Something about this photo makes me smile–maybe it is because Brian and Megan are smiling back. But I love the ‘motion’ and the emotion that seem captured in this momentary slice of life–a hammock in the living room in the midst of the barrio Guasmo Sur, south of Guayaquil, Ecuador.
I took this photo on one of my frequent visits to Guasmo Sur as part of the ‘Adopta Una Familia‘ and Mi Cometa projects. You can see more stories and photos from the Guas here.
Greetings from the garden,
I have to say I got many funny responses to my email about ‘manually’ pollinating the squash…
After all that effort with the Q-tip I found out from a community college herbs and vegetables class (definitely an email in its own right) that the problem was likely either too much water or not enough carbohydrates. Though I contemplated pouring some spaghetti in the pot, I tried the ‘less water’ approach first and it seems to have worked like a charm! My mom did comment that this seemed like a lot more work than simply going to Trader Joe’s…
I’ve also been doing some gardening with Tommy (he’s 7) in his grandparents’ (Martha and Jack) backyard. So far we’ve got an herb garden, some undocumented succulents (yes, there’s a story there), cherry tomatoes, peppers and even a pumpkin patch! Martha makes the best pumpkin pie in the world, so Tommy figured we should grow her some pumpkins to make it from. He also wanted to put in a fountain and a fish pond, but I told him that might be out of the scope of our initial gardening phase. In the experimental section of the garden we’ve planted an avocado pit. I think we might have some guacamole in about four years, if we’re lucky.
When I can fit it in amongst all of the gardening I am actually doing quite a bit of freelance work these days…writing, photography, and websites as well as preaching two weeks in a row. The first week I preached to the choir—literally! I think there were about 8 people in the choir and about 7 in the pews… It was actually wonderful getting to know the 15 of them! The following week I preached to more of a traditional congregation, size-wise. There was one funny moment when the offering had been collected, the ushers were standing in the back, the organist was playing, and playing, and playing…and all of a sudden I realized that I was supposed to stand up and call the ushers back to the front for the prayer. I wonder how long we would have sat there? If you are interested in the sermon I preached, it is posted (in text form for now) and called “It’s a Crazy Story.” Honestly, it really is a crazy story.
Finally, I am getting ready to head to Ecuador tomorrow for my third “Adopta Una Familia” trip with Erica (seminary roommate) and a team of about 70 gringos. We will all be staying with Ecuadorian families and while they will all be doing hard manual labor (mostly construction) my job will be to photograph them sweating! Actually, this year I will also be teaching a photography class to 10 teenagers from the barrio. It should be fun, and I can’t wait to share the pictures with you! It is a mini version of something called photopiece that I have been helping my friend Leanna to teach in downtown LA last fall and this summer.
Stay tuned for (hopefully, internet connection willing) photos and updates from Ecuador…
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Tagged Adopta una familia, Ecuador, freelance, garden, Guasmo, peppers, photography, Photopiece, pollinate, preaching, pumpkin, squash, tomato, websites, writer
Saturday, August 6
Work Day 2
Last night was bingo night…crazy! Grand prizes were a stove (cocina), refrigerator (refri), and a mountain bike (bicicleta). Abbey (Erica’s sister) was doing the number calling, and at one point after a round was over she told everyone to “limpia las platas.” She was trying to tell them to clear their bingo cards, but instead what she did say was “clean the silver!”
I am keeping a running list of all the things you can buy off push carts that go by on the road in front of our casa. Last year it was one of my favorite activities. So far this year we’ve got fish (whole, entire, head and tail and all), eggs, and armoires!
Today the casas will start on walls and at Mi Cometa there is a huge project to pour the loza, which is the floor of the third floor. It is a solid concrete floor, or will be, filled in around concrete blocks. It is held up, from the second floor, by large pieces of bamboo. All I can say is that I am not sure I want to be standing on the second floor when they pour the concrete!
The concrete will be mixed down on the ground (they have brought in concrete mixers, which are still by hand, but are better than just using shovels!) and then pull it up to the third floor in an intricate pully system.
Eunice, 81, is from Erica's church in South Weymouth
At the third floor the buckets will get poured into a sort of trough, which then angles down toward a funnel, where a wheel barrow is waiting, which when full will be wheeled across a narrow bamboo ‘bridge’ and then taken over to pour on the loza…quite a production!
“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”
the classic 'me with the police' shot
Friday, August 5
Work Day 1
Back in the Guas!
Wow, where to begin?! The group arrived yesterday afternoon. Fifty-some people. The aeropuerto was completely loco! We managed to get everyone loaded into the bus and their luggage loaded on a truck–I rode on top of the luggage! Too bad I was the one with the camera, so no pictures…