Wednesday, June 30, 2010
This picture was taken on the same road. Farmers were harvesting sugar cane and using donkeys to pack the cane to the cane press that squeezed out the sugar juice. These donkeys knew the way back and forth and pretty much traveled on their own.
We were vacationing in the Yucatan Peninsula with Randy and Lani's family and came across this VW while driving outside of Cancun. I had Randy speed ahead and then pull off the side of the road so I could jump out of the van and take this picture before he passed us. The entire back seat was also packed solid with boxes of something.
Back in Nigeria, we came across this van with what appears to be groceries consisting of fabric, toilet paper and other stuff. Not sure what was keeping everything from working it's way out of the rigging.
This one is also in Nigeria and is a truck load full with workers and a second deck above them loaded with goats. Not sure I would want to be underneath all those goats.
Also, notice the black exhaust smoke coming from the truck. One common denominator in third world countries is their lack of emissions control or requirements. For the most part there are none, yet they are the first to jump on the band wagon when it comes to telling us what we should be doing.
When we were in Sucua, Ecuador, the owner of the hotel we stayed in suggested that we take a trip into the jungle and see a sugar cane press in operation. Since we lacked transportation for such a jaunt, she walked down to the local police station and recruited two police vehicles and three officers to transport us to the trail head and then escort us in and out of the jungle. Not sure we needed the protection but was nice to have.
Most cities in Ecuador have open air markets where you can buy almost anything you want. In Cuenca, we were shopping at the market place when it started to rain. All the vendors started packing up their goods and headed for cover and/or home. I caught this teenager packing this load of shirts and sweaters that would have caused a mule to protest.
This picture was taken by Eric Valentine while vacationing in New Zealand visiting family. He is a retired judge here in La Grande, Oregon, and graciously allowed me to included it in my blog. He states that he was relieved to have safely passed this disaster waiting to happen and I would imagine that it probably took a lot of courage to even attempt it.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Dad started flying in 1943 in the C-54. The commercial version was the DC-4. After the war was over TWA used the DC-4 for a couple of years while the airline transitioned into the Lockheed Constellation. The Connie was probably the most beautiful airliner ever built and dad was privileged to fly in each of the models TWA used.
In 1958 they purchased a 10 acre avocado orchard in Fallbrook California and he and Mom built the house there. Dad did most of the work, including building all the cabinets.
Was my dad perfect? No, but he came as close as any. He seldon raised his voice to me, but I knew if he said "jump" I had better be asking how high on the way up. He and mom supported me in anything I did, even when some of those decisions were suspect. They didn't give me everything I wanted, but they gave me everything I needed, including uncondintional love and support. They never pressured me in any particular direction, but was always there with advice and suggestions when I bothered to ask. I have been truely blessed by the parents God gave to me. It was not an accident, but planned from the beginning of the ages. Thanks, Dad, for everything over the years. Without your help Jeri and I would not have been able to do all the things we have been able to do or travel to all the places we have. You have truly blessed our lives. Love, Mike