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Thanks for visiting Daughter of Corn. I hope you enjoy the essays and thoughts about the journeys of a writer in San Miguel....who ends up in Iowa City!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ecuador and Peru: 1985

I wrote the beginning of a second book, even though I am still attempting to publish my first:  Daughter of Corn:  Coming of Age in the Americas.  The event of las lluvias was so conducive to the solitary act of writing, and the advantage of having a gas fireplace close to my nose spurred me into a creative frenzy.  In the fall of 1985 I wandered throughout Ecuador, staying with Peace Corps workers and searching for a way to visit the Canelos Quichua tribe in the Amazon jungle.  I ended up returning in December to finalize a visa to teach at the Colegio Americano in Quito.  The real story, however, began at Easter when I flew to Peru to visit the infamous Inca Ruins outside of Cuzco. And it wasn't just a story, it was a gothic tale, sunk into the mists of an ancient city poised at over 9000 feet.  This is just the beginning of:


The Alchemy of a Creative Woman

Corinne J. Stanley

I was sitting in the Dolce Vita, a tiny Italian Café with two rows of round metal tables set under a glassed-in room. The long, drooping bougainvillea burst into a fuchsia sonata just outside my window, and the midday sun sent glances of light upon the coppery tables. I am back to paradise, I thought.  Back to the cobblestone streets of San Miguel, far from the rattlings of Ecuador and the puzzlement of Iowa.  Still on a search.  And this time, I thought, I have just got to get it right.  This time, those lessons from Ecuador are going to sink in.   I looked down into my café con leche, foamy milk swirling at the top of the golden brown liquid, and then added a small spoonful of light-brown, unprocessed sugar. The steaming coffee became transformed into a new brew, one that tasted nutty and sweet,
Transformed.  That’s what I yearned for.  To be made into something new, to unleash the creative part of my soul, with full force.  But that’s what Ecuador was supposed to be about, I recalled pensively.
My friend, Meche, had just entered the café, with her cousin Yolanda.  Their smiling faces drew me away from my writing, and I looked at them with pleasant surprise.
“¡Qué milagro!”  I called out, gesturing toward two empty chairs tucked under my table. 
“¿Qué pasó, Corina? “ asked Meche.           
Still ensconced in my previous thoughts, I realized how much I wanted to talk about Ecuador, and what had happened during that tumultuous year.
“Oyen—no se si les he platicado sobre mis experiencias en Quito. ¿Quieren que les cuente mis historias?”  I asked.  They nodded their heads with interest, and so I began to tell them what had happened when I returned to Quito two years ago on a cold January day in 1986, straight into a military coup de etat.

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