Reality

We are in the coastal town of Bahia de Caraquez, which is known as an eco town. Also, someone who works for Planet Drum Foundation, a group I’ve worked with, manages a sustainability project here. But this town was severely hit by an earthquake 2 years ago, there is still rubble. This is life in the developing world.We wonder if this impacted on eco projects. We will be here a few days, I will connect with my contact person. We will also hike. Feliz ano nuevo!

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Bussing across Ecuador

The bus ride from Banos to Cuenca took us through high Andes canyons, past crashing rivers, through farm land bordered by high peaks and through some beautiful towns. It also took us through some dust filled towns and a congested, polluted  city that screamed Poverty! People with broken teeth leaned against buildings, apparently  with nothing to do. This of course is the legacy of imperialism and colonialism. The world’s contradictions smack you in the face in the developing world. Some say beauty is a bourgeois luxury that is irrelevant to oppressed people. Others say it is essential to them, that it is their strength and survival, and they appreciate it more than we comfortable ones do. I am with the second opinion, although this may be a naive First World hope. I will explore this question more on this trip and beyond. I know that awareness of life’s bittersweetness sings for me, I have reason to believe it is useful for all. But I must work on this.

We are in Cuenca, a lovely town in the southern Andes. More to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Manatees

I will be so happy to be home to my computer with a keyboard that is easy to use. For now – Florida , with all its development has hidden treasures. Yesterday our friends Ben and Susan took us to Blue Springs State Park where we saw at least 50 manatees swimming upstream, amazing critters who are related to elephants, socisl and apparently intelligent. The forest was full of palms and trees with epipyytes, other plants that grow from them and the stream witth huge fish,

. Enough for now, more from home in two days.

 

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Fernandino Beach

This is a charming beach town, wuiet for a Florida tourist place, Fine book stores and a bagpiper on the dock. In the center of the island is a greenway a river place of Spanish moss, palms and  ferns, wood storks, and small red birds in and out of the shadows. Woodstorks perching with egrets, and a multiplicity of hawks fill their spot. The turtles are huge here and I heard an alligstor splashing. Nearby is Ft. Clinch state park, a place of almost tropical forests, trees crowned with spanish moss and ferns. There are t shirts in this place celebrating drunkenness (In dog numbers I have only had one beer), but there are treasures hiding.

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If you remember Pogo

Today we visited Okefenokee Swamp, this cartoon opossum’s turf. It is a beautiful wetland of water stained dark by tannin in the vegetstion, cedars and pines in  the water, some draped with Spanish moss. Woodpeckers on trees, sometimes a range of fungi, small birds flitting about, and yes, there were alligators in the marsh.

After we left we drove into torrential rain for about two hours,there were times when I thought we would be washed into the swamp, but that did not happen. We also stopped in a good restaurant for lunch, it was very deep south. There were posters on the wall where ap guy offered to sell his wife who could tslk for 3 days along with her 54 pounds of makeup. What year is this?

More to come, it is raining here in Coastal Florida.

 

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Montgomery, Alabama

This is an intense and interesting town to visit. Museums on racism in U.S. history abound. Todsy we visited one, the Heritage Museum gave details on the history of racism in America from slavery thrrough today’s mass incarce9stion. The zFreedom Rider museum is inn the old grayhound terminsal and it concetrstes on the campaign to desegregate busses. Anorther museu focusesd pl civil rights activists who were killed, and still another is a memorial to black people who were lynched. It it all enfuristing, sad, and inspiring, I have to wonder if white supremacists have or will attack the places. Agsin, this keybosrd is a pain, more when I get home.>j

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Bayou country

Again, this will be telegraphic and quick. This is a land of cypress swamps, where trees grow in open water, sometimes thickly,  more dispersed other times. Egrets .  Great blue herons, ibises, unknown ducks, robins, red shouldered hawks are a few of the birds we heard or saw. Wild mushrooms abound., along with a few daisies. Spanish dangles from branches. We hope to see more of this habitst.

Cajun people are descendants of French settlers who wanted to be independant of French and British in Canada. Its a complex tale, many eventually came to Louisiana and came to face descrimination. Some communities are very poor, but they keep a fierce sense of independance. They have a real love of life, and of music, we heard a great band last night.

The keyboard on this pad makes complex entries hard, I will add details from home, and will do more quick entries from the road.

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Big Easy 2

It is hard to type long messages on this pad’s keyboayd so these entries will be telegraphic and impressionistic, I will do more from home. City Park is a jewel of New Orleans, oaks and other trees covered with Spanish moss. White ibises flock here along with ducks that I think are called black ducks, egrets, crows, swans and more. Sculpture garden has a giant spider, a person made of thin wire, Hercules the archer, and more. Art museum in the park has an exnhibit where art is inspired by nature and its issues, a house called America built to look like Abe Lincolns cabin while the inside walls are screws, machinery, coal, motherboards, epc. Grest Zen exhibit. We are stay killed in a district not far from Bourban St and all that witl besutiful multicolored houses, huge solemn Catholic church and a witchcraft store called Conjure. Gas lamps on houses. Frenchman St.is quieter than the French Quarter but it abounds in clubs. We heard a fine jazz trio then stood outside of other clubs and heard jazz, blues, swing, etc. Creativity flows through this town like the river.

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Big Easy!

A city of multicolored row houses and balconies, of wandering jazz bsnds and magicians. Here tarot readers set up in plazas, one had a sign, “truth is not what the government wants”,  Voodoo shops, praline shops, art galleries,Music!!! Homeless folk in the shadows. Katrina city, the exhibit at the Louisiana Museum focuses on human errors like policies rhat shrunk barrier wetlands and levees. City of alligator po’boys, Louis Armstrong, wanderers who believe they talk with spirits,hot sauce markets, music, music, home to Faulkner and sometimes Bob Dylan, poverty city  swarmed with tourists hungry for parades and beads Mississipi River town, patchwork city, much more to come!

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