Seems like we’ve been busy, can’t exactly pinpoint why. I’ve noticed a couple of mysterious things about this town. One is that thunder is to car alarms what vacuum cleaners are to dogs. A peal of thunder rolls in and car alarms all down the street freak out. I never noticed this before, I think I’ve been kind of overwhelmed with just its sound, but thunder can also be tactile, kind of like a mini-earthquake.

The second mystery: finding places is sometimes an art. As in, sometimes I swear they just disappear and you have to be there the right time of day, phase of the moon, and frame of mind. Part of the problem is that little shops shudder up and become nondescript parts of the building. No signs, sometimes even the door is hard to notice as a door. But the other part of the problem is magic, I’m pretty sure. Spent an hour and a half walking last night trying to find a Kendo dojo. I had the exact address and which two streets it intersected near. I was pretty sure with that info and my GPS I could find it. I was wrong.

Went to another class with Alexandria, the local herbal lady. This one was on special plants used for blessings. Like whisking bad mojo out of your house, or touching to a baby’s lips to help it learn to speak. One of the fun parts of these classes, besides the weird, experimental teas and snacks she serves, is the stories about the traditions in the area of the use of the plants and customs, etc.

We’d see indigenous people beside the Tomebamba sometimes with clothes all spread out and assume they were doing laundry. And sometimes they were. But sometimes it could be a custom of washing all the clothes of the recently deceased in the river on the 5th day after their death. On the 5th day also, there was supposed to be a moth that would appear. And based on what the moth did, who it flew to and what it alighted upon, it was read as the “will” of the deceased. So forget all the paperwork and lawyers and estate nonsense, just watch the moth and it would tell you anything you needed to know about the last wishes of the deceased.

And a couple of days ago, when we were at the mercado, we walked past these amazing displays with magical items. Someone from the class bought a few. This one, for example, is “7 Aromatic Smokes” and was fun trying to translate… evidently it has many uses, including helping with business, bad luck, harvest, problems at work, finding the road to tranquility and peace and happiness in life.

Last part of class there was a table of herbs and flowers for making a dream sachet. I put some cool stuff in mine, like datura (which grows all over the place here!) May test it tonight. Well, that’s all for now. Have a most excellent weekend!