(Jan. 2013) “An artist’s eyes never rest,’ and mine have been working overtime in the Jama Ecuador area! The Cevallos-Sabando family invited me to their Christmas Eve family feast, which is traditionally served around midnight. Their home and country store, located on the prominent corner on incoming Jama Avenue, faces the highly-popular park in the center of town. Throughout the year, friends, neighbors and strangers ebb and flow past the storefront, where an always-changing sidewalk display reflects the current holiday theme. On Christmas Eve, a cluster of people sat in plastic chairs and stared at the nativity scene while family members visited near the corner door and greeted passersby.
(Update Dec. 2016: The buildings in the background were destroyed in the April 2016 earthquake, and the one where the people are sitting has damage and is being altered…)
I arrived early to help my friends with the preparation of the meal, and was surprised to be immediately seated for an end-of-day meal! Not too hungry, I served a token amount of beef and rice then washed it down with fresh coconut water. Pulling my paring knife from my purse, I then began prepping vegetables. (Sometimes we learn to be prepared!)
When the kitchen duties were finished, I absorbed the buzz of activities in the center of town. Through foreign eyes I witnessed so much more than the goings on in my friends’ downstairs kitchen! Continue reading