We’re still here!

It’s been more than three weeks since I’ve posted. How is it that I have so much free time but the days just slip by? We have been “busy” trying to adjust to this new reality and finding a routine that allows some novelty into each day along with the comfort of our usual morning, afternoon and evening rituals.
For instance, I still enjoy getting up before dawn to shower, make myself a cup of tea and settle back in bed with a book or my iPad. I can watch the light slowly illuminate the mountains while the golden streetlights fade. At the edge of the city the roosters crow and closer by, near the river, the exotic songbirds of Ecuador are greeting the start of a new day.
Bruce starts his day with a cup of coffee, a podcast while exercising in the living room and then an early morning walk along the river.
We enjoy shopping and cooking, reading newspapers online, long phone conversations, long emails and long walks. We watch Netflix at night😊

Early morning In Cuenca
Good Morning Sunshine!
Love in the Time of Pandemic
View from Bruce’s office
Usually one of the busiest streets in the city
To the south…view from our elevator
Plenty of produce from the surrounding countryside coming into the city
The grocery stores are well stocked
A member of the cleaning crew
Green signifies garbage detail which is essential
The crew that cuts the grass in the park (with string trimmers) are laid off
Washing the laundry in the river is an age old practice.
During this pandemic, the police sometimes discourage it, but I would think that clean laundry is very important, and if they don’t have washing machines??

We have a friend here who has been featured in this journal before. She had hip surgery just before the virus hit and is still recuperating, so Bruce and I have walked to her house a couple of times to bring goodies, because she can’t cook for herself yet. She is always helping others so of course, she has more food prepared for her than she can eat! We are allowed to be out to help someone in her situation so we’re not breaking any rules. And besides, she told us about a bank in her neighborhood that doesn’t charge for withdrawals, so we also stop by the bank to get some cash.

Here she is just minutes before her surgery….so brave!
Bruce was put to good use on our last visit…what a guy.
We were “celebrating” both Regina and Bruce’s birthdays on the same day!!
This was taken on our way to Regina and the bank. The stairs lead to the old part of the city called El Centro. To the right is the river Tomebamba. We can walk along the river all the way from our apartment to the downtown area which takes us just under an hour.
On the way to the bank, we found some colorful street art
Cuenca is considered to be the cultural capital of Ecuador and has many galleries and art shows.
The symphony performs for free!!
More art on the same street

We are very happy with the supermarket in our neighborhood. They are scrupulous about distancing, masks, gloves and sanitizing. It feels like a very safe experience to shop there and they have everything we need.

A shopper waiting for a taxi after shopping at SuperMaxi
A closeup of the same shopper
Bruce said she didn’t seem to mind having her photo snapped
Many Cuencanos have large families to feed and carry their groceries home with a car or taxi.
Bruce and I need to use our backpacks🙂
This photo of our section of the city shows our apartment (the arrow on the left is pointing to our intersection of Ordóñez Lasso and Los Cedros) and the old city, or El Centro, which is shaded darker. The river is the green line just below, or South, of our apartment that meanders it’s way East and forms a boundary between the older and newer city.

In the middle of the night last night I heard voices in the street below my bedroom window. I opened the shade and saw a policeman had stopped an illegal vehicle and the owner of the vehicle was arguing and then he got physical. The officer threw him to the ground and must have sprayed him with something because he was in obvious distress, rubbing his eyes and rolling around on the wet pavement. Meanwhile, more police cars arrived. The strange thing to me was, no one took him into custody for attacking the officer. They ordered a tow truck, impounded his vehicle and left him and his passenger on the street. The whole incident took about an hour and I was thankful to crawl back into my nice snug bed. I don’t know how the man got home. He was sitting on the curb when I retired and he was gone this morning. Quite a contrast between how these enforcement officers handled the situation and what might have happened to that man if he had assaulted a police officer in Seattle!

On a MUCH lighter subject, I want to say how much Bruce and I love being here in Cuenca. We feel lucky to be weathering the virus pandemic in our nice little apartment near the river. We have great internet, Netflix, books to read, plenty of food to make delicious meals and we have each other.🙂The only thing I miss, besides my friends and family are the spring flowers! So my daughter Anna sent a photo of one of her lovely little bouquets.

Thanks Anna!!

We are in our rainy season here but it’s so pleasant! We get downpours but we also get sun every day. And it’s warm. The city was worried about a water shortage earlier because it had been dry and the reservoirs were getting low, but now the rivers are raging after a good downpour.

We love it!
We know it gets higher than this, but it’s hard to imagine

We have had some exciting and ground shaking thunder storms, but no high winds as of yet. We haven’t felt an earthquake either, but we know that tremors are not unusual. However, Cuenca has never had a damaging quake unlike the coast and the northern regions. I would not live on the coast, but love to visit!

Next time, if I don’t have anything more interesting to report, I will give you a tour of our apartment, room by room. I could also show scenes from our daily walks along our part of the river. Until next time, please be careful, stay well and know that this too shall pass😊

3 thoughts on “We’re still here!

  1. Glad you two are doing well! Sounds like your rains are like Hawaii rains – warm and interspersed with sunshine.

    We are doing well also. It is prefect gardening weather, sunny, but not hot. We have been doing some clean up and general spring maintenance. I have veggie starts that I just moved into the greenhouse and flower seeds started on a heating mat in the breezeway. Think I will clean strawberry beds and/or start more veggies today. Not sure what I will do with all the seedlings, but I can always give them to neighbors.

    I too am cooking a lot. I have made bread and a chocolate baba pastry using the bread machine for the dough. I was reading a lot, but the good weather has slowed that activity or maybe the less interesting books I am reading at the moment. I have used Zoom for a couple of book club meetings. It is not the same as in person, but it was nice to see some people.

    We are so glad this happened in the Spring when the weather is getting nice. It would be much harder to isolate and keep our distance over the winter holidays!


  2. Hi Sharon, I was missing hearing from you and so happy to get your blog today. I’m so glad the two of you are happy with Cuenca and doing well in spite of the virus. Please tell Bruce that his photos are great and really tell a story of what you’re doing and what life in Cuenca is like. We’re doing well. So is our family. The only thing we do outside of our house is take walks in our neighborhood. Fortunately, our house is bright and offers a beautiful view. Pity the people who are stuck in high rise apartments in congested cities or the really unfortunate people who have been stuck on cruise ships or in nursing homes. As far as Washington goes, I know that people are hibernating and practicing social distancing. I hope your/our gardens have gotten some attention. I haven’t gotten word nor a bill on that subject. Stay safe and well. Miss you. Love to the two of you,


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