(Ecuador – Jan. 31, 2015) Today’s Daily Prompt arrived as I traveled the 7-plus hours between Jama and Guayaquil. Michelle suggested, “Tell us how your week went by putting together a playlist of five songs that represent it.”
Ha! The week delivered disappointments as well as grand moments, but I managed to keep my sense of humor. On Monday/Lunas, I painted until noon, put away my paints and brushes, changed and waited for a driver to take me an hour up the coast to Pedernales. Rolando and I had talked on Saturday, and I told him about the floor project and the most important item needed was a non-yellowing varnish for floors. I said that I would be painting all day on Sunday and again on Monday morning and would be ready to go by “…1 or 2 o’clock…” He didn’t show up! Welcome to Ecuador! (Perhaps I absently said, “Martes/Tuesday” instead of “Lunas?”)
I shrugged; it wasn’t important, and I switched back to painting while watching the birds come home to roost. On Martes, I waited again, and at 2, decided to walk to town (5K) and glare at Rolando with the ‘truck taxi’ and watch his mouth drop when he remembered that he’d forgotten!
Maybe he feared he’d have to help carry heavy items from Playamart!
I enjoy the walks to town, and I inspect the birds along the road, in the al-garrobo (mesquite family) trees and in the shrimp ponds. This week I spotted the Peruvian Meadowlark, a species that’s been absent for months. About twenty minutes into my trek, a friend drove along at high speed, braked, backed up and gave me a ride to to town! As he resumed top speed on the gravel road, I didn’t tell him of my two-day wait for the driver! Instead I smiled after we all but broke the sound barrier and said, “Muchicimas Gracias!”
(Image from 2013) Some people think that third-word countries are dangerous; thankfully there are sweet angels who enhance the quality of my days! Thanks, Doc Castro!)
Instead of seeing Rolando, I spotted one of his brothers (they have a fleet of pickup truck-taxis.) He chuckled when I told him the story; we discussed the fare to Pedernales, my list of things to do there, judged the time, and he said if we left immediately we could be back before dark. I hopped in the co-pilot seat and said, “VAMOS!”
Squinting at the laptop, I worked on photos for National Geographic’s “Your Shot,” while peering out the window and occasionally snapping photos.
Harvest in progress of a balsa tree farm near Camarones Ecuador.
We returned just before dark, and he helped carry the items from the road to Casa Loca. I slept well and started Wednesday in painting mode.
My friends harvested a shrimp pond near the house, but I was very focused on adding details to the floor. I emerged from my painting fog around dark, looked out and noted that the pond was drained, and the trucks and workers were gone! Only the birds remained as they foraged the muddy bottom for shrimp.
I painted on Thursday morning as well; my high-energy painting sessions often correlate with strong rain, so I was not surprised when the sound of rain pelted the roof. The rains strengthened, and I noted one slow drip-drip-drip from the tin roof; I moved the potted ceibo tree beneath the drip and continued painting for another hour. That lovely one-plus inch of rain saturated the ground, but it also extinguished the electricity in this 7-house circuit!
The skies cleared slightly, and I painted until almost dark and photographed the details for Timeout for Art. With an opportunity to try out my new green mud boots, I retrieved my rain coat (just in case of more rain!) and walked to town in the late afternoon. Continue reading