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71 years on the planet...REALLY??? (#5, Ecuador, 2013)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

What they say is true...aging is like a snowball gathering speed as it rolls down the hill...incredible how the years are whirling by these days!!! It is said that youth is wasted on the young...and in my case, that was definitely true. How about you?

I'm a little late with this birthday was February 23, 1942 that I entered the planet for this round. Carlos and Yolanda invited us to their lovely cottage and finca (farm) above Ibarra. Adelaida, Amrita and I celebrated my personal new year there.

Carlos on the land, tending to his humungous garden.

Yolanda pausing in the kitchen during lunch preparation

Their phenomenal property is in a part of the Salinas area called Milagro de la Concepcion -- beautiful tropical and lush landscape. What follows are photos of the property, just the tip of the iceberg of the garden's riches, and the incredible surrounding valley it is tucked into:

Adelaida with coffee in-hand, the tomato-colored water catchment tower in view

We harvested MANY are more, still to ripen

A type of winter squash, with its lovely flower

Blackberries! We harvested many and ate for breakfast with yogurt

Mangoes ripening on a young tree, its first harvest in-process

Amrita has an aguacate (avocado) in one hand and guayabas (guavas) in the other; we also picked various varieties of lettuce for lunch salad

Adelaida clowning with a chirimoya, still ripening on the tree; we were gifted with a huge bag full of the spectacularly delicious fruit, dear to the Inca royalty of ancient South America

Me of little hair playing with Amrita's abundant and beautiful mane!

A local resident, hauling water from a spring where we frolicked and bathed in the small pool and waterfall (I have some X-rated photos of us sans-ropa!)

Another local with his burro, headed up the mountain to harvest frijoles (beans)

Looking into the valley with the tiny village center in-view

A close-up of the village center, with the old church

Ahhh...such beauty!

Adelaida taking a photo of the birthday lunch

Adelaida's birthday "card", wedged within the outer husk of a banana plant and filled with flowers and her love note to me.

One view of the exquisite antique shawl Adelaida gifted me, the embroidery of course done by hand.

Another view...all the fringe is knotted and sewn by hand. The fabric is a wonderful quality of cotton/wool.

The day after my birthday we had lunch with dear friends Sandra, Micaela and Roger. Here are a few photos of that wonderful gathering:

Roger, Sandra, Micaela at their home

Sandra, the master chef, prepared a veritable feast for "my" day!

Reading all the wonderful FB and other birthday wishes on Micaela's laptop

Blowing out the candle after the riquisimo lunch prepared with love by Sandra

Rosco-the-dog enjoying the beautiful skirt and blouse Sandra, Roger, and Micaela gave me (taken the following day "at home")

Close-up detail of blouse

Dear friends Micaela, Sandra, Adelaida, and Amrita on after-lunch walk

Me'n my hermana latina, Adelaida (my earrings are a birthday present made for me by my friend Helena, with seeds from the Amazon
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