Elya is a tall Dutch woman I met one morning in Cuenca. She was visiting for just a couple of days, taking a break while her boyfriend Climbed Chimborazo. The altitude would have been too much for her she said. Elya had some trouble in Peru adapting to the thin air. She described being sick on the bus from Lima to
Cuzco. She'll rejoin her partner, a gymnast, after he does the volcano. They will then head
into the jungle, the Oriente of Ecuador.
How long will you be there? I ask, "Until, whenever" Elya replied. They don't have to return to Europe for several months.
Back home in Amsterdam she is a Producer of short videos. She says her Spanish is not so good
but like most Europeans she speaks several languages. Her English is fine. Elya suggests that her German is so-so. She was born in a little town in southern Holland but now calls Amsterdam home.
I ask her what production she most enjoyed. "Working on a documentary in India". The subject was the rights of woman. She enjoys her work but looks forward to settling down to a home and children some day.
What other travel adventures have you had? I ask, "The burning man festival in NV". Her eyes lit up describing the event and the wreck of an old truck she and a friend drove to reach the festival. The truck's existence ended there in the desert. She spoke nostalgically of the feeling she had when the giant effigy was lit. Everyone was quiet, tens of thousands of people in the desert staring at a burning giant.
Best of luck in the Oriente Elya.
-Glen Birbeck www.glensketch.me