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El Matal/Jama Canton/Manabi Province/Ecuador

December Solstice – 2014 from the Middle of the World/Ecuador!

As you dash between social engagements during this holiday season, take a quiet respite and think about where you are on the planet as the sun reaches the northernmost point in its yearly cycle.  Tomorrow it begins its journey to its June reunion in the southern hemisphere, while reminding us that we also make progress – a little each day.

Yoga alignment!

Yoga alignment!

Ponder where you are in Life and if you awaken with a smile in your heart.  If you don’t have that smile, try to figure out why and what can make your spiritual life happier.  Surround yourself with happy people, and reach out to others who are less fortunate than you.  If you’re facing challenges, send a quiet “Thanks’ that you have intelligence and the ability to find creative alternatives to the ones that have proven to be ineffective.  As my nephew Don stated, “We make choices every day…”   (See: When the World Outside my Window Goes Insane.)

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Although some challenges all but break us, we realize later that they formed us into stronger and wiser people.   I’ve witnessed many positive results from the ongoing crisis at nearby El Matal, and the biggest one for me is getting to know many of the locals who live at their own Ground Zero.  If one steps into the arena with empathy and an open heart, the social barriers are dissolved.  Those who are actively addressing the problems are ‘one’ in spirit, and they embrace all who show their support.

As most people prepare for the festive holiday gatherings, traditions and feasts, the people of El Matal are anticipating the approaching spring tide of December 24th.   I visted El Matal this past Wednesday and took photos as the municipality resorted to emergency measures to protect the thin necktie of land that remains.

The next four images illustrate the changes from June 2012 until December 2014:

Across the road from Hibiscus Post - June 2012

Across the road from Hibiscus Post – June 2012

From 2012 - Post Painting Competition

From 2012 – Post Painting Competition

(March 2014 - my favorite hibiscus post!)

(March 2014 – my favorite hibiscus post!)

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December 2014 – Same hibiscus post

Although they are not pretty – and I have witnessed how unstable these boulders can be when they shift and fall near my house on the river – they will help protect the front-line properties.

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Victor’s restaurant looks abandoned, but they were open for lunch a few hours before this image was taken. I worry about the loss of revenue during this ongoing crisis.

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I also worry about the safety of unsuspecting people who assume that the rocks are stable. The waves erode the underlying sand, and the boulders shift and sometimes tumble.

Hurried for time, I will leave these images in the ‘Pending’ folder and hope that they reach you tomorrow/Saturday.     (I gave those exhausted gerbils and hamsters a day off while I went to town for faster internet!)   I will be home at Casa Loca until early next week.

Warning:  The rest of this post is very image heavy!   Z

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I remember in May 2012, the road was about where this man is walking, and there was ample perpendicular parking in front of Victor’s restaurant.

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The following few images were taken along the incoming road that connects Jama with El Matal.
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A fisherman returns to the beach at full throttle.

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These men were watching the machinery placing the boulders.

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The upper end remains stable with sand bags in place since March 2014. See “It’s Devastating” to compare what they faced in December, January and February a year ago. (https://playamart.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/its-devastating/)[/caption

[caption id="attachment_13307" align="aligncenter" width="529"]The sand bags appear to be doing their job - holding a united front on the upper end since March 2014. The sand bags appear to be doing their job, holding a united front on the upper end since March 2014.

As always, thank you so much for your support not only for this blog but also for your empathy for those who continue to face the destructive tides at El Matal.  It’s one thing to view via photos from afar and another to hear the crashing sounds of the waves at night and wonder if the monster is creeping closer.

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Send strong positive energy to this area on December 24th. Thanks in advance, Z

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