Today Mesfin was going to Manta to get his car serviced and offered to drop Elaine and me off in a town we’d been wanting to explore – La Pila. One thing I find endearing about the little villages in Ecuador is that each one specializes in its own hand crafted goods. One town we pass through sells these yummy corn muffin type things with cheese – and everybody has a stand beside the road and is waving at you to stop and buy from them. We pulled over and got 3 (one for each of us) for $1 – still warm & very yum! The next town everybody had stands selling their local honey (Elaine & Mesfin bought jars – they package it in various kinds of jars from other used up products). The little village of La Pila specializes in a few things, but predominantly hand painted ceramics. Here is a slide show of a few pictures Elaine took around town.
Elaine was looking for items to decorate her soon to be finished house. Since I have yet to pick out my finishes I was hesitant to commit to anything, but I did get some good ideas. The one thing I felt safe to buy to hang out on my rooftop deck is my hammock. I fell in love with and bought this one – again, do you detect a color theme? Now I just need a house to go with it!
We also stopped at one shop where a young man named Edison was eager to try out his English skills on us. He was concerned that his English was not very good, but we told him it was “muy bueno” (and much better than our Spanish!) His store has many of the local food items and the more we talked with him, the more we bought! Elaine came away with a whole smorgasbord of stuff, but I just bought a yummy caramel type dip/spread (it was great on an apple!) and some of these pretzel type things made of corn flour (we think). Quite honestly, we are never really sure what the food items are or how they are made – we just know they taste good!
All in all it was a successful day – we did the whole town and were through just as Mesfin finished up in Manta and was ready to pick us up. We made it back home by 1:30 p.m. The final excitement of the day (I hope!) came shortly after we returned when I was sweeping my floor and looked down to see a scorpion! I quickly closed Charcoal up in another room and called up to Bill & Elaine (who of course came with her camera!) – here is a picture AFTER Bill stomped on him with his tennis shoe! Never a dull moment in Ecuador (and I haven’t even mentioned the snake outside on my door frame last week – I’m really testing out Luke 10:19)!