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Portoviejo Ecuador

Domenica & Amelia – Traitor

(Olivia Rodrigo Cover)

3,000+ views in 20 hours! Not bad for a cold start from the middle of the world!

Meet my friend Shadia’s beautiful and multi-talented niece (Amelia) and her friend Domenica.   Pass the link and help their YouTube view counter soar to the stars! (It’s already soaring without anyone’s help – just their God-given talents and beautiful energies!)

Domenica & Amelia
Voz: Ameilia Mendoza Safady
Guitarra: Domenica Zapata Duenas
Disenadora de Vestuario: Rima Safady Darwiche

Her mother (Rima, who is also a culinary artist and describes herslf as an ovarian cancer warrior) has designed some amazing evening wear, so her name on the video credits as dress designer was no surprise to me.  Peek at her instagram posts: rimasafadyatelier  https://www.instagram.com/rimasafadyatelier/

The gown on the far right is Rima’s design.

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Rima’s facebook page features another friend’s daughter wearing a stunning design in a short video:

https://web.facebook.com/rimasafadyatelier/videos/404249270133137/

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Thanksgiving Eve/2021

My dear friends,

The above just-released video makes my heart smile.  When my friend Dady sent the link, I thought I was watching a Grammy-worthy artist in her latest video.  Dady said, ‘No, that’s Shadia’s niece – the artist that you met…’ and my mouth remained agape in wonder.   Wow.  Just wow, and I deciphered the location – I think – at nearby Jardin Botanico, where visitors are cocooned in a thriving ecosystem.

The park remains closed during this Covid era, but with advanced notice, one can obtain entrance for birding or special photo (or video) sessions.  Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can take a quiet stroll through the park right now:

Cocoi Heron

Do you see the Peruvian (Pacific) Pygmy Owl?

Strange eyes?  A false set of eyes?  Closed eyes?

OK. Now the owl can see you!

“¿Qué nos dirían los árboles y los búhos si pudiéramos entender su idioma?

What would the trees and the owls say to us if we could understand their language?”  Lisa Brunetti

Almost dark – Young Striated Herons

(Yawn)- We’re tired of posing for photos.

The youngest Striated Heron trying to be invisible.

Striated Heron

Snapping Turtles

Who’s there?

Colombian Wood Turtle

South American Snapping Turtle

South American Snapping Turtle

Check out those claws. They reminded me of something – and I found that something in the artifacts folder…

Detail of artifact at museo MAAC – Guayaquil,Ecuador

Tolita Culture/ MAAC Museo/Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ok – Back to the present!   Immersion in nature is a good choice for these extended Covid times.   There seems to be an acceleration of ‘back to normal’ lifestyles – which concerns me.   We, as a species, are weary of being proactive against the invisible enemy.  We yearn to attend events, sing in collective harmony, bask in traditions that are comforting and familiar.   Most of us ponder the events of the past year and hope to emerge from this virus-tainted chapter of life. Do we resume our previous patterns and behavior after this extended pause?  Have we grown wiser, more sensitive?

While many celebrate Thanksgiving, others reflect on the loss of loved ones.  Some are battling their own health challenges.   A good friend and his family are presently ‘sweating out’ Covid infections even though they were vaccinated.  They feel that the vaccinations will buffer them from what could be a worst-case scenario, but I will be relieved when they are all well again.  The virus continues to play the role of a Trojan Horse, and we should all remember to remain cautious.

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“Step into My World” – Museo Portoviejo –  Ecuador

October 2021 – April 2022

Some visitors tested the app on the banner that anchors the first flight of stairs at the museo.

The unexpected egret tracks make people smile.

Sometimes our attempts fail for spacing the visitors.

After activating the Artivive app, these visitors were asked to aim their phones at Carlos Wellington’s shirt … and augmented reality leaped into their world.

“Como John James Audubon *, estoy retratando mi amado mundo natural, uno que espero capturar y compartir con otros antes de que los humanos hayan destruido este frágil ecosistema.

Like John James Audubon*, I am painting my beloved natural world, one that I hope to capture and share with others before humans have destroyed this fragile ecosystem.”  – Lisa Brunetti

Between visitors at the museum, I add watercolor to the prints of some of the drawings. (Common Tody Flycatcher)

The whimsical iguana remains a favorite. The people stare in wonder as the image changes to an iguana holding that same pose, then bobbing its head in classic iguana style.

The balsa tree trunk on the left anchors the final painting before the show weans to Giovanni’s section.  The portrait captures the tree’s essence when it seemed to exist solely for my personal viewing pleasure. Many people requests poses here.

Every so often a few people from the museum duck into the gallery for a quiet meeting. Sights like this warm my heart and also make me thankful.

A group of displaced people from Venezuela hope to one day return to their homeland. Their histories remind me to be grateful during this Thanksgiving holiday.

The study of a monkey mask (from Panama) changes into a video of Howler Monkeys in their natural setting. This one is also popular.

It is especially touching when someone reads my words out loud:

“… Ya no es ‘suficiente’ admirar esta porción de cielo en la tierra. Hoy el área permanece desprovista de los sonidos de la invasión humana. Los sonidos de las motosierras regresarán; el aroma de los incendios anunciará otra área despejada con éxito, “Desmalezado” de la vegetación original, el paisaje ilustra el silencioso mensaje por parte del hombre: “Esto es mío”, con poco respeto hacia lo que una vez floreció aquí.
Nuestro futuro depende de reconocer que las viejas formas no siempre son las mejores, y que es hora de encontrar nuevos modos de ser dignos guardianes de este planeta “.

“…It is no longer ‘enough’ to admire this slice of heaven on earth. Today the area remains void of the sounds of human encroachment. The sounds of chain saws will return; the aroma of fires will announce another area successfully cleared. Wiped clean of the original vegetation, the landscape illustrates man’s silent message: “This is mine ” – with little respect to what once thrived here.

Our future depends on acknowledging that the old ways are not always the best, and it’s time to find new ways to be worthy guardians of this planet.”  Lisa Brunetti

Nov 20, 2021

A new series incubates: Vanishing Manabi

Here in my daily museum routine, most everyone observes the importance of masks.  There is often a lapse in good judgment, however,  for the sake of a group photo.  I struggle with this, as it seems to be for vanity’s sake, but I also note that most of my friends who have lost loved ones to Covid are the ones who keep their masks in the proper place.

Another recent event about violence against women.

An event in the nearby Parque las Vegas for Womens and Children’s rights.

As we finish this year and prepare for a new one, please continue to be smart and proactive.  This virus wants to survive and is playing hardball.  We wouldn’t run a marathon and then stop when the finish line is in sight;  we can’t afford to have made it this far, only to let down our guard.   As a good friend and fishing guide once said to me when we were tarpon fishing, “Lisa; you rest, and the fish rests.”

My niece Karen – Jumping Tarpon – Rio Colorado Lodge Costa Rica  (Her brother Don and his wife Dana are in the other boat.)  Great memories!

Stay proactive everyone, and may you all stay well.

Love, Lisa

Yellow-tailed Oriole – hand-colored print by Lisa Brunetti.