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P1640888 palo santo

Manabi Ecuador

Last weekend, my friends from the port city of Manta visited this rural farming area of Jama for the first time. Taking a day off from responsibilities, I joined them at Hostal Palo Santo, where we rented three cabanas and enjoyed a leisurely visit in the serene garden setting. With wide-eyed wonder, young Nicolas and Natalia tested the see-saw, touched their toes to the sky from the swing set and befriended a young kitten/gatito.

P1640912 two swings

Natalia: Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!
Nicolas: Snips and Snails and Kitty Cat Tails!

I suggested that we drive to my house to watch the sunset, and the seven of us drove the five kilometers for a comfortable end-of-day visit.   We weren’t prepared for Nicolas’ reaction!   From the moment he entered the house, he uttered this sentence of disbelief:

"Esta Casa Es Loca!"

“Esta Casa Es Loca!” – Noolas photographs the wooden fishing cat.

One might argue that he said four one-word sentences – over and over as he absorbed the uninhibited whimsy throughout the house. With quietly-spoken words of wonder, he stated, “Esta. Casa. Es. Loca.”    With each new discovery, he politely asked for permission to take a photograph.

P1640812 mano swirl

After coffee, lemonade and popcorn break, we enjoyed the after-sunset finale as Natalia and Nicholas added their touches to “If Fish Could Fly.”

P1650069 my assistants

The next morning we returned to the house to create an art project for the entire family.  The following images illustrate our painting experience!

P1640944 spiral loxa

We started with a spiral, drawn by Gonzalo. Nicolas added our planet in the center of the spiral!

P1640959 spiral loca

All of that painting makes one tired!  (That’s good! Nicolas’ left brain will take a nap so that his more-patient right brain awakens!)

P1640960 spiral loca

Ah! Silvia joins the painting process while Eloisa and Abuela prepare lunch!

P1640965 spiral loca P1640967 spiral loca hands P1640976 spiral loca

Momma Eloisa joins the painting party!

P1640989 spiral loca P1650006 spiral loca P1650022 spiral loca P1650024 spiral loca P1650026 spiral loca

The memories of those 24 hours will forever be branded in the painting.  This work of art now resides with my friends in Manta, while “If Fish Could Fly” records unique touches from Nicolas and Natalia!

P1650035 SPIRAL LOCA2 P1650037 group portrait spiral loca

“Esta.  Casa.  Es.  Loca.”