Painter Luigi Stornaiolo.rnwhen he is treating old people, whetherrnthev be hashing out politics in the CafernMadrilon near the Palace, or on a parkrnbench. However, his satire can be ferociousrnwhen directed at other aspects ofrnthe urban scene, like “Miserable Charactersrnon the 5th Floor,” By wav of category,rnsome of his work might be called cartoonrnrealism, yet there is an emotionalrnintensity—of disgust, anxiet-, or morerngentle humor—that lifts it beyond anyrnmere cartoon.rnThe art of weaving has a 4,000- orrn5,000-vear history in the Andes and remainsrnvery much alive in Ecuador. Numerousrnvillages are engaged presentlv inrnweaving, but Otavalo is justly famous forrnits Saturday market and for its tapestries.rnFernando and I took a bus north tornOtavalo, passing a pub called “Bar BamrnBam,” meeting a truck called the “Virginrnof Bario,” and during the trip I consideredrnit dicey whether we would arrive, atrnleast on the bus. Fernando takes it as arnmatter of national honor that no onernshould be overcharged, especially notrnforeigners. He had alreadv asked otherrnpeople around him what the fare was tornOtavalo. The young conductor askedrnme for a higher price to the final destinationrnof the bus and Fernando would notrnhave it. The Spanish was too rapid forrnme to follow entirely, but the heat of thernexchange was not. I distinctly heard thernword for “jail.” Three women around usrncame to our defense and when the busrndriver stopped and came back, all ofrnthem began to attack him, whereupon Irnthought we would surely be put off onrnthe mountain road. AH of this was overrn1,000 sucres, or about 30 cents, which Irnhad offered, but Fernando would notrnpermit it, and he preailed.rnThe main plaza for weavings wasrnablaze in color, and we set about therngreat game of bargaining, all of which isrnexpected. Bargaining, which is largelyrndisappearing from life in the UnitedrnStates, adds so mucli to the vitality ofrncommerce. We still have it on the floorrnof the stock exchange and best of all atrnlivestock auctions; otherwise commercernis rather antiseptic, maybe a further examplernof this process of autonomy, or atomizationrnthat I mentioned earlier.rnPrice-fixing is more difficult in such a vitalrnmarket, unlike sa the cartels that providernour breakfast cereals, pigs and poultry,rnor oil. Cracking jokes, feigningrnsurprise at the “high” prices, Fernandornhad the surrounding merchants smilingrnadmiringly at his act. I came away withrnseveral large tapestries which includedrnsome of the mythic svmbols I had seenrnin the paintings back in Quito. Onernneed have no fear of laking advantage ofrnthe Otavalefios; 1 was told they are thernmost successful Indian group in SouthrnAmerica, some of them traveling thernworld. Fernando says he once saw onerndriving a Mercedes in Germany.rnIn Otavalo, as in the rest of Ecuador,rnthe outdoor food stalls provide a wealthrnof choices: whole pig, head and all, turnsrnon a spit, also whole roasted guinea pig;rnand nearby in hot pans of oil there arernfrying tostadas de ma:z and llapingachosrn(mashed-potato-and-cheese pancakes).rnThe gringo is liing dangerously when herncats from food stalls (Fernando neverrneats “on the street”), not because somethingrnlike the tostadas de maiz are contaminated,rnbut because of the filthy waterrnthe dish mav have been washed in.rnParasites wcic some of the other souvenirsrnI brought back with me Stateside.rnThe next dav I was sitting at the upscale,rnoutdoor Cafe Amazonas, whichrnis on one of the main drags in Quito;rnafter enjoing some excellent smallrnkabobs (anticuchos). I took some coffeern”adjusted” with a bit of S]5irits. I believernEcuador grows its own beef, and hasrnsuch abundant seafood that it is an exporter.rnIt has long been one of the principalrnbanana exporters. I think Louisianiansrnmay be surprised, as I was, to learnrnthat some of their famous crawfish andrnokra come from Ecuador (this informationrncourtesy of the Quito office of thernU.S. Chamber of Commerce). Further,rnAmerican grain is so cheap that it is morerneconomical for Ecuador to import it. Incidentally,rnfor precious metals and gemrnbuffs, the Cafe Amazonas is the gatheringrnplace for emerald and gold traders.rnFernando knew some of them and it wasrna new sensation for me to have my handsrnon such exotic wealth.rnThe next day I visited those who probablyrnwill never have that sensation. I hadrnset out to visit an orphanage in a sectionrnof Quito unfamiliar to Fernando and byrnmistake knocked on the door of the nunneryrnof the Sisters of the Good Shepherd,rnwhereupon I had the great pleasurernof meeting a delightful woman, MotherrnSuperior Rosa Haro. The interior courtyardrnwas a bit of a shambles because thernold roof tiles were being dumped fromrnthe second story roof that was being repaired.rnThis monastery had originallyrnbeen built by the Dominicans aroundrn1600, but in 1871 it was turned over tornthe Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Thernfirst mother superior, who had comernfrom Canada, died 1 5 days after herrnarrial.rnToday, Sister Rosa’s group primarilyrnoperates a school for poor children, 700rnof them in six grades. Some of the nunsrnare quite old, one is 90, but they continuernthe struggle. In addition to teachingrnpoor children, they also help troubledrnchildren, and minister to the prostitutesrnof Quito. If these women are withoutrnfood or shelter, those basics are providedrnfor a time, and the prostitutes arernschooled in tailoring and as beauticians.rnI asked Sister Rosa for a realistic estimaternof “reclamation,” and she said about fivernpercent. The mayor of Quito is helpingrnsome with the building repairs, but naturallyrnmoney, food, and clothes are scarcern(those interested may write Madre Superiorarndel Buen Pastor, Carrera Vela #147,rnP.O. Box 1241, Quito). Before I left, therngood sister showed me where in thernmonastery Gabriel Garcia Moreno, rulerrnof the country during part of the 19thrncentury, had his enemies guillotined.rnWith Sister Rosa’s directions wernfound the orphanage run by the nuns ofrnSt. Vincent de Paul. They are able torntake care of from 120 to 130 children,rnfrom the first day of their lives until theyrnare 20. We happened to arrive aroundrnlunchtime and visited a small group ofrnchildren in their dining room. Each nunrnis responsible for a group. The childrenrnwere all full of cheerful vitality and ofrn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn