It’s not always what we have planned for the day, but what the day has planned for us! This week brought two visitors to my doorway – Rycardo, my sculptor friend, and Sergio, the director for tourism for the canton of Jama, Ecuador. After finishing a painting (Bamboo) and posting “A FRAGILE BALANCE” for the Zeebra Designs website, I was happy to disconnect from art and visit with my friends! Sergio, originally from Chile, has spearheaded a renaisance of the arts in Jama; Rycardo and I have been helping! As we tossed around ideas for future projects, Sergio saw the latest Zeebra Map (in progress) on the drawing board. He asked if I would draw an additional one for Jama “proper” then volunteered to drive me around the canton.
Later that afternoon Sergio gave a custom tour from one end of the canton to the other! He pointed out the bamboo artisanias of Tabuga and the three ecological parks in that area.
We updated information from the pueblitos of Camerones, Tasaste, Punta Blanca, Punta Prieta that dot the coastline near the natural landmark of Arca de Amor. Next we visited both fishing villages; Don Juan was as sleepy as ever, in contrast to the ever- popular fishing village of El Matal. We finished the tour with a drive south toward Canoa to note the restaurants at Bigua and Rambuche.
Returning to Jama, we consulted the old maps at the municipality, then stopped at the cultural center, Casa Blanca, to go over details. A young girl named Jody was celebrating her birthday in the new public library! Her friends clustered around while another sang a stunning birthday song a cappella, which triggered tears from Jody, which triggered tears from others, including me! The traditional ‘cumpleanos feliz’ followed several other songs, and they shared a multi-layered cake amply coated with an egg-white icing. Bright red apple-flavored soda and perfectly-cooked cake were shared with everyone in the room.
There is a need for more books, especially children’s books in English or other languages, and we discussed the concept of a book drive. (More English books for adults might also coax the growing number of English-speaking book-craving transplants to the library!)
If you have any children’s books that are gathering dust, please consider sending them to my friend Maria, the librarian!
Ecuador’s postal service is fairly reliable, as long as the weight of the package stays below a minimum weight, which is several pounds. (* Twice I have stopped by “Carmen’s Post Office” for details, and she has been ‘away.’) There’s no need to send them priority – the slow old fashioned way will be fine, and Maria will treasure the books when they start arriving.
Address: Maria del Pilar y Juan Carlos Medina
Biblioteca Municipal “Luis Arturo Cevallos Inriago” de Jama
Calles: Bernado Espinar Cedeno y Leandro Medina
Jama – Manabi Ecuador
(Maria politely refused my request for her photograph, so I’ll share one of Dimas, who was feeding the shrimp on a cameronera near Jama!) Thank you in advance for sending a book – any book! Z