Monday, October 16, 2017

International Aid Tents - From Post-Earthquake Tent City to Traveling Circus

"Sometimes by not knowing the truth we make incorrect judgments about situations"
-- Sunday Adelaja

What happened to tents from Ecuador's post-earthquake tent cities? 


After the April 16, 2016 devastating 7.8 Ecuador earthquake, international aid organizations raced to Ecuador, assisting those who lost everything. Aid organizations set up tent camps where families who lost their homes lived, some for a few weeks, some for many months, a few for more than a year.

As Ecuador recovered from the earthquake, families, one by one, vacated the tents and moved into new homes.

A second life with the circus


When the circus came to Puerto Lopez recently, performers set up their own tent housing behind the big tent. Two of the tents looked familiar. On closer inspection, they were from the tent camps like those my friend Pastor Gary Vance visited after the earthquake.

Tent behind circus big top in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

Monday, October 9, 2017

Wasp Nest Removal - Not A Recommend Method

"Remove the nest at night time. Wasps are more docile during this time so are less likely to sting"
-- Pretty much every 'Wasp Nest Removal' guide, like this one

Two young girls had an unhappy meeting with wasps and had no interest in more encounters. It was up to us to remove the threat on the lot next door. While clearing brush, buzzing around us increased, letting us know we were closing in on the nest. It's size impressed us once we found it.

Active wasp nest in tree

I suggested we return at dusk to remove and burn the nest. I was voted down. Paul decided he and Scott would remove it right now.

In the middle of the day.

When the wasps are most active.

Monday, October 2, 2017

39,000 Volunteers Clean Ecuador Beaches, Rivers, and Ocean Floors

"Think globally, act locally."
-- Origins of the phrase are disputed according to Wikipedia

Ecuador Environmental Protection

In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to provide constitutional protection for the environment. This does not mean that garbage is always deposited in a receptacle nor that all packaging is biodegradable. What it does mean, among many other things, is that students learn about the negative impact plastic in oceans and rivers have on the planet.

Rings on beverage cans can kill marine life.
From Manabi Province Environment Ministry Tweet

Since 2010, Ecuador's Environment Ministry has been leading a September cleanup as part of International Beach Cleaning Day, promoted by the International Ocean Conservancy Organization. Volunteers take action when others leave garbage behind. It is often easier to begin taking action when you are surrounded by friends doing the same. The Environment Ministry hosted Accion por el Planeta beach cleanup day on September 30, 2017. (Note the September 16 international day this year was during Ecuador school holidays. Ecuador waited until school resumed before hosting their day.)

Act Locally

At the Puerto Lopez meeting point, volunteers congregated, obtained motivational words on why we were here, obtained supplies, then dispersed and began cleaning the beach.

Volunteers, primarily high school students, cleaning Puerto Lopez beach
September 30, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Messages of Solidarity from Ecuador to Mexico After Earthquakes #WATWB

“The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you're talking about because she experienced that thing too cannot be overestimated.” 


Welcome to September's installment of the We are the World Blogfest, where we share positive news on the last Friday of each month. Thank you to this month's WATWB co-hosts: Michelle Wallace, Shilpa Garg, Andrea Michaels, Peter Nena, and Emerald Barnes.

Once your life has been turned upside down by a natural disaster and you have recovered, you are in a unique position to assist those who have theirs turned upside down by a similar one.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Puerto Lopez Canton Celebrates Anniversary With A Parade

For me, a day spent monitoring the passing parade is a day well-spent. 
-- Garry Trudeau

Happy 23rd Birthday Puerto Lopez Canton

Manteño civilization artifacts are often unearthed when digging ground for new cisterns or homes in Puerto Lopez. The town has been around for a long time. Although people have lived here for many years, Puerto Lopez Canton was created 23 years ago (a canton is comprised of several neighboring towns and villages, much like a county in the United States).

The canton celebrated on August 31 with an anniversary parade in their canton seat, the town of Puerto Lopez. Main street is closed, anyone not participating lines the sidewalks and the parade participants make their way through town.


Welcome Back, Parade

The 2016 parade was cancelled following the April 16 7.8 earthquake. Many people in towns north of Puerto Lopez were still living in tents. (I wrote about the night of the earthquake here and some of those in tents here.) People in town who had lost their homes were still living with friends or relatives. Puerto Lopez skipped a huge celebration out of respect.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Baby Llama at the Inca Ruins

"Mama Llama's always near, even if she's not right here."
-- Anna Dewdney, Llama Lama Red Pajama

Llamas and Inca Ruins

A baby llama (a cria) running around Inca ruins adds lively entertainment to a leisurely stroll through history.

Cria at the Inca Ruins

The terraces in Cuenca's Pumapungo Inca ruins (which I wrote about here) are filled in with grass. Llamas tethered to the ground are moved around the grounds to keep the grass short. Like most baby animals, crias stay close to their mother so they are not tethered. They are able to run and bounce around, learning about the world around them and making friends. On this day, llamas mowed the grass on a large terrace above the gardens.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Puerto Lopez Boat Maintenance

Spring tides result in high waters that are higher than average, low waters that are lower than average, 'slack water' time that is shorter than average, and stronger tidal currents than average.

Disclaimer

I am not a boater nor do play one on TV. My father lives on a boat in California's San Francisco Bay. When I lived there, he wanted to teach me boating but I was never interested in more than riding along. To any boaters reading this, please bear with me as I may use terms incorrectly. Perhaps you will get a nice laugh while you read how a layperson writes about boats.

Puerto Lopez, Ecuador boat maintenance

Puerto Lopez fishermen and tour boat operators perform minor hull maintenance during extreme low tides in a shallow area on the south end of the beach. Spring tides, when the low tide is lowest just after a full or new moon, provide the best time to do this maintenance. That ensures the most possible time for maintenance before the water rises again. The first days after full or new moons are when we see the most boat maintenance.

Painting a shrimp boat hull

Southern Puerto Lopez 

I spent a few days after the last full moon watching the tides and the boat maintenance at the south end of the Puerto Lopez bay. It was interesting to see the dry docking process during the receding tide, then the subsequent float while the tide returned.