Thursday, February 05, 2015

Fundación Museo de las Conceptas and Then There Are the Rest of Us

Frantically trying to maximize our time, we welcomed an invitation from our new friends Howard and Mike. They had been away for a long weekend visiting the Ecuadorian shore, so we had missed their company. When we left the building we all shared, they had not yet returned. We arranged to meet for dinner at Chifa La Gran Muralla, a Chinese restaurant if you were not able to guess.

Having dinner plans, we had decisions to make. Do we want to take the bus into the city center, do something and come home first or go directly to the restaurant? Such trials and tribulations we have. 

We decided we needed to learn the bus system better, so out our door up the street and a block away, we caught the number 3 bus. The route is perfect. It passes the Saturday bacon sellers café
and on to the center of the city. We did get off near a school only because the wall art was so incredible we had to do a real inspection. 

One wall almost a block long was covered in art depicting
I want some bacon!
older people each with a melting Dali type clock somewhere within the scene. Another wall was entirely dedicated to children. The last wall featured Amazon jungle animals. We cannot seem to get over the amount of art all around the city. 

With two goals in mind, we had to watch the clock; we left later in the day after trying to get caught up on e-mail errands. First agenda item was our need to upload money on our bus card. We started with $3, but with both of us using it, it goes fast. That is 50¢ a ride for the two of us. We tried nine different shops where we thought they would be able to add money; finally, we found one that really could.

Our next agenda item was to revisit the Fundación Museo de
las Conceptas. This was once a home owned by a wealthy woman from Cuenca. At the time, around 1850, this was the largest home in the city. This woman in question donated this home to The Order of the Immaculate Conception nuns; at the same time, she donated her three daughters. The Order of the Immaculate Conception or Conceptionists as they are also known was once contemplative nuns. What they are now is a mystery. There was nothing to say where these nuns are now or if they still exist in Cuenca or not. 

Regardless, the building is typical of the architecture here. Two stories high, the structure is split in the center, where a structure that looks like an oversized elevator shaft holds a huge statue of Michael the Archangel on 1 floor and a chapel on the second. All rooms are open to a garden on either side of this structure. Each room contains either religious art or artifacts that girls or women brought to the convent as part of their dowry. Girls were allowed to enter the convent from the age of 12 years, so on display were some of the toys they brought with them. 

From here, we bussed home again to get some more annoying e-mails out to accountants, property managers and the like. We knew the evening would get better and it did. 

At 6:30, we met Mike and Howard at Chifa La Gran Muralla for dinner. They are always such great company.  One of
these days, I will have to remember to photograph them. For some reason, other that Ron who has me trained to document his life, I rarely photograph people I know. It was great seeing you guys!

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