• Title: Our House in the Clouds: Building a Second Life in the Andes of Ecuador (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series)
  • Author: Judy Blankenship
  • Released: 2013-03-15
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 240
  • ISBN: 0292745273
  • ISBN13: 978-0292745278
  • ASIN: 0292745273
From After several lengthy visits to Ecuador, including two Fulbright grants, the author and her husband chose in 2005 to build a home in a town of 10,000 located two hours north of Ecuador’s third largest city, Cuenca. This thorough book reveals the indigenous Cañari culture from its ancient history up through the impact of Ecuador’s 1999 economic collapse. Then, whole towns of men migrated to “the yonny,” slang for New York. These men wire home money that rejuvenates the economy, with Quichua-speaking plot-farmers counting wads of bills as they step away from Western Union. This same money buys “migrant houses,” the gaudy-colored, concrete-block homes that dot the mountainsides. Blankenship and her husband want a traditional adobe-walled, tiled-roof casa, and they create a small masterpiece. They live there six months a year, and the rest in Portland, Oregon. Blankenship is committed to Cañar. Yet, when she is glad they buy more land to protect their privacy and view, and when she laments a pending housing project, it’s hard not to find this book a bit exclusive. --Dane Carr

Review This is a compelling memoir about creating a life in another culture. . . . Blankenship offers fascinating perspectives on the indigenous Andean world from her stance as a writer, a photographer, and, as the book progresses, an honorary local. . . . The book will definitely appeal to general audiences eager to learn about contemporary Ecuador, and it will draw readers curious about the day-to-day reality of creating a life in such a different environment. People who want to escape the confines of a single cultural viewpoint will also find inspiration here. We come away with a sense of the profound differences and inequalities in the world, but also of the many ways that friendships transcend our divides. (Joanne B. Mulcahy, author of Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz, and Birth and Rebirth on an Alaskan Island: The Life of an Alutiiq Healer)

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