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Bob Ramsak
Works at Piran Cafe
Attended Ohio University
Lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia
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A family finds shelter from a brief storm on Calle Cuenca in Quito, taken during a 55-minute stroll in the Ecudorean capital’s Centro Historico on Easter. That walk through the rain also included an Easter Sunday first: I was recognized on the street by transvestite prostitutes. I felt as though my Quito ‘moment’ had finally arrived.  :)

Three-and-a-half vignettes, about a dozen images and a nifty soundtrack, too, are here: http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/12/scene-heard-55-minutes-in-quitos-centro-historico-easter-edition/

#travelphotography #streetphotography #streetpics #streetphoto  
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nice shots from a part of the world that I've never seen.
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Racist Posts on NY Cop Blog Raise Ire at Time of Tension via @ProPublica

“It’s very disturbing stuff. Outrageous stuff,” says a spokesman for the NYPD. “We see it. It’s a problem.”
“It’s very disturbing stuff. Outrageous stuff,” says a spokesman for the NYPD. “We see it. It’s a problem.”
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Despite Chevron’s best efforts, charges that it knowingly contaminated large areas of rainforest in Ecuador five decades ago won’t go away – largely because evidence keeps surfacing that counters the oil giant’s flippant denials.

Video footage recently surfaced showing the oil giant allegedly covering up its Amazon contamination.
Despite Chevron’s best efforts, charges that it knowingly contaminated large areas of rainforest in Ecuador five decades ago won’t go away.
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An Accordion Named Freedom

As a former squeeze box player I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to capture this blind man playing an accordion whose name is just another word for nothing left to lose. :)  Quito, Ecuador, 13-Apr-2015.

A little bit more is here:
http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/14/an-accordion-named-freedom/

#HQSPUrbanStreetPhotos  +HQSP Urban & Street Photos curated by +Michael Sonntag +Оксана Крысюкова +Alejandro J. Soto   +Daniel Grey  and  +Jean-Philippe Jouve

+BTP Street PRO #btpstreetpro #BTPpro  


#streetphotography #streetphotographers   #travelphotography #streetpics #streettogs #streetmusic #travel #traveltips #traveling #travelling #travellingtheworld  
#quito #Ecuador #SouthAmerica #LatinAmerica   #accordion  
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The best part about market day in Otavalo, Ecuador, home to the largest indigenous market in South America, isn’t so much the bottomless piles of colorful merchandise on offer. Chances are good that you’ve seen much of it elsewhere, quite likely in your hometown, maybe even being sold by Otavaleños themselves, albeit at a much steeper price.

Holding most appeal is the never-ending dialogue between past and present that can be seen and felt, if not necessarily heard, around every corner and down every aisle of the sprawling collection of stalls on Plaza de los Ponchos –ground zero for the shopping masses that visit on Saturdays– and those that spill over onto several blocks of a number of adjacent streets to consume nearly a third of the town’s center.

A travel notebook and stock image gallery are here: http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/14/otavalo-ecuador-stock-image-gallery-and-travel-notebook/

#Otavalo #Ecuador #travelphotography #travelblog #streetphotography #markets

#BTPStreetPro+BTP Street PRO . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey , curated by +Werner Polwein

#HQSPUrbanStreetPhotos  +HQSP Urban & Street Photos curated by +Michael Sonntag +Оксана Крысюкова +Alejandro J. Soto   +Daniel Grey  and  +Jean-Philippe Jouve
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No, I'm not a big fan of cruise ships. I abhor them if they're anywhere near the Venetian Lagoon, one place they absolutely do not belong.

Here's a little rant that's been percolating for a very long time: http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/11/venice-cruise-ships/

Everything about Venice is exceptional. Its preservation requires an exceptional debate, one beyond the standard, staid and unsustainable ‘jobs vs environment’ cliché that’s drowning the city.

#Venice #travel #cruiseship  
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If a person making $4.85, how much would be the union due?I guess the wage system is different here in California, I guess the cost of living in Florida much less in CA. Any other experience other than Cruise line, maybe there's other job in trade, how about security officer, all you need is a guard card, you can get it online or a day in class, I'm sure this job is needed, how about welding, painter, caregiver, cook, or forklift driver, there's lot of job out there, you can find on the website, don't give up hope, may God bless you all, thank you for sharing.
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‘Do Not Take From Me Your Laughter’ – Happiness in Latin America

Is this not infectious?

This snapshot of a sea of laughs and smiles was taken on Palm Sunday afternoon at the Plaza Grande in Quito’s Centro Historico. A sizable crowd gathered and quickly took over the eastern steps of the cathedral to listen to a pair of street comics perform. I couldn’t follow what the two were saying or miming and could barely see what they were doing.

[ post is here: http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/18/do-not-take-from-me-your-laughter-happiness-in-latin-america/  Or, scroll on. :)  ]

But it didn’t matter.

The laughter was loud, raucous and infectious. Just seeing so many people gather somewhere, outside, to enjoy a bit of street theater was enough to put a smile on my face.

Are you familiar with Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Your Laughter“? In the three short and succinct lines which open the poem, Neruda clearly summarizes one of humanity’s most vital essentials:

    Take bread away from me, if you wish,
    take air away, but
    do not take from me your laughter.

And then he concludes:

    Laugh at the night,
    at the day, at the moon,
    laugh at the twisted
    streets of the island,
    laugh at this clumsy
    boy who loves you,
    but when I open
    my eyes and close them,
    when my steps go,
    when my steps return,
    deny me bread, air,
    light, spring,
    but never your laughter
    for I would die.

Typical Latin, no? Actually, quite possibly.

According to Gallup’s annual Positive Experience Index released on March 19, Ecuador finished in a tie for second, just behind Paraguay, as the world’s happiest country. Remarkably, for the first time in the poll’s ten-year history, every country in the top-10 is in Latin America. (Neruda’s homeland, Chile, is in a tie for 15th with Canada, Bhutan, Rwanda, the US, The Netherlands, and a few others.)

The survey, designed to measure things that GDP and wealth do not, included the following questions:

- Did you feel well-rested yesterday?
- Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?
- Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?
- Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?
 - Did you experience enjoyment?

And the key take away? Gallup summarized:

“Money isn’t everything in life. Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 118th in terms of GDP (nominal) per capita, yet when it comes to positive emotions, it ties for second. There is much to be learned from Latin America on this International Day of Happiness because while they aren’t the wealthiest people in the world, they are certainly among the happiest.”

Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher, editors of +International Living , who have extensive experience in Latin America and who currently live in Ecuador, shared their perspective on “Why Latin America?” for +The Huffington Post a few days ago.

Beyond Latin Americans’ tendency to live for the day, the key points in Haskins and Prescher’s analysis are these:

“A value system that puts family and friends above ambition and money. An outlook that makes living, laughing and loving in the moment rather than putting happiness on hold for some future goal. An environment that easily and naturally meets the most basic needs of shelter and food. Healthcare that is considered a right for all instead of a privilege for a few.”

Check it out here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzan-haskins-and-dan-prescher/latin-american-countries-happiest_b_7012544.html

Locally, I’ve noticed that people in Quito do smile a lot, enjoy laughter, and aren’t afraid of showing respect.

That’s infectious, too. And I’ll miss it when I leave in three weeks time. Thankfully, Colombia, where I’m heading next, was tied with Ecuador and Guatemala for the runner-up spot as well. I’ll report back on before summer’s end.

And for the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the 460th straight on the blog, was snapped with a smile on 29 March 2015.


#laughter #travelphotography #travelblog #Quito #Ecuador #LatinAmerica #happiness #Gallup #PositiveExperienceIndex #internationaldayofhappiness #streetphotography  
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Two Parrots Misbehaving at a Convent

Like most hot-blooded creatures, parrots enjoy a little nibbling at the back of the neck, too. But frolicking in the courtyard garden of an early 16th century Franciscan monastery? Oh mercy.

Quito, 15-Apr-2015

A little bit more is here: http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/17/two-parrots-misbehaving-at-a-convent/

+BestTopPhotographer +Rinus Bakker +BTP Bird Pro +BTP Daily Highlights the Best Photo 

#birdloversworldwide +Birds4All curated by +Walter Soestbergen #birds4all  

+HQSP Birds #hqspbirds  

#birdphotography #birdphotos #Ecuador #Quito #fotosecuador  
#parrots
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Parrots! Just...parrots!! Yay!
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Afternoon light during lunch hour at Centro Cultural Metropolitano in Quito, Ecuador on 13 April 2015.

Fits nicely with these few lines from Weapons of Light by Ecuadorean poet Jorge Carrera Andrade:

    Now I understand the eternal language
    Like that of the far distant and the hidden
    Because the light at midday had entered
    My body of shadow even to the bones.

A little more here: http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/15/light-at-lunch-hour-quito/

#BTPMonochromePro+BTP Monochrome Pro . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey , curated by +Jesse Martineau

#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Nader El Assy +Howard Salmon and  +tri rini nuringtyas

#MonochromeArtyClub
#breakfastartclub
+Breakfast Art Club 
+Simply Arlie
#Quito #Ecuador #monochrome #monochromeworld #monochromephotography #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelblog #latinamerica #SouthAmerica  
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Beautiful +Bob Ramsak. Thank you for sharing with +Breakfast Art Club.
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I was profoundly saddened by the news that Eduardo Galeano passed away yesterday from lung cancer in a Montevideo, Uruguay hospital at 74. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’ve read Galeano almost every day since returning to Latin America in mid-February. It’s equally honest to say that I’ll continue to do so.

His classic “Open Veins of Latin America” remains a personal standard reference even today, more than four decades after it was published. His 2009 book, “Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone”, has been an almost daily go-to when I’m stumped on ways to free a sentence from the weight of extra words, or when I’m confronted by a historical tidbit that’s been rendered almost meaningless by thoughtless post-colonial deconstruction. “

How would Galeano describe that?” is generally my first mode of inquiry. I always come up well short, but the process is always a challenge, always enlightening.

RIP.

#EduardoGaleano  
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Nice selection by +PRO Winners and I'm delighted to have a photo included. But I think this weekly compilation would be better served if the number of photos included would be cut down to perhaps 20-30.
 
You know when it's Monday, it's time to see most incredible photos of past week
More than 120 photos were chosen as the best for second week of April.
See, enjoy and share ! :)
The winners are:
+Feli Gil Davila
+Rob Tilley
+Paul Werner Süss
+Jean Michel Missri
+Susanna Hibiskus
+Fadhel Dhaouadi
+Barbara Manciulli
+Laura Macky
+Christian Hoiberg
+chollet Patrick
+Michael Bennett
+Stefan Kierek
+Evi Verstraeten
+chollet Patrick
+Sharon Landis
+Sandrine Berjonneau
+BTP Macro Pro
+Leo Schubert
+Toru Nagashima
+Detlef Reich
+Mrinalini Mazumder
+Ralitza Tchiorniy
+Stefan Kierek
+Susan Portnoy
+Piper MacKay
+Shayne McGuire
+Robert Buchkremer
+Andrzej Tomczewski
+Shayne McGuire
+Antoine Climent
+Chandro Ji
+Alex James
+Maciej Markiewicz
+Amanda Moore
+Felix Inden
+Steven Hayman
+Antonia Irma
+Bernd Flicker
+Robert Buchkremer
+Silke Tüxen
+Wes Hardaker
+Stanislava Šálková
+hedi hurras
+Robert Vierthaler
+Rodolfo Seide
+Bob Ramsak
+Kanlaya Chungsangornpornsuk
+Kenny Jones
+julia A
+Susanna Hibiskus
+Toru Nagashima
+Walter Soestbergen
+Jerry Blank
+Jesse Martineau
+Nancy Dempsey
+stefano savi
+Kamil Dolny
+hedi hurras
+Wes Hardaker
+Dominik Moser
+Silke Tüxen
+miwa kai
+julia A
+Marina Versaci
+Simonetta Da Pra
+Sharon Landis
+Randy Hume
+Stefan Kierek
+Rob Tilley
+Andrea Catelli
+Detlef Reich
+Hugh Ferguson
+Jan Stria
+Mike Hankey
+Christian Hoiberg
+Felix Inden
+Thomas Deckert
+Jean Michel Missri
+Robert McMillan
+Derek Evens
+Nigil Haroon
+Antoine Climent
+Barbara Manciulli
+Robert Buchkremer
+Bad Nasnas
+Piper MacKay
+Roxanne Bouche' Overton
+Piper MacKay
+Stefan Kierek
+Shayne McGuire
+Alan Shapiro
+Russ Bishop
+Art Fernandez
+Hans-Juergen Werner
+Jerry Blank
+miwa kai
+dietmar rogacki
+Andi Fritzsch
BEST WEEKLY PHOTOS (W-2, AP12, 2015) from PRO photographers Hint Click on the images to open slideshows
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This beauty is a Black-Chested Buzzard-Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus), another eagle I met during my trip to the Parque Cóndor, a rescue and release bird park and sanctuary near +Otavalo, Ecuador*, late last month. Up close, absolutely stunning.

For the curious, I have a 7-image gallery here. Do check it out. :) 

http://www.pirancafe.com/2015/04/01/black-chested-buzzard-eagle-stock-image-gallery/

28-Mar-2015


+BestTopPhotographer +Rinus Bakker +BTP Bird Pro +BTP Daily Highlights the Best Photo #hqsbirds  

#birdloversworldwide +Birds4All curated by +Walter Soestbergen #birds4all  
+HQSP Birds 

#birdphotography #birdphotos  
#Ecuador #Otavalo
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garuda 
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Work
Occupation
Journalist, editor and photographer. Founder of PiranCafe.com.
Skills
Reporting, copy editing, photography and blogging. Mediation. I'm a peace maker.
Employment
  • Piran Cafe
    present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Previously
Cleveland, Ohio, UA
Story
Tagline
I'm a reporter, editor, photographer and blogger with a lust for travel, art, culture and justice. I've visited 54 countries and counting.
Introduction
I'm a reporter, editor, photographer, blogger & roaming rambler with a lust for travel, art, culture and justice. I've visited 54 countries and counting.

Born in Slovenia (then Yugoslavia), I spent much of my life in the U.S. midwest before returning permanently to Slovenia in 2004.

I’m a long-time professional journalist with more than twenty-five years’ experience as a reporter, editor, copywriter and translator. I’ve reported and written extensively on culture, politics, development, travel and Olympic sport.

From 2000 through 2012, I focused almost exclusively on coverage of international track & field and distance running. I covered the last three summer Olympic Games, several World Championships and dozens of other international, continental and regional competitions on four continents. I worked closely with the IAAF, the international governing body for track and field, first as a chief correspondent and later as an associate website editor where I oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. I regularly reported for Reuters, The Press Association and dozens of newspapers, magazines, and news and specialist websites.

Founder of Piran Café.

I'm a frequent traveler and love sharing tips, insights and photos from the road. You'll find quite a bit of that on my G+ stream.

As a photographer, my work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in Slovenia and the United States.

If you're looking to add me to a circle I would suggest topics such as (but not limited to) the following:
  • Travelers
  • Bloggers
  • Photographers
  • Writers
  • Expats
If confused, please ask. :)

Travelers, travel bloggers and other kindred spirits:
If you're planning to visit Ljubljana, and have any questions or are seeking suggestions, feel free to get in touch. I'm happy to help in any way I can, and will be delighted to meet up for a drink and even play tour guide for a bit if I'm in town and have the time.

Circling Policy (v 1.1):  :)
I enjoy connecting and engaging with people from all walks of life and all corners of the planet. Note however that I'm continually at or very near the G+ 5,000 limit, so as much as I'd like to I can't automatically follow everyone back. That said I regularly remove inactive G+ers, with 14 days of inactivity generally set as the cutoff, to make room for others I'd like to circle.

Rules? Just a few: I will not tolerate racism, hatred, religious extremism or bigotry in any form. Also know that I'm not a fan of cat GIFs or empty profiles.
Bragging rights
I've witnessed four of Usain Bolt's world records and I've had cholera. Not in that order.
Education
  • Ohio University
    Political Science, Journalism, 1988
Basic Information
Gender
Male
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