07 August 2007

Thank you's...

New York, NY

To a few of the people who made this adventure as amazing as it was...

To Eugenio and Geovanny Cordova, brothers and founders of the Instituto Superior de Espanol in Quito, as well as my fabulous teachers, Maria Elisabeth and Paula. Eugenio was the first person I met in South America. He picked me up from the airport at 11:30 at night, and made me feel very welcome. In 1988, the school was one of the first to open in Quito, which has now become the capital of Spanish language study in South America. The school is run with the utmost professionalism, and the teachers are well trained and qualified, and know what they are doing! In addition, Geovanny always had excursions around the city and around Ecuador planned and ready to go for anyone who desired. My hands down recommendation for anyone seeking a great travel/study experience!

To Luigina Fossati, the sweet Italian lady who runs Hostal Casapaxi in Quito. For her motherly hospitality - always making sure her guests were safe and well and had everything they needed. When I told her I had studied Italian in college, she proceeded to speak to me in Italian from thereon out, which thoroughly confused me in my attempt to study Spanish at the time!

Lucho Hurtado works a late night in the Incas del Peru office

To Lucho Hurtado, brainchild behind Incas del Peru in Huancayo, adventure leader, entrepreneur, community organizer, visionary, "teacher of life," ...this man never stops! In addition to running two restaurants, an inn, and organizing treks, courses, and excursions, Lucho has led the drive to revive train service on the historic Central Andean line, organizes programs to help children in Huancayo's orphanages, and leads efforts to open his community to the world, following the difficult decades of war and terrorism in the Central Andean region.

To Margarita for teaching me how to weave in five days! I have no doubt she's reading this right now on her laptop. Even when she grew impatient with me and cursed in Quechua, I had a blast!

To Nilda at La Casa de la Abuela in Huancayo. For all the incredible home-cooked meals and warm hospitality, and for cooking me eggs every morning, since I couldn't eat pan. And to her 4-year old nino, the two cats, the dirty, shaggy dog, and the talking parrot who ate my sunscreen lotion, for making the ambiance lively!

To the kids at Aldea Infantil el Rosario orphanage in Huancayo for opening up their world to me for an afternoon, and to the people at Fundacion por Los Ninos del Peru who look after them.

To my guides, Pedro at the Quilatoa Lagoon in Ecuador, Dennis at Yarina Lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and to David and Gladys from Peru Treks, who took special care to look after me while I was sick on the Inca Trail, as well as a huge thanks to the chaskes (porters), who helped carry my load on the Trail. If you hike the Inca Trail, Peru Treks comes highly recommended, not only for the excellence and professionalism of their service, but for their exceptional attention to the welfare of their porters, and for the community projects they are involved with in the towns from which their porters are hired.

To Carol LeBreck and Judith Freund at the Global Links Global Educators Program, who understand the value of incorporating global learning and teaching experiences such as this into school curricula.

To the many fellow travelers who shared time and experiences with me on the trail. Even though I traveled solo, I was almost never alone! Thanks for the companionship and camaraderie along the way. And of course, to all the Ecuadorians and Peruvians whose warmth and hospitality were extraordinary. All the dire warnings of crime and danger proved wrong - at least in my experience. Don't be afraid to travel to this wonderful part of the world. Keep your wits about you, as you would almost anywhere, and you will experience nothing but a warm and enthusiastic welcome!


New York, NY

Home at last! It was an amazing trip, and now it seems.... just a dream. Thanks for following along! I will offer a few more posts in the coming days - thoughts, images and details I didn't get to in the rush of the moment.

05 August 2007

Museo de Arte de Lima

Lima, Peru

Francisco Laso"La Lavandera" (1858)Óleo sobre lienzoMuseo de Arte, Lima

This morning I wandered through the Museo de Arte de Lima on this cloudy last day in South America. The Pre-Columbian ceramics and textiles were fascinating as ever, and I found some interesting paintings by early Modern Peruvian painters Francisco Laso, Teófilo Castillo, and Julia Codesido.

Julia Codesido. Cristo de la Cruz Verde, siglo XXAcrílico sobre lienzo, 67.5 x 48 cm

What caught my attention the most was an exhibition of the work of Josef and Anni Albers. I had not known of the work of Josef´s wife, Anni, nor had I known of their intense interest and experience in Latin America, and its influence on their artwork. The couple spent time living and working in Mexico, where Josef was inspired by the geometric forms of Aztec architecture and design motifs - which led to the geometric compositions in a lot of his work. While in Mexico, he also did a lot of his color studies using natural pigments found in the area.

Josef Albers, Adobe (Variant): Luminous Day, 1947/52Oil on masonite. JAAF: 1976.1.1382. 28 x 53.34 cm (11 x 21 inches)

Anni Albers, La Luz I, 1947Cotton, hemp, and metallic gimp. JAAF: 1994.12.247 x 82.5 cm (18-1/2 x 32-1/2 inches)

The two also did a lot of traveling in South America, including to Peru, where Anni studied textile designs, and incorporated weaving and textiles into her art in some very interesting ways. As I contemplate how to incorporate what I have seen and learned into meaningful lessons for my students and into strands of my own artwork, seeing this bridge between the Modern Art world and the ancient traditions of Latin America was a timely and intriguing find!

Anni Albers, Two, 1952Linen, cotton, rayon. JAAF: 1996.12.345.7 x 104.1 cm (18 x 41 inches)