September 30, 2011

Fashion rescue!

Your fashion advice needed TODAY!
In effort to fundraise for my upcoming volunteer trip to Mexico, I will be selling items from Ecuador for a great price.  I need to decide on about four products to bring back.  I can only buy at a cheap price if I buy in quantity.  Will you kindly look over the photos of jewelry, Nativities, scarves, and pine pencils?  It'd help me a whole lot.

PLEASE glance over these and tell me:
- Which three things you love and would buy for yourself or as a gift
- Which three things you would never buy
- If there are any I could charge a lot more for.  Group D is the key group - I will have a decent profit margin if I can sell these items at $15

It would be easiest if you could identify what you are describing either with the exact text description, or the four digit number ex "0019".

There are four sections:
a $5
b $5 or 10  (help me on pricing?)
c $10
d $10 or 15 (help me on pricing?)

Email me


a 9983-5 Seed ER

a 0025-5 Coco simple ER

a 9983-5 Shell ER
a 9997-5 Woven // bamboo ER
a 9980-5 Wood ER

a 9999-5 Horn // coco ER
$5 or $10

b 9994-5or10 thin scarf

b 9941-5or10 Seed bracel0
$ 10

c 9984-10 Stone ER

c 0013-10 nut necklace

c 0022-10 Coco inlay Ring

c 0026-10 tiny seed ER
c 9934-10 Giant Pine color pencils

c 0037-10 wrap bracel


$10 or $15

d 0001-10or15 Horn silver inlay ER

d 0006-10or15 Coco silver inlay ER

d 0054-10or15 Nativ Angel

d 9949-10or15 Nativity sm

d 9984-10or15 Pearl ER

September 26, 2011

Week 2 thoughts from Ecuador, 2011

It's interesting to observe how our personal values change -

This year for Christmas and my birthday, all I want is a SmartWool base layer, a fleece, and funds to sustain me on my humanitarian aid trip to Mexico City.  

And all my needs are met, and I am perfectly content.

Sept. 26
‎12 days in Ecuador and I've yet to wear my shorts. Humphhhh. I'm headed to the beach tomorrow!
Today I saw a medical specialist.  The bill?  $40.  And he says I'm perfectly fine.  Further reminder that everything looks different in Ecuador.

Sept. 23
MANTA: YA vengoooo! 27 Sept - 1 Oct. Reunimos en el heladeria El Flamingo atras de Mi Comisariato el Viernes 30 de Sept. a las 7:00 pm (lo confirmo la hora de la reunion mas tardecito). Contactame si quieres reunir aparte de ese - numero celular Movi es 083 850 864. Abrazos!
BTW: Yesterday I was nauseous and stayed in bed all day except to run to the toilet all morning and eat about 1c rice and five bites of chicken. I finally arose at 6pm, only to leave the house at 8pm to a formal house dinner. 
The first finger food to eat: gelatinous caviar and pate. I harnessed deep inner focus to not spit it out. 
At 1am I quietly stared at my friend and whispered that it was appropriate I go home and back to bed. He simply told everyone my back hurt (true). Apparently it was rude to leave before the honored Spaniards, but I was beyond caring about formalities.

Dinner was fantastic, company was interesting, and I was proud to follow all the academic, economic, and historic discussions throughout the evening. Except I became a bit lost when they spoke of a Spanish / French war. Spanish jargon is, at times, lost on me.

I am delighted to have been invited, and so glad I was actually coherent most of the evening.

Today I felt even better than normal. Alcohol poisoning? (Mojitos at the Cuban restaurant)

Midnight is bed time -

Sept. 22
The only thing worse than vomiting through one's nose while defecating is doing so while entirely alone in a foreign country.
I've been in bed the last 11 hours, and should be back on my feet tomorrow. And I had a friend helping me a few hours after the first disaster hit.
Note to Rose: Don't eat so much.

Tonight I go to an ultra fancy dinner and pretend I am perfectly well. Wish me luck. (Sigh)
This is life. I anticipate vomiting and all that comes with it when I travel. No fun, but I may as well be a realist and not be surprised when it hits.

Sept. 21
Por fin me gradué - en adición a Google Translate y Word Reference, estoy utilizando el diccionario Real Academia Española. Paso a paso...

Sept. 20
Papaygasmic. Profoundly decided, singularly the best papaya I've had in my life. There were tears in my eyes as I lustily inhaled this fruit's pink flesh. Last night was Guanabagastic. Oh America, why must you be so far from tropical fruit?
Martirio: Flor de Piel. I love discovering new life through music. The entire disc es una maravilla.

September 19, 2011

Early thoughts from Ecuador, 2011

Sept. 19
Just want you to know I'm thinking about you...
Love from Ecuador -

Sept. 16
I wake up slowly, drowsy, disoriented. I briefly wonder where I am. Then with any facial movement I painfully note the thick tube of boogers cemented to the lining of the entirety of both nostrils and remember, "Aaaaah, I am in Quito."
(The air is exceptionally dry here and promotes nasty nostrils. Fortunately I just remembered in 2009 I learned to line my nostrils with Vaseline or Neosporin before sleeping to prevent said malady. Tomorrow will be a better morning.)

I could tell you all about the wonderful fruit and good company and happy memories and coming plans... But this is just more pressing at the moment.  Travel isn't as glamorous as it seems.
I quietly watch the brilliantly green picaflor hummingbird and the large brown and cream doves play in the back yard as I dry the dishes from Blanquita's delicious freshly prepared lunch. I am blessed.
Locro de papas, ensalada de verduras con vinagre basalmico, corvina con ajo, arroz especial, y jugo de zanahorias y tangerina. Riquisisisisimio!
Blanquita is my friend's second mom, and the house help, and an excellent cook, and a wise woman full of grace.


Sept. 15
SOBREVIVÌ! Safe and overtired and happily on my way to bed in Quito, Ecuador after 34 hours of travel. Besitos -

Sept. 13
Checked in online for international flight. 
37 hours of travel. I'd be grateful for your prayers! Sanity, emotional calm, and centeredness. So far, I've packed my pillow, socks, underwear, and passport. I'm packing light. :) (late night packing tonight.)
I leave Salem at 12:00 noon Tuesday, and arrive in Quito 12:50 am THURSDAY.

My trip is fairly organized - 3 weeks in Quito and surrounding area with a friend, and one week backpacking the costal area where I lived during 2009. Please pray for my safety during this time.

Miami Beach. Feels like 96f, Thunderstorms. Guess where I have a 7 hour layover tomorrow? :)

September 4, 2011

Second certified dive: Super success

Today Hiro and I took an afternoon dive at Redondo Beach south of Seattle in the Puget Sound. It was phenomenal.

After entering the water, I spent time working with my drysuit practicing the scenario that freaks me out the most. After figuring out how to move my body to avoid my previous errors, I felt much more in control and eager to set out exploring.

The small crabs were wandering all over the 10’ pebble and shell-covered sea floor, silvery perch flitted around us, and I was pretty happy. Everything changed as we hit 15’ and approached the tall, thick wood poles that supported a building pier at the water’s surface.

The first fascinating creature was a jellyfish, likely Lion’s Mane. What a graceful beaut she was! Giant (2’) starfish and sunstars of all colors wandered the floor and were climbing up the poles.

We descended to 30’. Sculpins, rockfish, and suckerfish wandered the bottom, a northern poacher fish showed its head, and graceful flowery white feathery plumose anemones covered a sunken metal box sheltering a giant red rock and a long-horned crab.

Near the end of our dive, Hiro motioned for me to pause and look up. The sun finally came out, and it the vis was so good that we were able to see sunbeams piercing through the surface and diffusing into the water. While we rested in gratitude and wonderment, perhaps 100 rockfish and perch were literally circling us, checking us out as we froze in place. THAT was nifty!

My air was down to 750, and it was time to surface. (We try to end the dive with a minimum of 500). We floated and chatted as the sun sank behind the hills, silhouetting fishermen as they busied themselves with their lines, children pointed at us and waved, and we deemed it a perfect dive.

I floated seemingly alone for a time, inflating my drysuit to its maximum and looking like a puffed up marshmallow, and restfully thanked God for a fantastic dive trip to Seattle. The sun slowly set, piercing through the clouds, reflecting off the water in a light honey color, and I was perfectly content.

I finally met both of my diving goals: I didn’t die, and I had fun. :)

THANKS, Norm, Blake, Hiro, Salem Scuba, et all for your support and empowerment in this adventure!

BTW: Best restaurant in Washington is the Jade Garden in Chinatown, Seattle. The Dim sum was great, but the experience of food presentation and service was certainly nothing I’ve ever experienced in all my travels. Check it out. The best food in Washington is located in the kitchens of my Italian relatives. :)

First certified dive: an awkward, interesting nightmare

August 30, 2011

Yesterday's dive was a nightmare; at night, in the dark, 46' under water, multiple panic attacks, a fair amount of tears and hyperventilation, and I only pushed through by yelling at myself and by clutching my dive buddy Hiro's hand - I was terrified I'd float straight to the surface like my first drysuit dive (feet first, rocketing strait up, no chance of parole.)

BUT we saw a GPO (Giant Pacific Octopus, largest octopus species in the world) with some empty crab shells from his dinner right outside his home, dungeness crab, red rock crab, Graceful Decorator crab (which had algae and iridescent kelp growing off their skinny long spider legs), alabaster nudibranch (SO GORGEOUS), iridescent kelp, perch, rock fish, sailfin sculpin, longhorned crab, three types of shrip (LOVE), hermit crab, and various types of five-legged and sunstar starfish. Sunstar have somewhere around 20 legs.

When we finally arrived to the surface, my ears were killing me and I was quietly sobbing. Overall, the dive was not worth it. Fortunately today's dive redeemed yesterday's...

BTW: We were in Alki Beach at Seacrest Park on the other side of the Seattle bay. It was so lovely to walk along the shoreline and pick blackberries while watching the sun set on Seattle.

September 1, 2011

Wedding at Santo Domingo

Mercado 20 de Noviembre

Fireworks for Dia de los Muertos

Something for everyone