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The OWA goes to Equador

Newsletter | Nov/Dec 2003

Volume 31:6
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If you would like to see corrections to this newsletter or to submit articles or suggestions for future newsletters please contact the Newsletter Editor.

In this issue:
Editor's Note - Mui Ho
Ecuador Trip - Mui Ho

Editor's Note

by Mui Ho    |    Share #451

Please send your email address to our administrative assistant, Tara Lane at your earliest convenience. Tara's email address is or We would like to have all our members date for the master roster to be completed by end of this year

Holiday Benefit Party

 Share #452

Date : Tuesday, 9 December 2003
Place : Kathleen Cruise's house, 523 45th Avenue, San Francisco
Time : 6:30 to 9 pm

Bring : one dish of finger food to share

It is an OWA tradition to have a gift giving party at the end of the year. We will collect gifts to be taken to a shelter in the Bay Area. This year we are planning to deliver our gifts to Hamilton Family Center in San Francisco. You can bring items for men, women, teens and children. There is no need to wrap your gifts. The organizers of the Center would like to review the gifts and distribute them accordingly.

If you cannot attend this function and would like to contribute, you can bring your gifts to one of the steering committee members or send your check to our mail box and make checks payable to Hamilton Family Center.

Happy Holiday!

Gala Dinner at Treasue Island

 Share #453

140 people attended this event at the beautiful Casa de la Vista, the former officers Club on Treasure Island.

The great food was prepared by the caterer Comnpadres .

This picture was taken during the afternoon when the anniversary committee was working on the arranging of tables, flowers and other decorations before the party.

Bay to Breakers -- run run run

 Share #454

The Bay to Breakers run was such a success that we are going to make this our annual event. It is healthy, fun and lots of walking. Interestingly enough, many of our members and long time Bay Area residents have not participated in this San Francisco tradition. This is one of the few community events that galvanize people from all walks of life.

Ecuador Trip

by Mui Ho    |    Share #455

Ten of us just returned from our delightful Ecuador trip organized by Gilda Puente-Peters and Marda Stothers. The pace of this trip was leisurely fluid and we managed to covered quite a bit. Gilda had arranged for us to stay at interesting places like old colonial mansions or Haciendas made into boutique hotels. In Quito we stayed at Hostel Santa Barbara and Hotel La Rabida - both have beautifully furnished public parlors and courtyards.

Ecuador is very mountainous with deep gorges, waterfalls and volcanoes. What impressed me most was how people built their houses and farms on steep slopes. In Quito, most housing is built on hillsides with wonderful views and the Indian farmers farm their land on a 45 degree slope.

One of the highlights of our trip was the visit to Marcello's ranch. Marcello is an old friend of Gilda's. He left his architectural practice to become a gentleman rancher. He has cows to produce milk and green houses to produce roses. To our surprise, he ships his roses weekly to Russia via Amsterdam. To get to his ranch was quite an experience. We had to drive on a narrow rugged twisty dirt road for miles. It did cross our mind that we might not get there! But we did and it was worth every penny of it, because the hacienda was quite special. I particularly loved the forlorn garden with lovely untended trees and flowers - very romantic as if I had walked into another century.

Another highlight for me was meeting Gilda's family and friends and spending time with them. They showed me how close families and friends are in Ecuador. It made all of us very envious. Everyone we met on our trip was kind, warm and gentle.

The group will be presenting their Ecuador trip in our coming September Retreat.

Here we are above with our guide Carlos and driver Pablo. We had a new tour bus with 20 seats for most of our trip - very clean and roomy.

Summer Solstice ceremony at the Ethnographic Museum.

We spent an afternoon at Marcello's rose farm and family hacienda. Marcello, a friend of Gilda's and also an architect, started his rose business less than 10 years ago. All the roses are grown year round inside greenhouses. The high altitude, the temperature and the amount of sunshine in this part of Ecuador seems to work beautifully with roses. Marcello packs his long stem roses in boxes of twenties and ships them to Europe and Russia weekly. It takes two weeks of travel for the roses to reach the retailer. We were all fascinated by his new endeavor.

Lake Quilotoa

As we arrived at Lake Quilotoa, the snow started to come down quite heavily. It was cold and grey. At the viewing platform, local Indians spread out their crafts to show us. They were mostly small paintings on sheep's skin. These paintings are very colorful and the scenes depict their dreams, beliefs and daily activities. This cottage industry to our surprise turns out to be a rather new tradition, about 25 years old. Never the less the paintings were wonderful and beautiful.

Symposium at UC Berkeley Recap

 Share #459

We are interested to find out if anyone has taken any pictures during the Symposium. If you have any, please contact Mui at 510-644-2600 or send copies to 1605 Arch Street, Berkeley, CA 94709. We would like to have a record of this event to put in our archive. Roughly 120 people attended .

Summery of symposium expenses:

Caterer for lunch - Compadres $2094.90
Bottle water from Cosco 95.74
Flower 69.95
Paper goods 8.00
Poster printing **633.26
Fruit 20.14
Program & Newsletter printing 88.77
Joe Gouig - AV person 240.00
Alaina Stothers - sign in table 140.00
Dylan - water and door 140.00
Reception *500.00
Dinner at Bette's Diner $40 per person X36 1440.00
Tax & Gratuity **352.62

Checks collected 2874.00
Cash collected 158.00

* Reception $500 is donated by the UC Department of Architecture.
**Poster printing, gratuity and tax for the dinner is donated by Mui Ho.

Keeping in Touch in Barcelona

by Inge Horton    |    Share #460

During my recent trip to Barcelona I contacted D'vora Treisman, OWA's former Administrative Assistant who had moved to Barcelona a while ago. D'vora, my German friends and I spent a lovely day exploring some of the architectural gems of Barcelona and enjoying a delicious lunch near Gaudi's fascinating Casa Mila. Since Barcelona is quite expensive D'vora and her husband are contemplating moving to Tarragona, a small coastal town about 50 miles south of Barcelona, and are in the process of looking at apartments. You can reach D'vora at

I also tried to find out whether there was a group of women architects in Barcelona by contacting the Colegio de Arquitectos (equivalent to the AIA). Since there are only groups in Madrid they provided me with the phone number of Anna Bofill, an architect who is interested in issues concerning women architects. One evening in a long phone conversation I found out that many years ago she had been to California and met, among other women, Mui Ho. Anna and her well-known brother Ricardo Bofill worked together for 17 years in the Taller de Arquitectura. She retired from architecture to pursue her passion of music as a composer.

Steering Committee News

 Share #461

We are having a rotation this spring. Mimi Malayan is going to replace Mui Ho in February and Sarka Volejnikova is to replace Marian Ring in May.

Marda and Kathleen are hiring a computer person to create and continue updating a roster for OWA membership for our everyday use as well as for the web site. Tara, our administrative assistant will continue picking up OWA mail and taking care of the bookkeeping and money.
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