Saturday, June 29, 2013


Our friend, Carmen, turned 75 years old last Saturday, and what a celebration it was!  Bo and I, and our friend, Sandy, were invited to this Ecuadorian Family's gala event, and it was one of the most joyous, loving, and fun times we've had since living here.  We met wonderful people, family and friends of the guest of honor, and we drank, ate, and danced for hours.  We were honored to be invited to and included in this private family event, and knowing Carmen and her family has added more meaning to our "life in Cuenca."

So how do we know this precious "birthday" woman?  A few weeks ago, we helped our "blog" friend, Sandy, look for an apartment in El Centro.  Lo and behold, Carmen became her landlady when Sandy rented the most fabulous place from her three days after arriving in Cuenca.  (This apartment was not advertised.  We took a wrong turn going somewhere else, and there was a small sign pasted to a jewelry store window - really!!)  Because Carmen doesn't speak English, I became the translator for Sandy and Carmen.  This is a landlady who takes special care of her renters, and we have now become friends just because she's also so loving and fun to be around.  Being able to speak Spanish has once again given us the privilege and opportunity to know another fun and loving Ecuadorian family and to be invited into their home.  I could talk to Carmen for hours because she shares from the heart and cares.  Sandy is so blessed to have found such a wonderful apartment to now call home with a "duena" who will truly be there for her.  It doesn't get better than this, does it?

Two beautiful people - Carmen and Sandy

Come and enjoy this fabulous event I was able to capture between drinking, dancing, and laughing!
Every decoration and detail was classy and colorful....

....but, Carmen was the classiest and most colorful of all!

Over 100 guests were dressed to the nines, and now I know why there are so many fancy dress, suit, and shoe shops block after block in El Centro.  These Ecuadorian people love to dress up and party!

During the dancing and festivities, waiters came around and served each guest this most amazing wooden platter with three incredible desserts on it.  Oh, I was in heaven savoring each of these unique delectables.

Balloons were distributed to the party crowd, and during the dancing guests popped them and cheered.
There was joy and laughter everywhere.
Lots of hugging and smiling and posing to capture the moment!
A singer honors Carmen with a special birthday tune....
.....and the family applauds and cheers her on to sing "more!"
Sandy is having too much loving and fun.

Dance, dance, dance the night away! 

It was one of the most elegant birthday cakes I've ever seen!

An emotional moment when Carmen blew out her candles and then hugged her sister.

In Ecuador, even children dance the night away - and can they move to the beat!
Yes, I did put my camera down often so I too could join the fun and dance.  Bo picked up my camera and began to take photos of his wife (I'm never in any pictures.  I was this night!!!)
I will NEVER forget this joyous celebration with loving and fun people who included the three of us in Carmen's special fiesta. 
Happy Carmen and her sister are so beautifully adorned and colorful!
More posing and what sweet expressions!
By now, Sandy and Bo are "hat" adorned.  Bo's first tie event in over 7 months since he quit Corporate America.  We're both enjoying being "Jubilado."
Ecuadorian families are very close, they love to dress up, and they are truly a handsome and beautiful people!

The party seemed like it would go on into the wee hours of the morning.....
......because there was plenty of wine and good cheer yet to come!
Carmen danced continually - and even Sandy had a cha-cha dance with her friend.
I met Sandy through my blog back in December when she came for her exploratory visit to Cuenca.  Here she is, six months later, living in Cuenca and happy, partying, and making new friends. 

This blog posting is dedicated to a very special woman - Carmen!  My birthday blessing to our friend:  Que Dios bendiga ricamente su año de antelación y que tenga muchos muchos años más para bailar y reír.  
Thank you, Carmen, for allowing us to be a part of your magical day.
I hope our readers have enjoyed going to Carmen's party.  If you haven't had the opportunity to celebrate with an Ecuadorian family and to be a part of their lives, I can confidently say you're missing a wonderful part of being in Ecuador.  To be a part of the Ecuadorian family culture here is an honor and the greatest part of living in Cuenca for both Bo and me.  I'm glad I could share this special birthday time with you through my lens. 


  1. I love seeing that you and Bo are having way to much fun. Just dropping you a note that Beatrice and I are starting our exploratory visit tomorrow. We will be in Quito from July 2 till 7. then Cuenca from July 7 tip 17. My Email is lindstrom_larry@yahoo.com It would be great to meet you both. Hope to see you soon.

  2. Hi Larry,
    How wonderful that you are coming to explore this beautiful country! I see you've allowed lots of time to get to know Quito and Cuenca - you're both going to have a fabulous experience. We will definitely plan to get together and meet. I will be in touch. See you both soon,

  3. I enjoyed your notes and Kodak moments!...........Planning a visit to Cuenca this year and enjoy learning more about the people of Ecuador thru your notes and photo's

    Thank a bunch

    Trish Moreland


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