Happy Independence Day, Lovely Ecuador!

Zeebra Designs & Destinations

May 24, 2013 – Quito Ecuador

Today Ecuador celebrated its history of independence (1822) from Spain.   A bonus on this full-moon day, crowds gathered to witness the swearing in of Rafael Correa for his third-term as president.  My friends Silvana of tinasca.wordpress.com and Bob of www.pirancafe.com are both in the city of Quito for an event-filled weekend!

Tomorrow their attention will wean to a March Against Monsanto.    How great it is that the entire world is collectively standing up against the big M and saying, “Go Home! Your genetically-modified seeds are not welcome here!”   

In honor of Ecuador’s independence, I’ll leave you with images of some of my favorite places in Ecuador.  Enjoy!

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Chinese Tourist Damages 3000-Year-Old Temple in Luxor

Egyptian Streets

A Chinese tourist damaged a 3,000-year-old site in Luxor causing outrage in China and Egypt after photographs taken by an embarrassed Chinese tourist were publicly shared on Chinese social media.

The tourist carved “Ding Jinhao was here,” while visiting Luxor in Egypt. Chinese social media and newspapers were quick to condemn and identify the offender, and the incident has attracted widespread criticism in China with headlines such as “China’s Tourist Shame.” The vandalist has reportedly been identified by Chinese internet users as a 15-year-old  middle-school student from Nanjing.

Shortly after the outrage, Ding Jinhao’s parents issued a statement to Chinese media.

“We want to apologize to the people of Egypt and to people across China,” said Ding’s mother.

According to Chinese bloggers, several tourists attempted to remove the markings themselves, resulting in the white smudge that appears in the photograph above.

In recent statements to the media, The Ministry of…

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Getting high in Bogota

Notes from Camelid Country

First of all, apologies for the unnecessarily juvenile title. Just because Bogota is Colombia’s capital city and Colombia has been synonymous with the international cocaine trade for several decades, there is no justification for such a childish title.

That said, if you want to see Bogota in all its glory you really have to get high. The city has a location as dramatic as most I’ve seen – La Paz may just nudge it into second place. Bogota was a subdued backwater for a long time after it was founded in 1538. Not any more. It seemingly spreads out for ever across a long and broad valley, and is buttressed on its eastern side by high Andean peaks, including the 3152m Cerro Monserrate which can be reached by cable car.

The best place to start your arial overview of the city is from the 48th floor of a downtown office block…

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Our Honored Dead

PA Pundits - International

caruba_alan20080111By Alan Caruba ~AA - Tomb of Unknown Soldier

In the town I called home for more than sixty years, among my earliest memories was joining my Father to attend the annual Memorial Day ceremonies. There was always a march to the appropriately named Memorial Park. It included veterans, scout troops, police and fire contingents, and the high school band.

My childhood years were marked by World War II, beginning when I was just four years of age and ending when I was eight, both fought far from our shores. My Father and I would listen to the reading of “In Flander’s Fields”, a poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae, MD, a member of the Canadian Army, commemorating those who fell in World War I combat.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid…

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