bridging cultures, embracing the cultural exchange, Timeout for Art, travel from quito to pedernales, woven baskets near la concordia ecuador
“If we know exactly where we’re going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we’ll see along the way, we won’t learn anything. ”
― M. Scott Peck
(La Concordia Ecuador)- Several years ago while riding a bus from the cloud forest of Mindo to the Pacific coast, I spotted a simple tin-roofed home with a variety of baskets displayed out front. The sight intrigued me, and I watched with wistful eyes each time I zoomed past in transit.
This past week as Barbara and I drove from Mindo to the coast, I watched for the “House of Baskets” as we reached the ‘rotunda’ at La Concordia. We parked just past the house and crossed a primitive footbridge that delivered us to the yard. Two smiling women immediately greeted us, and Barbara and I stepped into a beautiful cultural exchange.
Never sure if I’d be targeted as a tourist willing to pay twice the normal price, I bashfully asked, “Quanto cuesta?” and pointed to one of the larger baskets to define a starting point.
“15 dollars,” the older lady replied. The mother-daughter team of Mercedes and Silvia quickly captured our hearts, basket by basket!
Wow. We continued admiring and asking the price of different woven items as the two beautiful ladies patiently answered our questions. With a 20-dollar budget, I selected a growing assortment of woven items, paid with the ‘twenty’ and received five dollars in change!
Before we left, I asked permission to take their photos, which led to more bonding moments while I took their photos and they took ours!
“Wait,” Mercedes inserted one final request before we left, “Come see our museum…” She motioned for us to step behind the counter.
“Museum?” I looked at Barb and said, “Wait Barbara! They want to show us something,” and we followed Mercedes behind the counter, through a curtained doorway that parted down the middle.
We stepped into a modest bedroom adorned with woven frames and enough baskets of all sizes to justify a new Dr. Suess story.!
“There were big baskets, small baskets, tiny baskets and more.
Brown baskets, yellow baskets, enough for a store!”
We admired many of the woven family heirlooms before Mercedes reached for two petite baskets and presented them to us as parting gifts. We arrived with our hands empty and left with our hands – and hearts – full!
For another heart-warming post about why ‘we’ transplants love Ecuador, visit John and Mary McDonald’s post, WHY ECUADOR IS HOME.
Have a good early weekend everyone! Lisa (and Barb!)
Playamart - Zeebra Designs said:
PS.. Is anyone experiencing unsolicited ‘auto corrects’ on WP or Facebook? Barb’s watching FB edit or rearranging her sentences/words after she sends them…
Not on WP or FB, but listen to this. A friend was sitting at home in a chair last week, with her smart phone in her lap. She was going to send an email, but decided against it. She realized she accidentally had taken a photo of herself, and deleted it — or so she thought. It got sent to the friend she was going to email.
So far, so ordinary, right? But listen to this. A half hour later, her friend was pounding on her front door. When she answered the door, her friend asked if she was all right. It seems that the photo had been sent along with a message she never sent. It said, “I’m not feeling so well today.”
That’s flat spooky. Even if she accidentally sent the photo, she did NOT attach any message to it. Who did? And how? Exactly who is monitoring messages these days? Who has access? I’m even more glad I don’t have a smart phone. This is weird beyond belief.
I’m getting “fixes” on WP all the time, to the point of changing words that aren’t even similar. Even after I’ve finished a text, I will go back, and find several changes WP made, that were nonsense.
Love the baskets and the beautiful artwork they entail.
Jan Smith said:
Love this story. I don’t know why, but baskets make me happy. You can do so much with them-decorating, displaying things , planters, carrying stuff. Jan in Mississippi
Oh! I got so involved in thinking about tech weirdness, I forgot to say how much I like the baskets! There’s nothing like a good basket, and pretty ones like this are even better. That they came along with a good experience is the best yet.
Love it Lisa. Sending hugs xx
Lisa, ending with a smiley face is apropos. Beautiful work. My wife and I viewed a pottery exhibit last weekend. Apparently, our clay soil is conducive to pottery artists. It was a treat, yet I think they were more proud of their work price wise than you basket friends. Take care, Keith
Equipping The Saints said:
You know that I always love your posts. I just want to tell you again. Please keep up your good work.
I have to go and she this cause I have been collect handmade baskets and weaved furniture for many years now. May need to get some directions on how to find this place. What a gem!!! Thanks for the post I just reading yours
What lovely handiwork! I love baskets, and find them useful as well as beautiful. What a treat to get to know the basket-makers! Thank you, Lisa, for a wonderful post!
Barbara Schutt said:
What a lovely heartwarming story and really beautiful handwoven baskets! I really enjoy hearing of genuine hospitality in other cultures. Have a lovely weekend!
Playamart - Zeebra Designs said:
Thanks Barbara! A polar opposite in mood just fired out of the publish box… The story saddens me, and I fight tears as I type.
Logging off for most of the morning. Have a good day!
Beautiful baskets Z!
What a wonderful stop! I hope you stop often just to maintain the lovely new relationship.