Friday, April 27, 2012

Memories Fill the Imagination with Joy!

It’s been almost week since we got back from Peru. The first few days back in San Francisco were a bit difficult because it was just the 2 of us (and Bomber) in the house, a big change after having been with family and friends all the time while we were in Lima. After having lived in the US for almost 9 years, I sort of got used to a more individualistic lifestyle in which every person minds their own business and where gatherings are a bit more planned. Spending over 10 days in Lima made me really miss those casual meetings, the unexpected visits, and the constant contact with people. I guess you can take the girl out of Peru, but you can‘t take Peru out of the girl after all.

Since getting back I haven’t had much time to go out and about and take photos. It is sort of a bummer because a couple of days ago the sky looked gorgeous with small puffy clouds on it. I was walking Bomber and wished I’d grabbed the camera. Next time.

Meats and cheese in Madrid
While I was in Lima I also was able to sell several sets of greeting cards. I had made some sets to have ready to ship, and decided to bring them with me in case anybody was interested. Turns out some people were. Also in Lima, my lovely sister in law (who got some cards herself) told me about some fabulous ideas she had for the final decorating touches in her home. She mentioned a very specific kind of art wall she was looking for to hang up in her kitchen. She wanted a black and white photo with a splash of red in it. Her kitchen is quite modern and has some touches of red, which makes it look really cool. Anyway, I told her I would browse through my photos and see if I could come up with something she might like.

Cafe/Restaurant in Lisbon's Alfama district
Yesterday I was finally able to go over some of my over 30,000 photos and I did find some awesome food-related photos that could do the trick for her. I edited the ones I thought she might like, and ended up with a pretty good selection. I’ll be sending the photos to her later today.

Browsing through my photos also brought me back to some of the amazing places Joe and I had traveled to. I often find myself getting lost in my thought, thinking about magical places far away.  I think my next entry will be about one of those adventures, or at least about a part of them!

A door in Spain - Puente La Reina
Upon my return to San Francisco, I also had two more photo-related projects to deal with. My good friend Kirthi, who lives in Chennai, India, had ordered a set of cards right before I left for Peru. She ordered the Doors of Spain collection as a greeting cards set. On Monday I put the set together, made the cards and shipped it out to Chennai. I was so happy with her choice of photos.

The Doors of Spain are a small sample of the gorgeous doors we saw while walking 300 of the 800 kilometers of the Way of St. James on September-October 2011. Some of the doors belonged to medieval buildings, some to cathedrals, and others to homes. They are one of my favorite collections and, from what I see on Etsy, they are one of people’s favorite collections as well!

For my second project I had to print a large photo to donate to a non-profit organization in Sacramento, California. Shortly before leaving for Lima, I was contacted by a person at Born Free USA (, a non profit working to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, and protecting wildlife (including endangered species) in their natural habitats. They also work to encourage compassionate conservation globally, which is really cool!
Beautiful Giants at Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Wendy, the person who contacted me, was looking for in kind donations for an online auction Born Free was going to be conducting later this year. In her search for donations she found my Etsy store and, in it, she found a photo she thought would make a great item for the auction. The photo was that of 2 elephants in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

In 2010, Joe and I went to Tanzania to volunteer at a locally run orphanage for 2 weeks. During one of the weekends we were in Arusha, we decided to try and go on a safari. After looking around we found a great place (Sunny Safari) and on we went to Ngorongoro Crater, a place some people believe to be the Garden of Eden. We decided to only do a 1 day safari, and we think that was enough for us. During our 8-hour safari we saw all the wild animals you can think of (except maybe for giraffes!). We saw over 20 lions, several hyenas, zebras, water buffalo, ostriches, hippopotamus, foxes, jackals, several kinds of birds and other small mammals, and we also saw 4 amazing elephants. We spent a long time looking at the ones in the photo I’m donating for the auction. They are such majestic creatures!

Zebra in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Ngorongoro was an unbelievably amazing place to go to. A place where animals roam freely, the way animals used to all over our world many years ago. I think the only other time I was lucky enough to get a glimpse into what the world must have looked like before humans took over and started displacing wildlife from their natural habitats, was in Yellowstone. In Yellowstone, buffalo have the ability to block the road and people simply have to wait for them to cross.

Us humans, we take up so much space and are sort of bad at sharing our planet with other animals… It’s nice to see that there are still some places on Earth where animals rule. But we must remember that many (or most) of them are under threat by development projects such as roads, bridges, mining, etc., and we should do our best to try to protect them.

San Francisco on a cloudy day
Going back to the donation, like with Kirthi’s order, I had asked Wendy if I could send the photo upon my return from Peru, so I had to do that right away on Monday as well. The photo I donated was printed in 11x14 size and it looked terrific! I’m so very excited about the idea of having one of my photos in an auction, but it’s even cooler that the money raised from the sale will go towards a cause I totally support: protecting wildlife! We’ll see how much it sells for!

That is it for right now. This week is supposed to be gorgeous and I’m looking forward to some beach photography! That is always good. I will post more photos soon!


  1. What a lovely post! I especially liked the line "You can take the girl out of Peru but not Peru out of the Girl!" :) You're awesome, girl! And what LOVELY photos! I love what you've done with colour in the first two - and the wildlife photos... How AMAZING! :) You have magic in those fingers and eyes, girl!

  2. Thank you so much!! I'm happy you enjoyed it!!! <3