Monday, October 30, 2017

International Triathlon Excites Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

“Dirt roads, stray dogs & a community with passion for triathlon.  Tomorrow’s event will most certainly be an experience” -- Jarrod Evans, USA Triathlon Coach, in a tweet the day before the Puerto Lopez triathlon (see screen shot later in post for accompanying photos)

A triathlon in a picturesque Ecuador coastal fishing village invites athletes to enjoy pleasant weather, warm ocean temperatures, and fresh fruits. Puerto Lopez hosted the CAMTRI Triathlon American Championship for the first time. Elite athletes from around the world descended on Puerto Lopez to compete.

The week prior to the triathlon, the malecon (oceanfront road) was filled with bicyclists and runners, enjoying their pre-race workouts and learning the course. The weekend was filled with triathlons. Youth athletes competed on Friday, amateurs on Saturday and elites on Sunday. I photographed the Sunday competition.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Dutch Band Donating Album Proceeds To Benefit Ecuador Orphanage #WATWB

It is the last Friday of the month, which means it is time for the We Are The World Blogfest when we bring you positive stories from around the world. Thank you to this month's co-hosts Shilpa Garg, Sylvia McGrath, Mary Giese, Belinda Witzenhausen, and Guilie Castillo for all you do!  Please visit their blogs for more positive news.

VANDERLINDE Live Trails Album Proceeds To Benefit Ecuador Orphanage

This is the story of an incredibly generous gift to the orphanage in Olon, Ecuador by Dutch band VANDERLINDE. All band members, the producer, the recording and mixing engineers, and the studio are donating all proceeds from their latest album, Live Trails, to benefit the orphanage. Even the recording company will promote the album for free and donate their profits.

VANDERLINDE Live Trails album cover
(click on photo to increase size)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fresh and Simple Tomato Puree and Stewed Tomatoes

The tomato offers its gift of fiery color and cool completeness. 
--Pablo Neruda, Ode to Tomatoes

Do you need stewed tomatoes or tomato puree for your dinner recipe? You can make either from scratch in under 30 minutes.

When we moved to Ecuador in 2013, I often could not find canned tomatoes. I adapted my recipes to use fresh tomatoes instead. Canned tomatoes are easier to find now but I prefer using fresh ingredients so I still make my own sauces.

My favorite chili recipe calls for cans of stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. I make it using only unstrained tomato puree. Thought I would share with you how I make it.

Simple steps to tomato puree or stewed tomatoes

Ingredients (multiply the tomatoes by the number of cups you desire, up to 12 cups)

3/4 pounds ripe tomatoes for each 1 cup of stewed tomatoes or tomato puree

(These photos are with 2 1/4 lbs of tomatoes.)

2 1/4 pounds of tomatoes to make 3 cups of puree

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