“Feeling” the meaning of Rock and Roll…

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It was April 13 2018 when my husband asked if I wanted to go see a band in Brooklin (north of Whitby), having no other plans and wanting to spend some time with my husband I agreed. Now, my husband did explained that this was a very special band and how he couldn’t believe they’d have a show in Whitby right before their world tour, but I was confused as we were looking for a garage/barn in a private house. Parked the car and literally follow the music through the dark… Being early April in southern Ontario, it was chilly and muddy as hell as it had been raining all day. When we got to the barn, we were told it was a benefit show, so we decided to give $20.00 each and then I decided to find a spot… not to enjoy the show per se, but to pass the time while my husband has a good time enjoying the show… I’m not that much into punk rock and I just don’t do mosh pits. However… my vision for the night was about to change…the first thing I noticed was that the vibe in this small barn crowed with people was far better than any local pub or venue downtown Toronto. I could actually see people enjoying themselves and I have to admit the punk rock tunes were making me sort of dance along the music and then I saw it… I felt it… this was Rock and Roll at its finest; a guy so excited to see the band that we swings from the beams of the barn and how people eventually helped a guy with a walking disability do the same. The show was over too soon… for everyone I think, but the band said their thank-yous and goodbyes and we started walking back to the car… needles to say the mud, the rain, the cold… didn’t matter anymore for I had found the truest meaning of Rock that night in a barn north of Whitby… Thank you Metz.

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Guitar Making in San Bartolome, Azuay (Ecuador)

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I’ve been trying to find the time to write this new entry for a year now and today finally it’s the day!

I was able to travel back to Ecuador last summer and as always my homeland welcomed me with tons of great food, great views and last but not least the love of my family and friends. During my stay in the city of Cuenca at the south of Ecuador, I had the amazing opportunity to take a day-trip to some towns located near the city: Sigsig, Chordoleg and Gualaceo, the latter one is a usual trip for me and my sister as its a town where a lot people make their living by making shoes. Chordeleg is famous for its silver work on jewelry and Sigsig is mostly famous for making the worldly-known Panama hat or straw hat. The visit to these three towns is something I’d always recommend to my passengers on my travel agent days back in Ecuador and last year I got to experience it myself!

Local tour companies would offer this tour on private basis or on sharing basis and I’m sure there’s a specific day where everything is arrange for the tourists visiting each town, this time however it was a family trip so we went in my dad’s car, we decided to go near Sigsig to a place call San Bartolome where most of the families are experts in making guitars and they have inherit the trade (and passion) from their parents and their parents from their parents and so on. We decided to visit this little town near Sigsig as Steve, being a guitar technician and an amateur luthier himself, was very interested in seeing the type of work and specially how guitars are made in this hidden spot of Ecuador.

 

After about an hour of driving through mountains, we got to San Bartolome where a statue of Saint Bartholomew welcomes visitors and by the statue there is a map showing “The Guitar Route” where different workshops are located. After asking some questions to the locals regarding the best place to go the same name was brought to us: Jose Romero Uyaguari Quezada, so we got back in the car and we drove to a house/store located right next to the road, we could see the sign with the luthier’s name on it and of course some guitars hanging around this simple space where we were not sure if we were inside his house or his shop. Don Jose welcomed us with a big smile and explained the process of making the guitars and shared with us that he learned the trade from his father whose picture is hung up on a wall in the shop. Steve and Don Jose talked about the type of wood to use when making a guitar, and Don Jose explained that usually the wood is bought locally so Oak, Cedar, Alder, Walnut and Black Cheery Wood (locally known as “Capuli”). Steve and all of us were really amazed at Don Jose’s work and his openness to show us the way he works every detail to make a guitar from scratch. Steve and I vowed to come back and have Don Jose work on a personalized guitar for Steve and then we left the shop with an amazing feeling of seeing an artisan at its purest and we all agreed that his love and passion for the trade is what makes the finish product so beautiful and special.

We continued out trip to Chordeleg and eventually to Gualaceo for some shopping, but our definite high point of the trip was meeting Don Jose and learning about his amazing trade.

Steve’s Guitar Garage is located in Oshawa,Ontario: http://oshawaguitarrepair.com/

Yes, Canadians are nice.

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Because this month we celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday and leaving aside all the controversy that this number has brought, I wanted to take some time to put together some thoughts on the kindness the Canadian people is known for.

It’s rush hour at Union Station downtown Toronto and everyone needs to hustle to get to work, nevertheless doors are being held and “sorrys” are being heard. After a while of this rush hour routine you don’t even notice it anymore and regardless weather you get a thank you for holding the door or not you still do it because everyone does it and well… because its nice to be nice. Now, I believe this “its nice to be nice” is something that its in the core of every person, precisely because Canadians are known for being nice and because its such a great characteristic to be known for, everyone (or well most of people), makes sure being nice is something real in their day to day life.

After almost four years of living in this side of the woods, I also came to realize that being nice is much more than just holding doors open, offering to take a picture for you in a tourist site or say sorry when you bump into somebody. Nice Canadians are very careful when it comes to ask you a question regarding your background, knowing its not OK making assumptions but also showing a true interest in you and your life. Supervisors are careful when addressing everyone in a work environment, making sure everyone feels included. Joking about stereotypes is just not acceptable and any comment that is not welcome might get you to the HR office, so it was while working in a call centre downtown Toronto when I came up with my theory on why Canadians are nice; its that daily effort on little things like your vocabulary, or holding the door or when you have to make sure you are including everyone that the Canadian legacy of being nice comes to live and you cant help but to feel strained to continue with it by being nice to others as well.

So more than a Happy Birthday Canada, this is a Thank You Canada for being so nice!!!

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Gallery

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 2008

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This gallery contains 35 photos.

Las Islas Galápagos son un paraíso… todos los amantes de la naturaleza han hecho este viaje y si no lo …

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Time to be a grown up again…

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La celebración de Acción de Gracias se celebra este fin de semana aquí en Canadá, y en estos momentos no puedo estar más agradecida con la vida y con Dios, después de meses de preparación y anticipación, recibí la visita de mis papis aquí en Canadá, estaba tan feliz con ellos aquí y como siempre mi familia es mi prioridad después de un año de trabajar en una empresa de préstamos en Toronto decidí renunciar para poder pasar con mis papás y porque ir a Toronto todos los días me llegó a cansar y ya no sentía el mismo sentido de responsabilidad por el trabajo que cuando empecé, y en espíritu de dar gracias, estoy sumamente agradecida por todas las personas que conocí y que tuvieron un impacto en mi vida en este año que pasó.

El mes de septiembre fue maravilloso, lo malo es que cuando se está pasando bien el tiempo pasa más rápido y el viernes pasado tuve que despedirme una vez más de las personas más importantes de mi vida. También me siento profundamente agradecida por mi esposo y mis suegros quienes hicieron que la estadía de mis papás sea de lo mejor.

Ahora estoy tratando de no estar triste por la ausencia y la distancia, así que después de un mes de volver a ser la hija mimada de mis papis, es hora de ser ( o tratar de ser), un adulto otra vez, entonces he retomado mi búsqueda de trabajo aquí en Oshawa o cerca y espero poder encontrar un trabajo que me traiga tranquilidad y satisfacción al cumplir ese trabajo. Tengo muchas dudas sobre mi futuro profesional pero estoy segura que mi experiencia en Servicio al Cliente puede ser aprovechada en muchos lugares así que espero poder encontrar una buena oportunidad pronto. El invierno y las fiestas de Diciembre lejos de la familia son más llevaderas cuando la mente está ocupada.

Time to be a grown up again…

Thanksgiving is celebrated this weekend here in Canada and right now I cant be more thankful with life and God, after months of preparation and anticipation my parents came to visit me here in Canada!!! I was so happy with them here and as always my family is my priority so I decided to resigned from my position as CSR in the loan company downtown Toronto so I could spent as much time as I could with my parents and also commuting everyday got to me and at the end I didn’t feel the same sense of responsibility for the job as I did when I first started and in the spirit of giving thanks, I do wish to thank all the people I met and especially those who had an impact in my life.

September was a wonderful month, the bad thing is that when you are having a good time, time pass by faster so last Friday I had to say good-bye once again to the most important people in my life. I would also like to thank my fantastic husband and in-laws for they were extraordinary making my parents visit a great one for everybody.

Currently I’m trying not to be sad about their absence and the distance between us, so after a month of being mommy’s and daddy’s little girl, its time to be (or at least try to be), an adult again, so I’m back on my job hunt here in Oshawa or closer to Oshawa and I hope I can find a job that brings me peace of mind and satisfaction at the end of the work day. I have so many doubts as to where my career is going but I’m sure my customer service experience can be useful in some many places so here’s to hope in finding a good opportunity soon. Winter and December holidays away from my family can be easier to overcome when your mind is busy.

                                 hojas1

Canadians & Partying,

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Es difícil no caer en clásicas diferencias entre “gringos*” y latinos en esta categoría. Después de tres años en Canadá todavía no me acostumbro a que llega el fin de semana y mi esposo me dice que nos vamos de fiesta y que eso tiene un significado diferente para mi. Por unos segundos mi cerebro piensa que es la fiesta, la farra de allá con música, trago y BAILE! El baile es esencial en una fiesta, no soy buena en la pista de baile pero me encanta bailar y me decepciono una vez que caigo en cuenta que la fiesta regular de la que mi esposo está hablando consiste en escuchar música y tomar cerveza u otra cosa y hablar hasta que ya sea hora de regresar a la casa y mientras pasan esas horas no puedo evitar pensar en lo diferente que sería esa noche allá. Todavía tengo esperanzas que esto cambie algún momento  y una noche de fiesta sea para bailar en una discoteca o en la sala de una casa.

*entiéndase como cualquier persona que sea de Norteamérica.

Canadians & Partying,

It’s hard not to point out classic differences between “gringos”* and Latinos in this category. After three years of living in Canada I still don’t get used to the fact that that sentence has a different meaning to me. For a few seconds my brain makes me think about the party there: music, drinks and of course DANCING! Dancing is essential in a party and even though I am not a good dancer, I actually love to dance and I have to admit its a little disappointing when I realize that the party we are going to is listening to music and drink beer or whatever I’m in the mood for and talk until its time to go back home and while hours pass by I cant help to think about how different the night would be if we were there. I’m still hopeful that this changes at some point and that sometime  in the suburbs of Durham Region one night of partying will be  dancing in a club or in a living room.

*sometimes or most times when we say gringos, we mean anyone that is from North-America.

Cuando Ecuador tembló… 04/16/2016

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El 16 de Abril del 2016 mi tierra, mi Ecuador del alma tembló y todos nosotros temblamos… temblamos de miedo, de unión, de solidaridad y de tristeza. Nunca me ha dolido tanto estar lejos… me siento culpable; culpa por estar bien y porque los míos están a salvo pero hay tantos otros que no lo están… tantas vidas que se perdieron, tantos sueños que se derrumbaron. Lo único que me queda es vivir y disfrutar cada segundo, pues en un minuto todo se puede venir abajo. Ahora me pregunto mucho más que antes por qué la vida me puso en este lado del planeta en estos momentos? tengo tantas ganas de estar ahí… ayúdando… no es mucho lo que se puede hacer de lejos.
Han pasado casi dos semanas y veo las noticias que ya la gente está dejando de ayudar, ya nos empezamos a olvidar, a mirar a otro lado y ya no velar por el bienestar de los demás. Le pido a Dios que la ayuda no decaiga… por qué es inevitable volver a un status quo tan cómodo de mirar en otra dirección? de apagar las noticias? de dejar de ser buenos con los demás…
#FuerzaEcuador! Vamos a salir de esta… #nopiensoparar

La emoción que siento al escuchar esta canción es indescriptible…

Yo nací Aquí – 2016

Yo Nací Aquí