Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Shopping in Otavalo

We had a breakfast of potato pancakes, juice, bread, and coffee.

We played with Yupanqui and Tayanta after breakfast. We gave Yupanqui a toy truck, and we gave Tayanta a wooden block sorting toy.

This morning, preparations for the baptism party began in earnest. Antonio, Rosa, and Aida assembled eucalyptus boards into a stage for the two bands that would be playing. They assembled it on top of the outdoor sink, which was right next to our house.

Craig was still a little unsteady on his feet, so he had to take it easy when trying to help. He had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago, and we wondered if the balance problems he was having now might be related. We decided that we needed to explain his illness to the family. We had never done so before because he had never had any symptoms, and he was almost in denial that he even had the disease.

Antonio and Aida recommended against him accompanying them down to the river, as the trail was very steep. But they didn't have any qualms about him using a wheelbarrow on the dirt roads of the village. We went with Rosa and Yupanqui to a house near Sisa's school to purchase some potatoes. The woman who lived in the house opened her storeroom and extracted three 50+ pound bags of potatoes. Craig put two bags in the wheelbarrow and wheeled them through the dusty dirt roads back to Antonio's house.

We made a second trip to get the final bag, and picked up Sisa at school at the same time. Sisa was looking all grown up with her friends, and when she saw us she broke into a run and gave us hugs and kisses. She was happy to see us and to show off her godparents to her friends. Craig took it slowly with the wheelbarrow and we made it back to the house.

We came home to find Rosa and Antonio's niece Delia and her adorable daughter Ashley. Ashley was the same age as Tayanta. The kids all played together and with an adorable tiny kitten. We were surprised that they had such a tiny kitten which was without its mother.

Sisa brought me a potted plant with pink flowers. Aida said that Sisa had insisted that she buy it "for Achi Mama." It was very sweet. We gave Sisa a doll that we had brought for her. For lunch, we had soup, habas beans, potatoes, tostado, and juice.

After lunch, we caught the 2:30 p.m. bus (which stops on the dirt road right in front of their house) to Quiroga. There we caught a second bus to Otavalo. It is the godparents' responsibilty to provide the baptism clothes for the child, so we went to various stores in Otavalo to buy Yupanqui white pants, a white button-down shirt, and a gray hat. It was difficult to find a hat small enough for him. We would think there would be a lot of demand, as this was their traditional clothing. I also needed to buy a gold beaded necklace ("walca" in Kichwa) and coral bracelets ("maki watana") for myself.

Once we had purchased all of the clothing and accessories, we went to a section of town where there are lots of produce sellers. We bought a crate of tomatoes, which Antonio carried, and a sack of onions, which Craig carried.

We then took all of our loot and walked to the bus station. We got onto the bus that would take us straight home to Morochos. We recognized some of the folks on the bus from previous trips. They greeted us with smiles and handshakes, and several said that they would see us on Saturday night at the party.

When we got back to the house an almost full moon shone brightly through the clouds as Abuela tended the fire in the outdoor kitchen.

We played with the kids, building with wooden blocks and Yupanqui's trucks. The tiny kitten snuggled with Craig. For dinner, we had soup, fried chicken, rice, and tomato radish salad, with fresh juice to drink.

After dinner, Yupanqui went to sleep with his toy truck in his hand.
Ashley and the kitten

Ashley and the kitten

Yupanqui in his new hat

Yupanqui in his new hat

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