More than 600 images crowded my camera chip when I returned home from the fishing village of El Matal on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast. Phase two of the “Post-Painting Competition“ coaxed a new batch of budding artists to the sun-drenched streets, where they magically transformed concrete light posts into works of art using Jama-Coaque pre-Columbian icons.
For two days I ambled the main streets, met new Picassos and marveled at their sheer joy of painting. They beamed with pride when anyone stopped to appreciate their work! Why, oh why, couldn’t they all win a top prize?!!!!
Like a child in search of Easter eggs, I sometmes veered down side streets where random splashes of art tugged for my attention. “Vamanos,” I exclaimed to a cluster of children who bashfully trailed behind. One barefooted lad escorted me to a newly-painted post then back to the main street!
After two days of walking in equatorial sun, my body waved an ‘Enough’s Enough’ flag that sent me to the shadows. My blood pressure was flat-lining, and the judging hour of one o’clock was pushed back to two o’clock and then three. Knowing my body, I said my goodbyes and found my way home before alarming everyone with a fainting attack! The month has been a demanding one, and my body was tired.
I am a little-bit glad that I wasn’t around to discover who won the top awards and who did not, as in my book, they were – and still are – all winners!
Do you have a favorite?