February brings Valentines Day, thoughts of love and flowers. Many of those flowers, mostly roses, come from Ecuador.
Though florists in the USA report the demand to be down because of the struggling economy, this has not stopped the two major international airports at Guayaquil and Quito, and the surrounding streets, being congested day and night as suppliers try to get shipments out to meet the need. They have until 8 February to be available for the 14 February Valentines Day.
According to newspaper El Comercio, there are about 200 tons of flowers waiting to be shipped to markets in North America and Europe.
Flowers bring smiles and tell someone of your love.
By contrast, I just attended “ Voices of the Holocaust” , the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Held at the Casa de la Danza, Calle Junin ( Parque de San Marcos ), Quito, Ecuador, the event had four distinct elements, each powerfully impacting on emotions: an exhibition of painting by renowned, Czechoslovakia born, Ecuadorian artist and holocaust victim Trude Sojka; a slide presentation of the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany through the 1930s and the full blown holocaust in the 1940s; a representation of a railway to carry Jews to their execution; and, an intense, very moving, one person dance telling of the struggle of the child, Sojka, during this period and her ultimate freedom. The paintings and the dance were my favorites.
Sojka's paintings immediately grabbed my heart and emotions. The images, the use of dark blues, purples, black, dark blood red and streaks of yellow, presented in a plasticized relief, a sorrow that made me want to cry. Amid the images of oppression were images, still within dark images, of movement, of dance, evidence that there was a persistent spirit and will to live.
I didn’t know how I would react to one person dancing continually for about an hour; but I was thoroughly drawn into the story being communicated so effectively by the middle aged dancer. The music was slow and moving and the dancer clearly, entirely immersed in the experience and emotion that she was intent on presenting. Her movements captured and told of struggle and her face, intense, with evident moments of tearing. I leaned forward, drawn into the performance till the final movement and applause.
The celebration of love and the recognition of man’s capacity for enormous hate contrast but remind us that humanity is flawed and we must continually strive for the positive of love and not to fall into negativity.
Take time to share your love at Valentines and every day of the year.
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