Friday, 24 May 2013

The other Gringo Bar-
Gumbo Night Con Sin

This evening of Cajun food was well attended and all that I spoke with were enjoying themselves. There was a bit of a mix-up as to the start time, but it got sorted out and the gathering continued until the wee hours.
There was an unexpected visitor to Sin Bar, and that was the new addition to the household of Mike and Raquel - they have a young dalmatian.
The food was served in large bowls and quickly consumed; the drink made for the night was a hurricane - both of these went very well together. Thanks goes to Kathryn Van Horn Kelly and her husband Gary for the good eats and to Kim Griffiths for the hurricanes.
I took my camera and snapped  a few shots, so enjoy!

I received this in an email recently:

Ready for another Obnoxious Gringo (OG) story from Cuenca?  According to reports this week, an OG went into a local bank to change a $100 bill.  If you live here and pay attention, you know that only the Banco Central or a bank where you have an account will do that.  He did not  understand the clerk's explanation in that foreign language called Spanish, which angered him, so he began to berate the clerk, as OGs usually do when all they hear is Spanish.  A bilingual Ecuadorian approached him and explained in English why he needed to go to a different bank, and the OG verbally attacked him, too, using the "F" word as he told the helpful stranger to go perform a physically impossible act.  The Ecuadorian finally threatened to call the police, and the OG shut up and left.  Here's the part that should send a chilling message to every expat in Ecuador:  Everyone in the bank loudly applauded the man who got rid of the gringo.  Think about that reaction from normally quiet and non-confrontational Ecuadorians.

It is not getting better, folks.  Be part of the Behavior Modification Group and stop OGs in their tracks.  They will cuss at you because that's the only reaction those Lords of Arrogance know, but keep at it anyway.  Can you imagine the reaction of Ecuadorians if they saw another gringo -- instead of one of their own -- threaten an OG?  They do need to see that.  We need to show them.

Here's a good example of a proper reaction by an expat.  This morning I was checking out of the Supermaxi, and there was a gringo in the next line trying to buy several bottles of wine, not knowing it is not allowed on Sundays.  He listened patiently as the clerk and some folks in line tried to explain in Spanish why he could not buy the wine.  Did he do the OG thing and start calling the clerk names because she did not speak English?  No.  In fact, when I went over and explained it to him in English, he said, "Oh, I guess President Correa wants to keep us all healthy," and we both laughed. He was Canadian, by the way.

Gary Phillips is leaving Ecuador


A View From the Roof

Gary Phillips has lived in Ecuador, I think, for the last 7 years and spent many years trying to set up a sustainable farm here, but the call of Ecuador was overtaken by the call of grandchildren.  So, he and his wife are moving to California to be close to the family. While here, they gave a good perspective of life in Ecuador, so the blog will be missed.

This Month

April 25, 1967 - The first law legalizing abortion was signed by Colorado Governor John Love, allowing abortions in cases in which a panel of three doctors unanimously agreed.
Birthday - Radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) was born in Bologna, Italy. He pioneered the use of wireless telegraphy in the 1890's. By 1921, Marconi's invention had been developed into wireless telephony (voice radio).
April 26
April 26, 1937 - During the Spanish Civil War, the ancient town of Guernica was attacked by German warplanes. After destroying the town in a three hour bombing raid, the planes machine-gunned fleeing civilians.
April 26, 1944 - Federal troops seized the Chicago offices of Montgomery Ward and removed its chairman after his refusal to obey President Roosevelt's order to recognize a CIO union. The seizure ended when unions won an election to represent the company's workers.
April 26, 1986 - At the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, an explosion caused a meltdown of the nuclear fuel and spread a radioactive cloud into the atmosphere, eventually covering most of Europe. A 300-square-mile area around the plant was evacuated. Thirty one persons were reported to have died while an additional thousand cases of cancer from radiation were expected. The plant was then encased in a solid concrete tomb to prevent the release of further radiation.
April 26, 1994 - Multiracial elections were held for the first time in the history of South Africa. With approximately 18 million blacks voting, Nelson Mandela was elected president and F.W. de Klerk vice president.
Birthday - American artist and naturalist John J. Audubon (1785-1851) was born in Haiti. He drew life-like illustrations of the birds of North America.
Birthday - Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) was born in Hertfors, Connecticut. He helped design some of the most famous parks in America including Central Park in New York, the Emerald Necklace series of connecting parks in Boston, and Yosemite National Park.
Birthday - Nazi Rudolf Hess (1894-1987) was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He was Deputy F├╝hrer of Nazi Germany and a member of Hitler's inner circle. On May 10, 1941, he made a surprise solo flight and parachuted into Scotland intending to negotiate peace with the British. However, the British promptly arrested him and confined him for the duration. Following the war, he was taken to Nuremberg and put on trial with other top Nazis. He died in captivity in 1987, the last of the major Nuremberg war criminals.
April 27
April 27, 1865 - On the Mississippi River, the worst steamship disaster in U.S. history occurred as an explosion aboard the Sultana killed nearly 2,000 passengers, mostly Union solders who had been prisoners of war and were returning home.
Birthday - Telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He developed the idea of an electromagnetic telegraph in the 1830's and tapped out his first message "What hath God wrought?" in 1844 on the first telegraph line, running from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore. The construction of the first telegraph line was funded by Congress ($30,000) after Morse failed to get any other financial backing. After Western Union was founded in 1856, telegraph lines were quickly strung from coast to coast in America.
Birthday - Civil War General and 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio. During the war, he earned the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant and was given command of the Union armies. He served as President from 1869 to 1877 in an administration plagued by scandal. He then went on to write his memoirs and died in 1885, just days after its completion.
April 28
April 28, 1789 - On board the British ship Bounty, Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Captain William Bligh, setting him and 18 loyal crew members adrift in a 23-foot open boat. Bligh survived a 47-day voyage sailing over 3,600 miles before landing on a small island. Christian sailed the Bounty back to Tahiti, eventually settling on Pitcairn Island and burning the ship.
April 28, 1945 - Twenty-three years of Fascist rule in Italy ended abruptly as Italian partisans shot former Dictator Benito Mussolini. Other leaders of the Fascist Party and friends of Mussolini were also killed along with his mistress, Clara Petacci. Their bodies were then hung upside down and pelted with stones by jeering crowds in Milan.
Birthday - James Monroe (1758-1831) the 5th U.S. President was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He served two terms from 1817 to 1825 and is best known for the Monroe Doctrine which declared the U.S. would not permit any European nation to extend its holdings or use armed force in North or South America.
April 29
April 29, 1992 - Riots erupted in Los Angeles following the announcement that a jury in Simi Valley, California, had failed to convict four Los Angeles police officers accused in the videotaped beating of an African American man.
Birthday - American publisher William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) was born in San Francisco. The son of a gold miner, in 1887 he dropped out of Harvard to take control of the failing San Francisco Examiner which his father had purchased. He saved the Examiner, then went to New York and bought the New York Morning Journal to compete with Joseph Pulitzer. Hearst's sensational style of "yellow" journalism sold unprecedented numbers of newspapers and included promoting a war with Cuba in 1897-98. He expanded into other cities and into magazine publishing, books and films. He also served in Congress and nearly became mayor of New York City.
Birthday - Japan's Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) was born in Tokyo. In 1926, he became the 124th in a long line of monarchs and then presided over wartime Japan which was led by militarist Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. Following the dropping of two atomic bombs by the U.S., he made a radio address urging his people to stop fighting. After the war, he remained the symbolic head of state in Japan's new parliamentary government. In 1946, he renounced his divinity and then pursued his interest in marine biology, becoming a recognized authority in the subject.
April 30
April 30, 1789 - George Washington became the first U.S. President as he was administered the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets in New York City.
April 30, 1948 - Palestinian Jews declared their independence from British rule and established the new state of Israel. The country soon became a destination for tens of thousands of Nazi Holocaust survivors and a strong U.S. ally.
April 30, 1967 - Boxer Muhammad Ali was stripped of his world heavyweight boxing championship after refusing to be inducted into the American military. He had claimed religious exemption.