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Portoviejo – Manabi Province -Ecuador
The absence of traffic sounds awakened my senses on this first day of ‘restrictions’ thanks to the Covid19.  I really don’t like giving this virus its proper name, a bit like rewarding a bad child with attention.

President Lenin Moreno joined other countries in closing down borders and giving a deadline for international arrivals.   Last night/midnight was the final ‘hour’ for Ecuadorians to return home.   Starting today, only essential errands are permitted, which includes going to the market or pharmacy, but almost all stores and businesses are closed.   Restaurants are permitted to sell ‘take out’ or deliver to homes, so most have closed.

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Jama Ecuador – Magnificent Frigate attempts to steal fish from Cocoi Heron

A glance from the 4th floor apartment to ground level confirmed that the normal city life had changed; only one car was parked in the normally-crowded street. I wondered if the police would consider a walking trip to the nearby Post Office an essential task; I suspect they would be lenient — but perhaps I should not risk testing their tolerance on the first morning of restriction!  (I did, and the post office was open, but I was told I”d have to go to the larger post office across town.  The package can wait.)   Not only traffic restrictions, but also pedestrian – not even a walk in the park, though going to the market and pharmacy are accepted activities.

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Yum yum, a bird feast: all-you-can-eat shrimp during a shrimp harvest. (Jama Ecuador)

Several bloggers have addressed various facets of the virus’s impact; Valentina Cirasola’s candid post gives a personal glimpse into her home country of Italy and reflects her concern. Based in the USA, this multi-talented designer writes about her recent visit to Italy: ” The atmosphere is unreal and surreal, it seems as if something terrible has just happened and humans have left for another planet. I hear no noise, no music, no voices, no laughs, no one arguing. Kids proliferate in these alleyways but they are not there. Italian streets without rascals are lifeless. “ Surreal Moments

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Peruvian Meadowlark

Rachel Tilseth (Wolves of Douglas County Wisonsin.com) shared a summary written by Brunella Pernigotti in Turin, Italy. She too describes her country and opens with “It’s a strange Saturday afternoon. The streets in the center of Turin where I live, are empty and an unreal silence reigns everywhere. Normally at this hour…” go here to read Brunella’s story: Coronavirus hit Italy like an Avalance 

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A shrimp harvest last week near Jama Ecuador. Is the virus lurking there? We hope not!

Cindy Knoke, who brings us stunning images of our natural world – especially avian photos – offers grounded advice for coping through this new pandemic maze. She mentions the ‘Shrieking headlines’ (great description!) and states: “As a psychotherapist who has practiced for many decades, I have some ideas that can help. So if you are interested, read on. “

The creative mind snatches Cindy’s ideas and has fun, and I continued her line of thought and enjoyed imagining cartoon birds to go with the names of the real ones in the photos – a Fairy Wren? – I imagined a delicate bird with fairy wings, perhaps perched on the rim of a teacup?!

Go here:  Anxiety Management during Pandemic Days

The most heart-warming post – for me – was seeing Angeline/The Sunday Traveler’s post about reconnecting with her art. She states: ” I read more and more about just starting, even if it’s ugly and bad, and that’s the truth. Once I started, I was off and running. I’ve taken one art class that was in oils, and very structured, a replica of some other artist’s work; this nearly broke my soul. I just couldn’t do it that way. I quit. I stopped completely. “

Reading that put tears in my eyes; I hope that I never unknowingly discourage someone from the joy of creating art.  Please visit and read her narrative – now is the perfect time for anyone to reach down and try again – if you’ve been dodging attempts to create art. It’s truly amazing how powerful art can be – if one can relax and just ‘let it flow.’

Monday Musings- Starting Somewhere


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Wood Stork – gobble gobble the shrimp monster (?) or is it searching for other type of food?

Since I read WP via email notifications, I thank all of you who include the entire post without the ‘more’ link. I am able to read at home and enjoy the variety of stories and information.    The images do not load, but the email text does – so I can refresh the inbox (dedicated strictly to Word Press!) and then read when there’s more time. It’s sometimes fun to read the message and then wait until next time on line to see the images. BlueBrightly/Lynn’s posts are especially effective, as she goes into such depth about the outing and/or each image.  I imagine what the images might look like then enjoy seeing if I was close – or way off!

Thanks to all of you who are writing about positive and uplifting subjects — we need as much positive input as possible!

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I especially enjoy reading nostalgic posts – those ‘once upon a time’ stories that leave us a bit lighter in spirit. I plan to share a few with you soon and urge others to reach down and take turns as if we’re gathered around a campfire in collective attention.

(If this is posted today, March 17, it means that my friends’ tienda will be open — and I’ll be connecting with the world via their internet.)

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I forgot to ask the destination for these shrimp. Many times it’s the USA.

(The photos were taken last week when I visited Jama and spent time on my friends’ shrimp farm as they harvested a pond. Ah, they must detest all shrimp-gobbling birds, but they are a joy for a bird-loving person like me!)

For those who are looking for information about Ecuador – especially current info, ZeroLatLiving remains my favorite site, published every Sunday with a review of things written about Ecuador in the past week – or of interest.