I overheard Nona and Papa arguing about me. “No, you get up and get her to shut up. She’s in your purse,” of course, that was Papa. “I’ve dealt with her all day. Now, it’s your turn,” and that was Nona. None of that deterred me. At 1 AM, I just kept yelling, again and again, at the top of my voice — which, believe me, is pretty squeaky —“I don’t want to go to Cuenca! I want to go to Canoa, to the beach, and to the Spanish class like we planned!” (By the way, we were back in our very nice UniPark Hotel in Guayaquil, having returned from the islands of Galapagos.)
Then I heard the snap on Nona’s purse pop. Papa’s big, fat fingers grabbed me, and he snapped me out of the purse. (As usual, Nona had won their argument.) “Oh, no,” I thought, “he’s going to throw me out the window.” You know, Papa likes his sleep, and I was keeping him from sleeping. Maybe I had pushed him too far!
To my utter surprise, he took me over to our nice soft hotel room chair, sat down, gently held me up to his face in the palm of his hand, and asked, “Solbit, my dear, what AM I going to do with you?” I rapidly replied, “Papa, whatever you do with me, please, please don’t throw me out of our 10th story hotel room window!” That made him chuckle. Whew, I dodged the proverbial bullet.
“Solbit, I know you want to go to Canoa as we planned. Nona and I do too, but that is impossible now. The earthquake has flattened — destroyed — that little village. People are badly injured. Some have been killed. We can’t go there now. I’m sorry. Do you understand?” I just pouted. I did understand, but I didn’t want to admit it. Just like I didn’t want to say, “I’m sorry for keeping you awake all night.”
After a long pause, Papa said, “Solbit, we ARE going to Cuenca, and I know that you are going to like it. Remember what Nona always says: when we travel to new places, we have to be flexible and nimble. OK? Now, go to sleep.” He put me back into Nona’s purse and said, “Sweet dreams, my little Jurassic.”
When I woke and got out of Nona’s purse, we were already on a bus going up into the Andes mountains! Wow, we even went so far up that the clouds were beneath us. Imagine that! Next thing I knew, we arrived in Cuenca and Nona and Papa took me for a walk. What a beautiful place!
Papa was right, of course. Cuenca is a place that I liked right from that first walk. Oh, look at this.
“Wait a minute,” I asked, “if those hats are made in Ecuador, why are they called Panama hats?” Nona said it was a long story that she’d tell me later. She says that a lot, I guess because I ask a lot of questions.
A few day later, we went to a factory where they make Panama hats, and that’s where an expert on hats explained to me that the hats are hand woven in Ecuador, but, because they were used so much by workers in Panama who were digging the famous Panama Canal, the hats got the name Panama. I still think Ecuador should get the credit.
Before our trip to South America, Papa had said that he wanted to buy a Panama hat. I knew we weren’t going to Panama, so I wondered, why does he say that? Well, now, I understand. At the Panama hat workshop or factory, we looked for hats for Papa. I’m pretty sure he will buy one, but he can’t make up his mind which one to get. They come in different styles and prices.
When we looked at the hats in a museum at the factory, we saw a big beautiful wedding dress. What’s a wedding dress doing in a hat factory? Well, that dress had been hand woven of the same material as the finest Panama hats. If I were a human and not a Jurassic girl, I’d want a wedding dress like that! Sadly, if I put on a beautiful wedding dress like that one, I’d just look silly and make people laugh.
Speaking of beautiful things, sunsets often strike me as beautiful. Don’t you agree? Here’s my photo of one of my first sunsets here in Cuenca.
Have you ever noticed that almost everywhere you go in the world, the sunsets can be beautiful, and, no matter who you are, young or old, poor or rich, human or plastic jurassic, everybody gets to enjoy the same sunset for free. I like that.
I’m your friend.
*New reader? Get oriented below.
- You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
- You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”