Friday, June 28, 2013

Stay-cation: Things that reflect a mood of gratitude and happiness

I am on holiday! Taking a week off to write, sleep, unpack the boxes I never unpacked 15 months ago when I moved into the apartment, walk, do yoga, and think. This just rocks.

So, I'm feeling light-hearted and interested in life and curious about so many I am going to make my posts this week reflect my mood - random points of light and beauty and style.

So, I have to start with a story about my son, Zan.  He recently went to visit his best friend since first grade, Oliver Utne, in Equador. He went with Ezra Levy, another friend from the pack from grade school. Oliver lives in Quito, Equador (has for 3 -4 years) working to improve the lives of the indigenous people. He started by helping them protect their land from the multi-national oil companies who were trying to take over. Now he's building a solar powered boat (a grant from the Finnish government) that travels on the Amazon and helps the tribes move both people and things between settlements. You kind of go...really? You thought of this? Someone gave you money to do this? This seems really ambitious. It's so Oliver. He would have no sense of the impossible.

So, Zan and Ezra go visit Oliver, thinking it is a chill out time in Equador and they end up spending 4 days working in the Rainforest / Jungle / Amazon with said tribes of people and government representatives, negotiating the location of the docks for said boat. Zan said it was the most exhausting trip he'd ever taken because they worked 10- 12 hours a day, but unforgettable, of course.

Now, I should point out that these guys are, as my sister points out, right out of Central Casting. I love these men - they are as sweet and smart as they are handsome. (Ezra in Med School in Mississippi - Zan a recruiter for Teach for America in New York City.) And my heart just soars knowing that this is a friendship that started twenty-one years ago when they were only six years old. Enjoy!

I should say that one of the men along on the trip, Danilo Medina, is a photographer and took these beautiful photos. 

Zan, right with friend Ezra, left. Oliver is behind left in a canoe type boat on the Amazon.

The Amazon at sunset.

With one of the natives. Not so happy about having his picture taken, Zan said.

My heart soars. Zan, left. Oliver, right. They used to play "bank" when they were little.
Neither one of them were allowed to have a video game.
A deal struck between me and Oliver's mom, Nina.
Good decision. :-)

Oliver at one of the villages.
Evening dancing. What about the dude with the gun???

Zan and Ezra, thinking: Is this what you had in mind for vacation???

Rainbow on the Amazon.

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