Portoviejo Ecuador – August 8/2020 Strong afternoon light provided an easy excuse for a stroll to Parque las Vegas after five this afternoon. Several blocks before the park, a dozen street cats posed for a portrait session. A dear older lady feeds those cats – and five times as many pigeons each afternoon. Her kindness warms my heart.
With many more restaurants now open for business, the well-fed iguanas need no more special attention at the petite park across from the museum. Still closed to the public, this small park offers established plantings, a gazebo and small fountains, and an alamanda-draped pergola.
The Plumeria and Royal Poinciana trees’ flowers caught my attention, though my goal was the larger park – surely busy on this Independence weekend. (August 10 is the official date.) Keeping my camera tucked inside my bag, I observed various small groups enjoying an outing in the park.
A lone man sold inexpensive kites at the intersection beside the park, and several people flew their kites from the amphitheater’s highest point. A gaggle (!)of young boys pedaled their bicycles along the exercise lanes at full throttle; each one wore the socially-responsible face coverings. I considered pulling out my camera but decided to take my own visual snapshots to imprint that scene to long-term memory.
Two more youngsters kicked a soccer ball across a vast expanse of concrete. Already built like a long-distance runner, one agile child sported official soccer attire, knee-high ‘stretchy’ athletic socks and serious black running shoes. About six or seven years old, he illustrated a seriousness about his sport. I wondered if he would one day become a world-famous soccer player!
The late-afternoon sun provided dramatic light for admiring and photographing the various species. The Neotropic Cormorant, Striated Heron and Purple Gallinules competed with the lone turtle for my attention.
Content after half an hour of communing with the aquatic residents, I began my return trip.
A ground-level picnic caught my attention, and I glanced in that direction. Four women. Fresh flowers. A white china tea pot. A straw mat. Already passing them, I paused and asked permission to photograph them. They invited me closer.
I asked if they were celebrating Independence Day? (No…) or a birthday? (No… We live nearby and are just out… We do this often…) We talked briefly about the earthquake – still imprinted on the people of Manabi. I commented on the flowers and the beauty of their setting. One lady pointed to another and said, ‘My sister gets credit.’
They all get credit, as each person contributed her own serenity and natural beauty to their outing.
“You are all artists!” I said to them and motioned to the flowers, the mat, the easy and natural style of their entire setting. “You have provided a gift to my heart and to my soul,” I thanked them again and left them in peace.
Not planning to be out tonight for internet, the finale with those four beautiful women prompted me to go home, write this, process the photos and share them with all of you.
Hopefully their little tea party has warmed your hearts as much as it did mine! I’ll end with a fun closing – the selfie while walking down the hall… It too made me chuckle!
Still doing well, gracias a-Dios!
Happy Independence Day to everyone in Ecuador!