Our last weekend after the clinic in Ecuador was spent in Mindo. Mindo is about 2 1/2 hours northeast of Quito and might as well have been in another world. This was not the city of 2 million at an elevation of 10,000 feet but a small little community of about 3,000 in the rain-forest at an elevation of about 4,000 feet. It was much warmer and so much wetter. We experienced rain falling from the sky as I have never experienced it. Our accommodations were a thatch roof lodge which was absolutely amazing in every way. We visited a chocolate factory, butterfly enclosure and went on cable car ride to see some waterfalls and a hike. This finished off our incredible adventure in Ecuador.
I came home so inspired and full of ideas for future quilts! Stepping outside my box is always good for me.
While in Ecuador we took a little trip to Otavalo. Otavalo is known for it's textiles and their Saturday Market. We spent some time wandering and took it all in. I have created a slide show of some of the sights. We were there for the Saturday Market which is the biggest day of the week. It was a bit overwhelming there was so much, however we went back on Sunday and it was so much smaller but there were no food vendors. It was fun to be able to see the spices and fruits and vegetables out on display. I think the thing that got me was how these hard working people set up and take down each day. I just can not imagine doing a quilt show where I had to pack it all in, set up, sell all day, pack up and haul it out... Every single day!
This is a bit of a diversion from my typical quilting Blog posts but I wanted to share a little bit about our recent adventure to Ecuador.
Our trip to Ecuador was primarily a Medical Mission trip with a few fun excursions in-between. We traveled as an Amigo Vision team of 16 people from Oregon and Washington to Quito. While we were in Quito we would travel by bus from our hotel one hour each way to a Nursing Home in the north end of Quito which was owned and run by the Rotary Clubs of Quito. They had a great space where we could set up and leave the clinic set up so each day we could just come and work. The local Rotary Clubs took care of scheduling 50 patients to arrive by bus every hour or so to go through the process of having their eyesight tested and evaluated. Some of the patience required additional help with glasses or a referral for additional services. In the 10 clinic days we were able to see 1957 patience many of them required glasses. Below is a slideshow of the photos I took of patience while we were there. It was an amazing experience. There were many people who were given the opportunity to see clearly for the what may have been the first time. You could tell by the smile that would come across their faces when they put on the glasses that were selected for them. This little guy in the photo to the left was one of my favorites. When I put the glasses on him he just grinned and gave me a huge hug! Then he would go back out with his Mom and came back in about three times. It doesn't get much better than that!
This was the first time Mark and I have ever been a part of something like this. It was so wonderful on many levels. I hope you enjoy these wonderful smiling faces!