I am thankful for dear, dear Maria, who ALWAYS smiles, reaches out, takes my hand, strokes my arm and showers her childlike love whenever I stop by her stand. I always visit her, even if fresh produce is not on my list!
Pilgrim: A wanderer, a traveler, a stranger. Someone who travels a great distance in strange lands to a holy shrine or site. A person traveling to a place of particular personal interest...
Ecuador captured my heart years ago, and there is an emotional comfort here that is a balm to my soul. Like the pilgrims that arrived on the Mayflower, I have experienced times of great joy and also faced personal challenges. Through the good and the bad, I have learned to respect the unselfish displays of love that I receive from the locals. There have been times when someone stops me, “Gringa! Gringa!” and then hands me a plantain or a piece of peanut candy. Other times I hear, “Gringita!” and they might share a handful of mandarin oranges or a stick of frozen yogurt! They all enjoy practicing their English.. “One, two, three, six, eight, seven.”
What’s cooking at the street cafe?! (Photo by Marie Groff)
They were all concerned when their normally-healthy gringita suffered from a month-long illness, and I received suggestions of medicinal cures that ranged from honey mixed with rum to a recommendation of ‘manteca de pescado.’ The latter did not sound like a soothing cure – I was sick, but not sick enough to go in search of fish fat from the fishing village! Continue reading