Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Bird-Day to my art teacher!

These Red and Blue Macaws live a free life in San Gil.
Recently I went on an 'art date,' something that is more or less required if you are doing The Artist's Way (TAW), a 12-week program to heal the artist within - and probably without as well. Anyhow, I had to pay the rent on my casa which requires me to go to San Gil, a city that is about 25 minutes away. I intended to catch the bus, but just as I was about to buy my ticket I realized I didn't have the bank account number where the funds are to be deposited. I would have to walk home and get it.

The walk is only about 15 minutes, but it also would mean that I would miss the bus to get me to the bank on time. Hence, the decision to take my car. And if I was going to take my car, I would probably be doing it a favor to get it washed since that hasn't happened all the time I've been here and it is loaded down with mud. Getting it washed is about a two-hour process. So I decided to have lunch in the Parque Gallinera in San Gil and much to my surprise, they had two gorgeous macaws - one blue and one red - perched in the tree next to my table. So you see the series of actions which brought me to the park and these special birds.

After lunch and the car wash I needed to get some gas, so I went to the least expensive place (still nearly $5 USD) and after the shock of paying that much for gas, I really needed a two-scooper of Dota's delicious coffee ice cream - the absolute best in Colombia as far as I'm concerned. They also have several other delectable flavors, but I didn't have room for two more scoops of anything!

It could be my imagination, but the car seemed lighter and smoother and zippier with the fresh cleaning and a full tank of gas. Thus my quick trip to San Gil turned into an adventure that by myself could have been lonely, but wasn't. And I have these lovely bird shots to use for my next art project and to give to my art teacher who had a birthday recently ... Feliz complianos, mi amiga!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Heartbreak of Myeloma

Before I knew about Multiple Myeloma, I lived in a gingerbread land of illusion. I did not know about this disease that comes into families like a snake sliding into a picnic, creating fear and havoc.

Today I have friends and a relative living with this condition. I try to support them all with my words, my pictures and comments of caring and support when appropriate. This blog was originally started as a way to provide respite and a window on the world to one who was hospitalized with an STC. And while I continue it, it still partially serves that objective.

It astounds me that there are so many younger people who are being diagnosed with it. And it is a point of curiosity that I do not hear about it in South America much. I wonder why that is? I also support various fund-raising efforts to provide resources for research. I look for hopeful posts on possible solutions or medications for either moderation or cure(s). But today it doesn't feel like I am doing enough as I hear about a friend's pain and I cannot ease it, cannot erase it, cannot solve it.

I hate this disease.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Water, water, everywhere - and not a drop to drink..."

The sailor who killed the albatross doomed himself and his ship. Are we doing the same thing to ourselves with what we think is "water?"

It's a big business these days, even in Colombia, to sell water in plastic containers. It is touted as being "pure," but is it? And is pure water really good water?

Droplets of rain water caught by a large leave in Washington State, USA.
I have been reading a lot about 'life structured' water where additional elements of hydrogen are added in to make it more like the water we were born with in our bodies. And I actually wear an ionizing bracelet to help make the water I ingest regain those elements from what I do drink, which is probably more an aqueous solution than 'water.' But re-ionizing water is not enough, I feel certain.

Water that comes from the public provider is loaded with chlorine (I can usually smell it as it comes out and perhaps you can, too.) and with fluorine (I've already addressed this issue in another post.), bromides, iodides, rubidium, aluminum, copper (if the pipes are copper), magnesium, phosphates, etc. But is there any kind of notice that comes with the delivery of that liquid?

The plastic that the water is carried in, the ones you buy at the store, are giving off PCBs and other elements from the moment it is put into the container. By the time you purchase it, it can hardly be called 'pure.' The ONLY container to effectively hold water is glass or perhaps stainless steel. The aluminum bottles leach metals into the water; maybe small amounts - but over time you are getting more metals than are good for you. And if the manufacturer puts in sweeteners or flavors, now you have a drink, but not pure water.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) and desalinization are only changing the structure of water from being salty to being without salt and do nothing about the contaminants that are in the water.

The sister of a former boyfriend claims that their well water is "excellent," but she and her husband both have health issues. Wells bring the water up from the ground, including calcium, carbonates, and whatever has leeched into that area of ground. This can cause the body to drop those minerals out of the skeletal system which might show up as arthritis.
Rain pours from the clouds and down the
cobbled streets of La Loma in Barichara.

OK, so what about rain water? I actually drink quite a bit of that here because it is easy to get (cheap!) and I always thought that was a good ionized re-cycled water. But I've been reading that it actually is more like an aqueous solution of whatever got pulled into the clouds nearby - and recently that includes more iodine and cesium from Japan's reactors - which might also include jet fuel, auto emissions, smoke stack emissions and other pollutants.
Dr. Alexis Carrell, Nobel Laureate, 1912, said: "The cell is immortal. It is merely the fluid in which it floats that degrades. Replace the fluid, and give it what it needs for food; and the pulse of life will go on forever".

If the cell can go on forever with the correct fluid, then why are we dying of thirst out here? Perhaps all the 'water' we are consuming is not getting to the cells. We end up with issues of bloating and premature aging and other serious health concerns because the cells are not being supplied with the necessary elements to do their work.

There are plenty of enterprising people selling tools to re-structure water, to re-energize water, to show us how to meditate more effectively and thus change our environment. But of all of these, only Dr. Masuro Emoto of Japan has demonstrated proof that water is receptive to our feelings. If you go to this site, you can read about Hado, what it is and how to do it. For free. 

On the Emoto Project web site, Dr. Emoto has asked for us to pray daily for the reactors and the water in them.

“The water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, 
we are sorry to make you suffer. 
Please forgive us.  We thank you, and we love you.” 
This is in line with a universal prayer of love and forgiveness:
I am sorry, 
Please forgive me.
Thank you, and
I love you.

The point of delivering this message today, on Easter, is that prayer does work. Intentions also work. Bless your water before drinking it. Intend that the water is serving as your portal to doing good things, thinking right thoughts, believing in healing. And I am intending right along with you that your water is filling you up with good energy, healing energy, and making all your good cells fight off all the bad cells - and this IS for the highest and best good of all concerned. So be it and SO IT IS!!!!! whooo hooooo and Amen.

Another Restaurant Review - actually two...

Barichara in the state of Santander, Colombia, must have the highest number of good restaurants in and around the city than any village in Colombia! And I'm working my way through them and enjoying (almost) every minute!

One of my guests, Karl, wasted no time sampling the
appetizer plate. By the time we had that lovely green
salad and the calamari, we were quite stuffed.
The first one I am reviewing is right at the top of the hill where the Church of Santa Barbara is located and is called Algarabia, which means "a gabbling noise," but could be interpreted to mean "a chattering." Owned by Francisco and Sophia Miras, they offer mostly Spanish dishes and some delicious specials during the week which are very Colombian, like the 'sopa' from Bogota with shredded chicken and little 'rolls' of avocado offered on the side which you add to the soup to your own taste.

On the weekend you really must plan to arrive hungry so you can enjoy the plate of spicy sausage, smoked ham and cheese for the appetizer, followed by a delectable calamari. Another featured dish is paella. If you like sangria, Francisco makes it fresh and you will probably sigh with disappointment, as I did, when the lovely pottery pitcher is tipped for the last time over your glass and it is found to be empty.

Delicious dessert at Algarabia in Barichara.
For consolation you can have a delicate crepe with strawberry and chocolate sauce drizzled over it or a square of mani gelled with a bit of mint and chocolate sauce decorating it. Prices are comparable to mid to upper range quality establishments in Bogota, as this one certainly is, and well worth it. Weekday 'specials' prices are competitive with the local eateries.

San Marco restaurant offers homey fare and lots of fun
for families with children.
If you are up for a short drive on either Saturday or Sunday, go back out on the road to San Gil, just after the sharp turn with the yellow church on the right, where you will see there is a dirt road to the right pointing your way to the San Marco restaurant. It is about a three-minute jaunt over a dirt road, winding around some fincas.  This restaurant is more like what going to your great uncle's granja might be like, with a definite family feeling. The attraction is the the collection of animals for the children to see while waiting to be served, and the accomodation of the staff to meet the needs of the younger diners.
Water buffalo in Colombia? Yes, and they are a bit
worried they might be on the menu, so keep your distance!

There are four water buffalo, but don't get too close. I think they are nervous about the menu (hamburguesas!) and they are quite aggressive. Goats, Brahma cattle, a burro and her burrito, plus geese, chickens, peacocks and a turkey can be found in the fowl pen. There is a pond where they have fish and the owners may be offering food for the children to feed the fish at a later date.

The menu is limited but creative and tasty, and the prices are definitely in the lower to mid-range, but when you add in a beverage and the dessert, you will probably hit $16,000 CPs per person. The fish dish was well seasoned and moist, the pork was a bit on the dry side and I had the beef plus chicken on a kebob which was pretty good, but the sauce had cream in it and it triggered my lactose intolerance right on schedule. The carrot cake was tasty, but the other choice was cheesecake and I wouldn't eat that again.
The fish dish was moist and there was plenty of it!

All in all, if I had children or grandchildren I wanted to entertain with their parents, I would definitely choose this place for the sense of freedom and affordability it offers.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday?

The 'body' of Christ is removed from the cross before the
procession and is placed in a bier for the walk to the 'cave.'
Just what was 'good' about a Friday where you get hung up on a cross and left to die? Nothing, as far as I can tell. And so while I honor the day as being the Catholic and Episcopal churches sequence for the days approaching Easter, I have my doubts as to whether or not Jesus was really crucified on a Friday.

First of all, this event was supposed to have taken place over 2000 years ago in a place where Friday was the eve of the Sabbath for the Jews. Even though they were the proponents of the actions taken against Jesus, it seems unlikely that they would push for a crucifixion at that time of the week, especially if it was in between Passover (Thursday), their biggest holy day and their regular Shabbat.

There are references in the Bible to the women getting spices which they could not do on a Sabbath (Shabbat) day. And in the Jewish tradition, burial takes place within 24 hours of death, so if he was buried on the day of his death assuming it might have actually been Wednesday evening, three days later for his rising would put it at Saturday night, late enough that on Sunday morning, it is just discovered.

It doesn't really matter all that much, because Jesus' elevation from mortal to greater-than overshadows a mere day of the week. But it makes a lot more sense to me to think of Wednesday being the dark and final day of the Old Testament, because with His death on the cross, everything changes and we are no longer having to pay up front for our sins. We are on a full credit ride, pre-paid by Him for all those sins and thus begins the New Testament.
The 'bier' is covered with a tent and is carried by the young people in
the procession to the chapel, followed by many Baricharians and visitors.

Here in Colombia, the Good Friday is celebrated with a day of praying, attending masses at the churches, listening to sacred music and about 4 p.m. the priest announces the final words of The Comforter and everyone follows him out of the church to process with the 'body' of Christ up to the little church called 'Jesus' Chapel.' There a little stage has the backdrop of the cave and He is wrapped up and put inside it. It is all quite dramatic and certainly makes the event more realistic.

The procession takes about an hour to complete and I was told that all the men in the pueblo carry candles around through the night as part of the vigil, but as my Spanish is somewhat lacking still, I may have misunderstood that part of the event.
The procession comes up the hill to the small church called
"Jesus' Chapel," where He is interred in the cave.

At any rate, tomorrow the vigil continues and we wind down the activities of Holy Week with the sunrise on Sunday and a long mass afterwards.

As I stood in the church, listening to the priests shout and proclaim the story, I watched people around me to see what effect, if any, all this intensity was having on them. Sad to say, many looked bored, children were yawning or already asleep, dogs were running up and down the central aisle, lovers looked at each other longingly, and it was getting warm inside. I left and went outside. Since it was so crowded, many of the faithful were also sitting outside listening by loudspeaker. But there was little difference between the inside group and the outside group, except that the latter one could have ice cream, hormigas, beer or sodas while they sat and waited for the procession to begin.

What would Jesus do if he came back and arrived in Barichara? I think he would have found the spectacle no less daunting than 2000 years ago and perhaps he would still say, "Forgive them for they know not what they are doing..." because for all the pomp, there was still missing some of the love that he wanted us to give to one another.

Earth Day, 2011

If eating bugs will save the earth by cutting down on greenhouse gases, the Santanderianos are well ahead of the game. On April 15, the huge ants swarmed and were collected by the thousands. These 'hormigas culonas' (big-butt virgin queen ants) are considered a delicacy here and all during that night and the next one could smell the peculiar odor of roasting ants throughout the village.
These are the giant ants (hormigas colonus) which are (in most cases)
de-winged and only the rust-colored thorax is used for roasting and eating.

I have to admit that I was curious about trying one, but when it came right down to it, I simply could not manage it. The smell, for me, was a reminder of something nasty in my past, and my stomach revolted before I could put tongue or teeth to the crispy corpse.

The day of the swarming, even the birds and lizards were feasting and one could see parts of dead ants all over the streets. The conditions have to be just right, it seems, with a certain amount of rain and sunshine and correct temperatures, for the ants to decide to relocate (swarm) their nests. All over the countryside people are watching and waiting and they pounce like a kitten on a moth as soon as the hapless ants exit the ground. I did not see the gathering up of the bugs, but there were plenty of bags of ants ready to be dismembered by men and women sitting around in the park that day and the next.
Live ant crawling on the hand of the man who will be
dismembering it shortly. Wingspan is about 3 inches.

I am not sure when the custom got started, but there is a well-known local saying which embodies the philosophy of eating the ants, “We must eat them before they eat us.” reports that they are “giant leafcutter ants, the largest in the world,” and they are harvested by the Guane indians in the Colombian Amazon region...not so... they are harvested by local men and women (who might be related to the indigenous tribes of long ago) and cooked over gas in pots on a stove, not over mud holes in the ground. And we are not living in the Amazonia, but in the Andes, northern Colombia. 
A more correct version of history and use of the giant ants (Atta laevigata) was reported on the Discovery Channel in August 2006 and can be found by clicking on that link. 

A native who knows what peanuts taste like (peanuts are not a commonly found item here) said, “They taste a little like peanuts.” Other comments range from “like crispy bits of bacon,” to “crunchy burnt toast,” none of which caused me to overcome my first reaction.
Every year when there is a procession or parade, the large ant float from San Gil is brought out to memorialize this tradition, and it was one of the first things I saw when arriving in this country that puzzled me until I learned about the roasted ants. 
At each toll booth coming into Santander there are locals selling plastic bags with about 100 roasted ants in them for approximately $2000 CPs or $1 US. On a protein weight count, it is probably a very pricey item, but in this case it is considered a ‘treat,’ not necessarily a meal. They can also be found at various roadside stands throughout the state at similar prices.
However, they are offered up with wine at art gallery openings, given as hostess gifts when coming for dinner, placed on a table at a local restaurant to snack on with a Cervesa (beer) and there is even a restaurant here called “Los Hormigas” where they are served in a variety of ways to tourists and locals who are willing to pay a hefty price for such a meal.
So on this Earth Day 2011, and also Good Friday of the Holy Week, I will plant some yellow flowers in memory of the Amarillo Cat who disappeared some days ago after a grand mal seizure and I will watch everyone else smack their lips after crunching on the hormigas culonas.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Amarillo Cat

I'm not sure how the conversation got started, but at any event, it was about cats and preferred colors. There were several of us sitting around discussing the merits of one color over another and I said, "I don't like yellow cats. I've never had one, but I don't think I'd ever choose one." The color yellow is 'amarillo' in Spanish and now you can probably guess where this tale is going.

Introducing: PASQUAL, the Easter cat.
Does anyone else think the color
yellow is a dominant theme here?
When I went with my doctor friend to Socorro, our mission was to take her cat to the vet as they can do 'turn-around EKG's' and other animal medical tests quickly. Although it is more than an hour away from Barichara, for my friend and her very ill cat it was a necessity. Her white cat had been ill off and on for several months, and she wanted some answers.

Once at the vet's, tests were done and the waiting began. While we were waiting, a rather friendly cat came over and pushed his yellow tiger-striped face right into mine. My friend announced, "Oh, he's here because he was suspected of rabies. He bit a woman who was trying to push him away with her broom." Nice.

I noticed that he was totally fearless around the dogs that were being brought into the waiting area. He would walk up and stick his nose into theirs as if to say, "Whaddya gonna do about that, doggie?" And they would be so confounded by being approached by a CAT that they often just shrank away and looked to their owners for an explanation.

Some time later, while I was holding and stroking him, this same seemingly sweet cat grabbed onto my arm with his mouth and chomped down on me. When my friend started to pick him up to remove him, he bit her, too. Quick treatment was offered by the vet for our minor injuries and a promise to let us know if he had rabies... comforting.

While we were at lunch, we discussed the yellow cat, the biting, and his situation. Apparently he would have to be watched for a week, as it takes that long for a rabies test to be completed. "But I don't think he has rabies," she assured me.  She said after the tests came back, the vet would have to find it another home as she already had two cats. Feeling sorry for the ferocious, but friendly feline, I took it some left over chicken from our lunch.

The vet knew I was weakening... she said, "He's a young male, and I think if he's fixed, he'll make someone a sweet pet. He's really quite affectionate when he's not thinking about mating." And as I sat there, waiting for my friend and her cat's diagnosis, the name PASQUAL popped into my head. I looked up and that Amarillo cat was, I feel almost certain, smiling at me.

However, for the most part, it was a sad afternoon. My friend's cat was diagnosed with liver cancer with not much time left. We returned to Barichara, I did Reiki on him and on his master and he passed peacefully a few days later. The vet said that white cats in Colombia have a higher incidence of fatal cancers and she doesn't know why except that they seem to be genetically disposed to it.

Pasqual lying on my bed next to a 'loaner' kitten to help
him get adjusted to a new home. It was a friend's idea to
provide a kitten. They both settled right in!
But on the ride back, my friend remarked, "If you take PASQUAL, his name will be a testimony to his being 'resurrected' from a certain fate and he will be your Easter gift to yourself." Ah, yes, and then there's the concern about the cat-hating, sweet-natured Scott, the dog who lives on the property. How will this work?

But here I am a week later, having picked up the yellow cat who had his attitude adjusted with a small surgery so he would be calmer. He is all of that. And the next day, he walked right up to Scott and sniffed him and must have said something to him in "dog" that he could understand, because they are managing a detente that would make both Russia and the U.S. proud.

Tonight that Amarillo cat is lying next to me, after pushing his yellow striped head into mine before going to sleep. And I am pretty sure he is smiling. I know I am.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Socorro - the seat of independence in Colombia

The cathedral here is lovely with Italian
terrazzo throughout, Italian artisans did the
beautiful stained glass windows, and it has
an Old World feel in the design.
The Andes are the backdrop for Socorro's cathedral.
There are so many villages and cities that have long histories in Colombia often it is hard to choose which one to visit first. Since I live in one of them, Barichara, unfortunately I tend to overlook many of its historical aspects as I amble off to the weekly market or a ceramics class. So one of these days I will do a more complete story.

But this week I went with my doctor friend to Socorro, where Colombian revolutionaries began their fight for liberty. I guess I could equate it to the Boston Tea Party or the secret meetings that took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or other early fights for the liberty in the United States. Founded in 1681, Socorro was given the title of "Noble and Loyal Village" in 1711 by the King of Spain, I think. However, he got rather annoyed when the populace wanted to ignore his royal decrees and he rescinded his beneficience once the fighting began over  taxes... quite similar to the tea party, you see.

Sextant of the church shows
us one of the underground
rivers... yikes!
Manuela Beltran, one of the guys who fought and died for the liberty he so badly wanted, is honored with a building called the Teatro Beltran. Sr. Galan has a village named after him as well as a statue in the park, a small tribute for literally getting drawn and quartered for his commitment to the fight. As I stood and looked down at the relatively new cathedral (180 years old) perched on a mountainside across from even higher mountains, I tried to imagine what it must have been like for these men to be resisting authority in what was then almost a virtual jungle in the Andes.

The beautiful church in Socorro was designed after European churches, but the architect(s) failed to properly site the location and it was built on three subterranean rivers. The problem is that after 180 years, the church has become unstable, with the front portion cracking and leaning downhill. It is rumored that the church will be decommissioned soon and possibly disassembled and rebuilt on firmer ground. That is, in itself, an interesting challenge, since all of Santander is lying right on a huge fault line and there are lots more rivers to contend with, both above and below the ground.
The stained glass windows were done by
Italian artisans over 180 years ago.

The trees that grew back then have since been used for firewood, a problem all over the country as they now try to promote planting and saving old growth trees. One that survived is shown here. It is over 400 years old and reminded me of the Old Senator in St. Augustine, Florida. The Old Senator is reputed to be over 600 years in age, supposedly a 'silent witness' to Spaniard Ponce De Leon finding the Fountain of Youth. These trees are even similar in overall shape, although the one here in Colombia is considerably taller and I rather doubt it is a live oak.

400 yr-old tree in Socorro, Colombia

Today there are paved roads, modern buildings alongside the antiquated ones, people making arepas the same way they did over 300 years ago while others are making new things to be used by their compatriots, but the issues of liberty seem submerged by the demands of daily living. The statues are in the park but the purpose seems to be more for pigeons resting on them than for the reminder of what the sacrifice was.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Rain in Spain stayed mainly on the ...

My return to Colombia was heralded by buckets of rain... rain in Bogota, rain in Socorro, rain in Barichara. Apparently there were five continuous days of rain and the rivers were already swollen and violently rushing to the next biggest river.

This is the road heading toward Socorro, the next largest
city, south of San Gil. It used to be the seat of the state of
Santander, but that is now in Bucaramanga.
I've been back for a month and during this time we've had 17 days of rain. Last night and tonight there have actually been thunderstorms and I got caught in a downpour coming out of the theatre group meeting. The streets had water rushing down them so rapidly it would have been dangerous to try and cross them!

The heavy rain is a serious concern because the ground gets so soggy that there is nothing to keep the rocks and trees from simply sliding down the steep inclines. This event is called a 'derumba,' and can cause the roads to become impassable.

The good news is that President Santos has pledged funding for repair of this main road through Santander. The not-so-good-news is that he hasn't said WHERE the funds will come from and Santandarianos' pockets are already pretty well picked. But improved roads will likely mean more tourists will come to visit and that might fill up those impoverished pockets.

Although the rain in Spain stayed mainly on the plain, there are few plains here to hold the rain and instead we drive being on the lookout for rocks, trees and dirt from above along with wild drivers in our lane on the curvy roads... making life quite interesting.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Fiesta!! To Life!!

The small gate was opened, the balloons were flying,
and the guests started arriving.
After a couple of weeks of being back in my favorite village in the world, I decided it was time to celebrate. Someone asked me, "Is it your birthday?" No, I just wanted to celebrate my new life, so I replied, "It is not my birthday I am celebrating, but everyone else's."

The invitation said, "For artists and those who wish to be; come and play!"

Initially it was to be just the people in my theatre group. Several of them could not make it on a Saturday night, so it was moved to a Sunday. Pretty soon I was getting calls from the invitees, "I have some visitors, may I bring them?" and "You remember _______? She wants to come, too." and a few spouses decided it might be fun after all. By the time the count was done, it was up to 35 people! I definitely didn't have enough chairs.
A full house with lots of food and friends!

But several people who had been invited and said they were coming never showed up. One was due to a sudden onset of the stomach virus, another said he didn't have a ride, others just didn't explain. That's sort of a typical Colombian outcome, I was told. But I was grateful because the 29 who were there brought enough food for at least 29 more, and there was enough seating.

We ate empenadas, wonderful homemade bread with a delicious creamy dip, hummus, Spanish potato 'pizzas,' delicate little toasts with tasty coverings, fruit salad, and so many other hand prepared dishes that everyone was fully fed and satisfied. I want to thank everyone who came because it was my first party in probably 10 years and it gave me such pleasure to do it all, and to have such a wealth of 'attendees' was wonderfully satisfying. That everyone enjoyed themselves was the intent, and for those who missed it - I hope you will come to the next one!

It fell to one of my more fluent Spanish-speaking friends to explain the theme of the party and the purpose in the art projects that everyone was asked to create: "To Life!"

A table full of materials, each one found
his or her expression of the theme.
There were a variety of creative materials available (colored paper, glue, colored pens, markers, old magazines) and some people found other materials to use... bugs, dried grass, food, metal wire, foam packing, seed pods and lipstick. It was fascinating to see how each person interpreted the theme!

A Canadian, here in Barichara as a tourist, came with his hostess (my art teacher) and struggled for awhile to find his creative outlet. Finally he put some of the lovingly prepared foods on his napkin and presented that! Unfortunately, by the time I was taking pictures, all that was left was a toothpick. But that's life!

I will post as many of the art pieces as were found after the party on another site and will link it here as it too difficult to get Blogger to post with my slow modem. Check back for the link, which I will put in THIS SPACE.

My art teacher, Shayo, is (I think) trying to
convince Francisco, one of the theatre group,
to participate in her art project which
required putting on lipstick.
My art teacher, Shayo, decided to make her project one that involved everyone - or at least as many people as she could persuade to participate. When I post the art pieces, I will also post some of the shots of people who were willing to "kiss the page," but I would be remiss if I didn't put up her creation as it was a giant kiss to the world - see it at the bottom. Not everyone was willing to submit to putting on lipstick.

Artists from 7 to over 60 in age, from nine different
countries and cultures gathered to celebrate LIFE!

It was wonderful to see all the ways that nine different nationalities (!!! true !!! Colombians, French, Spanish, Hollanders, Belges, Brits, Americans, a Canadian, and Switzerland were all represented here that night !!) with various languages were able to work together and separately to create some very interesting art. Here are just some of those fabulous works of art.
A giant kiss for the world directed by Shayo, a Colombian artist.