the car, heading to Salinas de Bolivar. The Kallari leaders will meet us there and we will tour a chocolate factory. Should be great, once we arrive. My body is screaming at me about all this time sitting in the car, but I don’t mind. Ecuador has so much to show me…

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