Monday, August 28, 2017

River Laundry

It turns out that a husband who does the laundry, it's very romantic when you're older. And it's hard to believe when you're younger. But it's absolutely true. 

Machine or River

Do you wash your laundry in a machine or a nearby river? If I were a betting woman, I would bet you use a washing machine. I do, too, as do most people in Ecuador. Some, though, wash laundry the old fashioned way - in a river.

Washing laundry in the Tomebamba River
Cuenca, Ecuador

Friday, August 25, 2017

DoMinga - Volunteers Cleaning Beaches #WATWB

Welcome to August's installment of the We Are The World Blogfest, when we share positive news on the last Friday of each month. Thank you to this month's WATWB co-hosts: Simon FalkRoshan RadhakrishnanInderpreet Uppal, Lynn HallbrooksEric Lahti, and Mary J Giese

This month I am writing about a weekly Puerto Lopez, Ecuador beach cleanup effort. I have no article to link to so I will just tell you about it.

Where plastic bags thrown on the ground go

Dead or dying whales, dolphins and sea turtles periodically wash up on shore, stomachs full of plastic. A plastic bag tossed out a car window miles from shore flows into the ocean, carried by rivers and wind. That plastic bag, along with other garbage, threatens to become a death sentence when sea creatures eat it.

There are already an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Containing the plastic before it makes it to the ocean is the best way to prevent that number from growing.

DoMinga in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

Environmentally minded Kelley Budding owns Puerto Lopez based Tent├ículo to offer exhilarating, educational experiences that encourage positive interaction and facilitate a deeper understanding of global culture. She also partnered with a national group, Mingas por el Mar, to help keep Puerto Lopez beach litter free.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Rice Fields - Beauty, Predators and Allies

Planting rice is not a joke
Just bending all day long
You can't even stand still
You can't even sit down.
-- Traditional Filipino Folk Song

Rice is a staple in Ecuadorian meals. It is generally served with your main meal regardless of what the entree is. A typical meal might include soup, chicken, rice, green salad, potato salad, and juice. The other side dishes vary but rice is always included. On separate occasions, I have served chili and spaghetti to guests and been asked if there was any rice (I had not made any). When eating out, I have been served a side of rice with my spaghetti so I suppose I should have known.

Since so much rice is eaten, a lot is grown. People in rice growing areas sell huge bags on the side of the road so you do not have travel to a market to make a purchase, just pull over for a few moments.

Rice for sale along the side of the road - prices in US dollars

Monday, August 14, 2017

Imagination, Moats And Drawbridges

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. 
--Albert Einstein

When you were young did you dream of living in a castle with a moat and a drawbridge? Maybe you imagined you were a prince or a princess and your dog was your pet dragon, guarding your drawbridge.

Some kids in Ecuador's rice country have bridges over aqueducts leading to their homes. Parents build the bridge to get from A to B.

Imagination turns the bamboo walkway into a drawbridge (albeit one that does not raise) over a moat protecting the family castle.

Monday, August 7, 2017

When The Rooster Crows

“Where the rooster crows there is a village.” 
-- African Proverb

I spent most of my life thinking roosters only crowed at dawn. I was wrong. I had not lived among roosters before moving to Ecuador. These roosters are truly free range. They and their hens live in the open, without fences or cages, in every village.

Roosters, hens and chicks run around the neighborhood like dogs and cats during the day. They return home each night to sleep.

In Ecuador, roosters crow at any time of the day or night. This curious habit made me wonder what makes roosters crow.

Hey Mister Rooster - Why do you crow day and night?