Contadora island is part of the Pearl Archipelago (The Pearl Islands) which are a group of many islands about 1 1/2 hour boat ride from Panama City. I am so incredibly fortunate to be invited here for a week to celebrate Alejandro’s 50th birthday, together with his family. The kids did not know I was coming, so it was a big surprise for them. Especially Camilla who came over from Bogota to be here for her father’s birthday. Walking into the apartment to surprise them was such a great moment! Continue reading
Category Archives: My Videos
I look back on my time in Colombia with a lump in my throat because I miss everyone so much! I had the most amazing time and made the most amazing friends ever. From the first moment when Ben and Maria picked me up at the airport to the final day when Freddy took me to the airport to fly to Panama, every day was exciting, interesting and wondrous and everyone I met was kind and generous.
Here are some pics of my last few days in Bogota. A BBQ with Lena’s extended family and friends, and I say goodbye to the music department at the Anglo Colombiano………
As I left, I wondered if things would ever be the same, or if I my future trips would ever live up to or compare with the experiences I had in Colombia………
Click HERE if the above video does not play
(it might be blocked in Colombia due to my choice of music)
It is difficult to write about my trip to the Galapagos – it was like a sensory overload. Everyday seemed more amazing than the previous. I was so fortunate to get a place on the Seaman II at the last minute.
This is my first time videoing and taking photos underwater. I got better at it each day as my aim improved, as it was impossible to see on the camera what I was shooting. Coming back on the boat it was always a surprise to upload my photos.
I took so many photographs and video clips – how many? I am too embarrassed to say, however I have whittled them down to a selection for this video that is just under 8 minutes long. I can’t watch it without tearing up…….. I hope you enjoy it. Please leave me a comment…………
To do it justice please watch in full screen
Ecuador by Sash! on Ministry of Sound – The Annual 15 Years
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong on Jazz Moods
Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy on Eva by Heart
All donations will go towards helping ACRES establish the first Wildlife Rescue and Education Centre in Lao PDR. The centre will mainly house bears rescued from bear farms. Continue reading
After a wonderful 3 day break which included a visit to Machu Picchu, we returned to Quishuarani for the second stage of the project. We completed the greenhouse and had the blessing ceremony. Then we split into teams to build smaller greenhouses for individual families. This was also hard work and we were spread throughout the valley.
The blessing of the greenhouse:
Working on the “cold frames” – mini greenhouses for families:
We were very fortunate to visit The Apulaya Art & Music Center in Calca, where we enjoyed workshops with Emerita and Valerio who were inspirational in their passion for Andean art and music.
Emerita is a talented artist and sculptor originally from Switzerland who specialises in pre-Incan and pre-Colombian art. Our session with her involved first drawing a bean that we selected from a dish. After completing our own drawing, Emerita introduced us to art pieces that centred on beans and lead us to the conclusion that we were only drawing the bean as it is in its current state and not seeing its potential. We were then encouraged to expand our drawings to include the “potential” of the bean. “Not only did the pre-Colombian artists “thematize” the physical appearance of a human, vegetable or divine being, but they also manifested it in its totality, with its full potential in which creation, fertility and development are fundamental” (Emerita). This was a unique insight into the meaning and interpretation of cosmo-vision in the Andean art and work Emerita shared with us.
Valerio is a classically trained flautist from Cusco who also studied jazz flute in Switzerland. Valerio gave us an excellent workshop on two instruments that are played during different seasons. The tarkha is a wooden aerophone with 6 holes and is played in the humid (or rainy) season. It has a very raspy distinctive sound and we played two different sized tarkhas which had rather interesting tunings!
The other flute we learnt was the Siku or traditional pan flute, which is composed of two rows of tubes: Arka (Male) and Ira (Female). “To produce the melody, these two rows must interact by means of two players (Each one plays one row). This action is called the “braid” or “braiding”, and serves as a melodic development pillar. The music produced with these flutes is called Sikureada, and its practice comes from the high plains´ region”. We also learnt two Quechan songs.
Below are some pictures and short videos of our two workshops.[wpvideo zaBeCxzC]The most amazing outcome of this wonderful workshop was achieved on the final night of the service project in Quishuarani 2 weeks later. Emerita & Valerio drove up to join us, bringing a car load of surprises – traditional dress for us to wear for our performance to the villagers. We spent an hour reviewing and practicing the pieces then later in the evening we had much fun putting on the magnificent traditional garments.
We then had a quick rehearsal in the dining room (that was of varying musical success!), before heading outside to perform around the campfire for the entertainment of the villagers who gathered around.
[wpvideo NSepph1H]I am pretty sure we all enjoyed it more than the folk from Quishuarani!
Day 1: Chorrillos
21 students and 5 teachers from 11 different countries and 18 different schools arrived in Lima on Tuesday July 17th. On the following morning we all headed off to the Chorrillos day care centre in Lima to paint the playground wall. It was a good activity to help us get to know each other, as well as provide a service to the centre.