the river

Often as I walk along the Rio Tomebamba going into El Centro, I reach for my phone to take a picture. You see, the river is ever-changing, and because there’s been a lot of rain every single day during the month of March, the river looks mighty powerful. 

People flock to the river for different reasons . . . there are young lovers head-to-head enjoying each other’s company; a few people sitting on benches facing the river are deep in conversation; some folks are reclining on the grass with a book in their hands; teenagers are happily practicing walking on a rope tied to two trees; there are people simply watching the river while slowly licking an ice cream cone; sometimes people are washing their clothes and placing them neatly out to dry in the sun; children are playing and laughing in the water; bicyclists are pedaling by; always there are people meandering with their dogs; police are strolling along the sidewalk; and across the narrow road from the river are people sitting on their terraces, grateful to have a river view. I pay attention to the activity, noticing that down by the Rio Tomebamba, no one ever seems to be in a hurry. 

  This is a photo of Rio Tomebamba in a more isolated area during a quieter time in February. Do you see a woman relaxing on the edge of the water?

The Rio Tomebamba is an important part of life in Cuenca. As I walk along the river, I sometimes wonder about the people who lived here centuries ago, and what their relationship to this well-loved river was.

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“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it, always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle

cafe, tinto, por favor. Gracias.


Nescafe is usually served in many restaurants in Cuenca. I can’t help but wonder how that ever happened. Thankfully, there are two places a few busy blocks from where I live, the El Centro area, that have coffee from Loja, the southern part of Ecuador. And that is something to get really excited about.

20130827-164846.jpg walking down the block the smell of coffee attacks. I like that.

20130827-165230.jpg It was necessary to substitute my wonderful French Press for what is seen in the pitcher in the photo. That’s when I discovered that as long as quality coffee is put into that little white (well, it used to be white) bag, along with the right coffee to water measurement, the end result is as good as making it in a French Press – a little more work, but worth it.

20130827-165844.jpg My Spanish is non-existent at the moment, which means I go along the streets and enter shops unable to ask the simplest of questions.

20130827-170911.jpgThe young person in the photo next to the coffee grinder works at the cafe where people happily purchase a cup, or a pound. She’s very good at pantomiming, and for now that is our form of communication.

I’m still waiting for the sun to stay long enough to warm an apartment made of stone and cement. It’s chilly in Cuenca, Ecuador. Should you decide to vacation here, bring a few warm clothes, oh, yes, and an umbrella.

Let’s wish each other the loveliest of evenings.

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“Not all who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafiz

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.” – Bob Marley

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