Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge~Black and White Moon Solstice

blackandwhitemoonbirdcage2I have a front row seat on my back patio; sitting out there last night, on the eve of the strawberry moon solstice, I enjoyed my view. I’ll have to see what change there is tonight, and if there is a rose or honey color to the moon as some say there can be. The last full moon on the summer solstice was in 1967, the summer of love; I was engaged to be married and over the moon in love.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, Camera+ and its filters.

More mobile photography in black and white can be found at Sally’s blog here.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Casa de Los Angeles in San Miguel de Allende

 

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The Sunday Traveler spent the month of March this year in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico to volunteer at Casa de Los Angeles. Casa is a free day care center for single working moms (and a couple of single dads). The children, that range in age from about 3 months to 4 years of age, are in classrooms according to age; some classrooms are headed by a certified teacher, and those teachers in other classrooms not certified are overseen by the certified ones. There are lesson plans and teaching that fills the day at every age level, even for the babies with songs and music, tactile stimulation and colors.

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The teachers are assisted by volunteers who do whatever is needed, from changing diapers (lots of diapers), to helping with potty training for the toddlers, to helping the older kids with art work, and outdoor free play at recess. Oh, and there is helping with meal times

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The children are served breakfast and lunch, with their day beginning at 8:30, and going home time around 3:30 or so.

For everyone at Casa de Los Angeles, the day is busy with a lot of activities, and before the day’s close, all of the kids are changed into a clean set of clothes, and washed up to be squeaky clean for their trip home, most by bus. It’s a matter of pride for these moms to be seen with their children looking top notch.

The moms “pay” back Casa by providing one hour of work at the center for every day their child is there. Needless to say, the center is also squeaky clean all the time with the moms putting in their time throughout the week. While I was there, there were about 80 children in attendance, and the capacity is at about 100.

I’ll just go into a collage of photos from here to let you enjoy some of these cuties I had the honor of knowing and helping. And, just an fyi because I know some may wonder, there is a waiver the moms sign, and photos of the kids are allowed.

My weekdays were full helping here, and I fell in love with each child…and with the work done by Casa de Los Angeles. I’ll leave a link here to their website where you can learn a little more about it, and please note there is a donation button to make donations if you can help; this is how Casa is funded. I highly recommend this center as a wonderful place doing so much for some of the low income families in San Miguel. If you have any questions, please e-mail me (e-mail on my profile page).

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro in Red

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Bougainvillea. The flower seen tumbling over walls and in the gardens of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Observing in the macro viewfinder of my iPhone, I’m further enraptured with the etchings and striations of the flower.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, in Camera+, edited in the iPhone’s native camera edits, and in Snapseed.

Have a visit over at Sally’s blog for other entries in today’s macro challenge.

 

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The Sunday Traveler~The Faces in San Miguel de Allende, Part 2

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The Sunday Traveler was in San Miguel de Allende for a month in March with the primary goal of providing volunteer assistance at a day care center for low-income moms, Casa de Los Angeles. The weekdays were filled with helping the teachers care for kids, with the wonderful bonus of meeting the moms and grandmothers who came to leave off the children and pick them up at day’s end. This grandmother caught my eye. I’ll be posting more in future about the kids there. But for today, here are those promised photos mostly caught on the fly as I wandered through different areas of San Miguel in my free hours and days. Photos of the people who I spoke to and who agreed to being photographed, or those caught in passing.

Keeping an eye on things in town

 

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In the mercado (market), carving and slicing a papaya

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The street food vendors made delicious gorditas (fat little tortillas stuffed with different things)

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It seemed that everyone did something to help not only themselves, but the community and the tourists

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The following two photos were a coup; two indigenous women who agreed to photos when they usually do not want a photo taken of themselves. The first woman was from a group selling dolls in the jardin (main plaza/garden) who were almost all extremely firm about no photos of themselves. In my first day in town, one  of the doll sellers saw me pointing my camera at her from afar, and came over and told me in no uncertain terms NO picture; I assured her I had not taken it, and would not. I always asked after that and was usually refused. I think you can tell from this first woman’s pose that she seemed resigned, anything to make a sale. I did buy a doll from her.

 

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The next woman, younger (I think) seemed shy, but relaxed

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The downtown area on Saturdays were wedding central at the Parroquia, San Miguel Arcangel, and surrounding churches. Walking into the Parroquia one Saturday to witness one wedding was astounding with what sounded like a full symphony in the church choir loft. Most of my photos were limited to outdoors

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San Miguel is definitely a town for some wonderful people watching

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the baker

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This little girl was seen at a parade in town put on by all the preschools in San Miguel

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All in all, some of the faces of the wonderful people in San Miguel de Allende

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The Traveler will be back next Sunday to introduce you to some of the kids of Casa de Los Angeles

Hasta entonces.

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Nature Down by The Creek

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My morning walks are on a trail that is part of a regional preserve, and has a creek running parallel to the trail; it is fortuitously down the street a couple of blocks from where I live. The beauty of this place is what gets me up most mornings, knowing that early morning is the best time for cool breezes, and the morning light. I’ve also found that these wild turkeys are out grazing then too. They’re thinking breakfast, and I’m thinking Thanksgiving dinner. The creek gurgles along, the birds are waking up and calling to one another, and jack rabbits with huge ears run across the trail in a flash, and are gone.

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Things rustle in the grasses, and I keep an eye out.

“What nature delivers to us is never stale. Because what nature creates has eternity in it”  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Photos taken with an iPhone 6Plus, Camera+ and edited using a native filter within Camera+.

More nature photos can be found on Sally’s blog here

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The Sunday Traveler ~ The Faces in San Miguel de Allende, Part 1

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The Sunday Traveler’s first Sunday exploration from the outskirts of San Miguel proper where I was staying, and the people began finding me. It happened repeatedly throughout my stay in San Miguel de Allende. I would sit down on a park bench, many times in a church courtyard to rest from exploring and photographing the church, and a local resident would come and sit down beside me to strike up a conversation. This beautiful woman, the first who I think was meant to find me, is Lola. A service had just ended inside the church and she had a holy card with a prayer on the back; she asked if I would mind reading it to her as she had never learned to read. I began reading the prayer, and broke into tears at the power of the words, and their meaning to me with the recent death of my husband. I apologized to Lola and explained why I was crying; she took my hand and talked to me as my mother would have. I realize now writing these words that this had been a large missing piece for me, my mother to get comfort from. And so began my unintentional journey for healing in Mexico. As far as I was concerned, I had gone to San Miguel to relax, not have therapy sessions. The Universe thought otherwise. The meetings continued.

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That’s Don Jose above; another very special new friend.

And this last “character”, found me to make me laugh. I asked him if I could take his photo, and he said he’d agree if I gave him US10.00. I told him I’d give him a candy bar I had in my purse

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The Sunday Traveler seems to have turned in to a procrastinator and will return next Sunday with the remainder of the faces I’d like to introduce you to; mostly photos caught on the fly. I didn’t realize just how many I had until I started working on them…this morning.

Hasta entonces.

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ My Mexican Rooster

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San Miguel is full of art and color. I brought back only a couple of things for myself, and this rooster was a must have when I saw it. I blessed it as I put it in my suitcase, and prayed for its safe arrival to its new home. It’s a great reminder of the roosters in the neighboring yard of my San Miguel residence that awoke me every morning. Early.

Photo taken in my kitchen with my iPhone 6Plus, using Camera+, adding a native filter followed by an edit in pic tap go and aquarella. Always fun to play in the creative mode for Sally D’s Monday challenges.

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A Sunday visit to Fabrica La Aurora was another day in San Miguel that brought surprises and beautiful art to be devoured. The Fabrica is a re-envisioned, re-purposed century old cotton mill, and textile factory. The restored buildings now house stylish art studios, galleries, restaurants, home furnishings, jewelry, and antiques.

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Walking in through the main tiled entrance lined by greenery and a fountain in the middle of the walkway, to be met by this display over to the left provided enough intrigue for me to know that this was going to be an all day adventure. And then glancing to the right? Oh, another piece of San Miguel’s many paradises had been found.

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P1070147 The presentation into the entry of this one shop of home decor was gorgeous

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I couldn’t get enough, and I had just walked in to the Fabrica

 

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The Sunday Traveler is a sucker for plants, flowers, and flower pots

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Getting the first gazillion floral photos out of my system right off the bat satisfied my inner gardener, and I was able to move on to the rest of the galleries and shops

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The art galleries were many, and I didn’t even attempt to get artist names. The artists have workshops here also, and have days that they are open to the public coming in as they work.

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The day here was full of walking through all the shops and galleries some housed indoors, and others along alleyways outside.

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Lunch was in order, and sitting in an outdoor cafe at the back of the Fabrica, under a shaded roof and umbrellas was the perfect rest for a cold drink and lunch to re-summon energy for further exploration

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It was a full day to see what else the Fabrica had in store

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The Fabrica La Aurora is quite a lovely place to spend the better part of a day in San Miguel de Allende. It feeds the creative’s soul.

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Next week, The Sunday Traveler will showcase some of the faces of San Miguel.

Hasta entonces.

 

 

 

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ On The Street in San Miguel de Allende

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My iPhone 6Plus was used for this photo, and for many of my photos while I was in San Miguel. I tend to use Camera+ consistently, edit with those filters and for this entry in Sally’s Photo Challenge, I also used PicMonkey to adjust exposure and temperature. I’m pretty sure had I wrestled my DSLR out of my bag and got that set I would have missed this photograph as I walked down the street on the way to the evening’s festivities; this was my first evening in the downtown area and I was stunned, feeling like I had walked into a surreal place and time. A photograph to help me remember the wonders of stepping outside of my comfort zone, the wonders of travel.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ San Miguel Arcangel’s Murals

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The church, San Miguel Arcangel in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, is impressive in its architecture, but the murals have their own striking presence amongst the grandeur. Here in the side Capilla, or chapel, is the Cristo de la Conquista, a sixteenth century image of Christ.

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In none of the reading I have done on San Miguel have I been able to find who the muralists are who created these works in this church; and also for those murals outside the capilla in the main church

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These are just a few of the murals enjoyed for the intricate stories they tell, and the art itself.

To take a bit of a break from churches, next week,The Sunday Traveler will take you shopping at Fabrica La Aurora that contains creative art studios, galleries and restaurants.

Hasta entonces.

 

 

 

 

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