An Ecuadorian Christmas

An Ecuadorian Christmas

It all started with a conversation about Christmas.  My new Ecuadorian friend asked me what people in California usually do for Christmas,  I answered that we eat a lot of food and give presents to friends and family.  He answered, “Oh, here we give gifts to children that are less fortunate than us.”  (Well, isn’t that just the nicest thing you’ve heard!  Time to re-evaluate my entire existence…) (p.p.s. this whole conversation was in Spanish thank you very much)

The next morning I’m being whisked away by a motorcycle to a far away mountain village to document this beautiful Christmas ritual.  Life!

1234567101381591723121614192928272620222521

 

Happy holidays to all!

 

-Shan

http://smwimages.com

smwimages@hotmail.com

Salem Art Works (SAW)

Salem Art Works (SAW)

I’m living in Brooklyn for the month with one of my best friends (the lovely lady pictured below) and my best doggie friend (the handsome pooch pictured below her).  We decided to road trip up north to Salem, NY last weekend and were luckily able to couchsurf with friends that are currently doing artist’s residencies with Salem Art Works.

What a treat for the senses!  Sculptures big and small cover the property, a number of nearby rivers to dip in, trees that seem too green to be real (or maybe I’ve just spent too much time in the city?)…I have such respect for the people who can build something of beauty from nothing.

Check out their website for more information (they have workshops!) – http://www.salemartworks.org/

saw3saw5saw20saw2saw6saw7

Art studio/sleeping accommodations…

saw8saw10saw4bwsaw12saw11saw14saw13saw15bwsaw19saw22Sarah and Charlie among the sculpted weeds…

saw21saw18

-Shannon

info@smwimages.com

http://smwimages.com

Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (Burma)

The bustling streets of Yangon.  Pedestrians are the bottom of the food chain here.  After staring at the traffic with an obvious look of terror in my eyes, a young woman grabbed my hand to run across the street.  After we made it across, she ran off in another direction and turned back to yell “Not so scary!”.  I like to think that moment will stick with me through life, a reminder that nothing is as scary as it may seem.

m2,3m1 m4 The lovely Shwedagon Pagoda.  I will always remember this place as the time that little boy stole my shoes and ran in circles around me refusing to give them back.  Luckily my friend tricked him into taking his shoes off, stole them from him, and we did a fair trade. Oh how happy I am that I am no longer in middle school! m6m5m7 m8 m10 m11 These boys followed me around most of the day, full of smiles and shy looks.  Finally they came up to me and gave me a bunch on yellow flowers.  Such a sweet moment!  Then we climbed trees and all was good in the world. m14m15 The trip to Kanthaya Beach was a long and bumpy ride.  We were stuffed in the back of an open air truck filled to the brim with people and the all encompassing perfume of the manure we were seated on top of.  The journey was completely worth it!  We ended up in a beach village with not one other tourist and an abandoned beach (besides a couple dogs and a man who wandered through the trees to give me and my friend coconuts). m16 m17 The one restaurant in the village…looks like it belongs in a Wes Anderson film. m18 m19 m20 m21 m22 m24m25 m30 m31 Bagan, Myanmar.  Truly brilliant! m32

 

-Shannon

info@smwimages.com

http://smwimages.com

Been traveling!

Been traveling!

What an adventure these last 7 months have been!  Starting in Thailand, exploring through Myanmar and Laos, and finally stopping in Cambodia to volunteer at a school for a few months.  Traveling is the best form of education I’ve ever experienced.  Anything is possible, you can live any life you want!  Here are a couple quotes that have inspired me throughout my journey-

“Maybe you’ll find direction around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you.” – Grateful Dead

“If you want it, you’ve got it…just BUST A MOVE!”  – it’s the truth!

I’ve taken heaps of photos but I’ve been unable to upload them since my computer broke down mid-trip (noooo!).  For now, here are some iphone beauties for ya!

1517649_806151909411792_1154215550_n 988323_741080292585621_1864148974_n 1465319_779531508740499_1741179309_n

Shan

Fiddlin’ away!

fiddleI was lucky enough to attend the Topanga Fiddle and Banjo Festival this Sunday morning!  What an inspiring place to be for a wannabe fiddler.  It was shocking to see how young and incredibly talented all of these kids were..(why didn’t I stick with violin in 5th grade!!).  Don’t miss it next year – https://www.facebook.com/topangabanjofiddle

Wish I took more pictures but I was busy enjoying the impressive musical jammings-fiddle9fiddle7fiddle12fiddle13fiddle11fiddle3fiddle6fiddle5fiddle4fiddle10fiddle2

 

-Shan

http://smwimages.com

smwimages@hotmail.com