A former high school classmate and cherished old friend when reconnecting with Roger through Facebook quoted the old saying: "When God closes a door, he opens a window." The years have seen a number of life changes for us that make that adage ring true. After being blessed with good fortune, a wonderful son and great experiences, we decided to look out that window and prepare for more of what this wonderful life has to offer. We hope through our blog to share our journey from this point forward with family, with friends and with many others. Hopefully we'll make some new friends along the way. We hope you find our tales of some interest, even amusement and perhaps an inspiration for you to treat each and every day as an opportunity and an adventure to share with those who are an important part of your life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Few Of Our Favorite Things Part III

After two months in Ecuador we have come to love hats and have added the hats made in this vicinity to our list of favorite things.  They are almost a necessity if you plan on spending a fair amount of time outdoors. On a sunny day, sunglasses, suncreen (SP50 at least!) and a good Panama hat are your best friends and protectors against what has to be one of the highest UV indexes in the western hemisphere.  You definitely need to be conscious of protecting your skin against overexposure if you plan on spending any time in Cuenca.It's probably one of the reasons why the famous Panama hat originated here. 
That, of course, leads to the question, why is it called a Panama Hat?  Why not the Cuenca Hat or the Ecuador Hat? Chalk that up to several movie stars who made films in Panama and wore this type of hat not only in their films but afterwards as well.  In any case, the woven hat originated in the Azuay province of the southern Andes and the hats are still made there today.  As you drive into Sigsig, a factory sits on the edge of the village utilizing machinery that was probably installed during the peak of Humphrey's Bogart's popularity. In this village, you will see literally scores of locals weaving fibers into hats as they walk about town.  Just about everywhere in Ecuador, you will find hats for sale.  We recommend that you buy and use one in this bright sunny climate.  

The Yazells plan on becoming regular hat wearers as we continue juntos en el camino de la vida!

The World's Largest Panama Hat on display for tourists to photograph at the hat factory in Sigsig.

Hand woven hats awaiting their turn in the hat mold.

Steam mold for final forming of hats.

Roger's hat in this photo came with him from
the U.S. It is a collapsible canvas type that packs easily.
The photo was taken at the Pumapungo Archaelogical Park.

Suzanne tried on several hats at this shop in Quito!

This one is targeted for purchase when we return!

Suzanne purchased this hand in Cuenca at
Bernal Hats on Simon Bolivar.

Roger's first hat came from Sigsig.
The shirt is Ecuadorian from Cemuart in Cuenca.
 The photo was at the Turi Overlook.

Roger's second panama hat was purchased in Cuenca
at La Paja Toquilla on Juan Jaramillo and it rapidly
became his favorite.

If you plan on spending a sunny day walking around Cuenca, don't forget your hat!

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