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El hombresito en Guayaquil

My final interaction with the city that has been my home for the last year and a half, taking el Hombresito to 4 spots that symbolise best my emotional connections to Guayaquil:

1. The front of Tyrone's home. Ty is the wonderful man that I have shared my life, my hopes and dreams with for this year and half (and who also supported me logistically on this final mission with el Hombresito!). Thank you Tysito for sharing so much with me, for teaching me to cycle lycra-bunny style, for exploring your beautiful country with me (and Mike & Moley!) and for making me laugh so much! I love you and I miss you painfully before we've even parted.

"If I were a painter, with my paintbrush of love I would thank you for your beauty in the fibres of my heart."

2. The mirador (look out point) near my home in El Paraíso (Paradise - luck to land in a spot with such a reassuring name!) I always love to start exploring a new city by getting to know what's being painted on it's walls so on my first weekend was happy to see this painted spot, especially in a city that otherwise is very conservative and controlled in terms of street art. Our home here was the point of meeting many really inspirational colleauges and friends. Big hugs to you Becky, Jonny, Emily, Laura, Maria José, Paz, Andrés and many more.

3. Under bridge mosaics on my cycle route into work at JUCONI: More common than murals or graffiti, these mosaics unders the many overpasses in heavy-with-traffic Guayaquil are commissioned by the mayor. Although perhaps a sign of the controlling nature of local government, this is one of my favourite characteristics about Guayaquil. This one on my route to my work as arts facilitator with The Charlotte Miller Art Project with the children attended by local NGO Junto Con los Niños - JUCONI, the reason that brought me to this city in the first place.

4. Las Peñas: The gorgeous community up the side of the Santa Ana hill where the colourful painted houses are beautifully framed by amazing pink sunsets in the evenings. A barrio known for its bars and salsatecas, Las Peñas is where we shared so many fun nights with friends and JUCONI colleagues. Situated as it is on the edge of the estuary this is a spot that symbolises some of the things I love about South America - it's tropical nature, music and dance!

Thanks Ty for helping with this creative mission! Let's hope to have the chance to take the Hombresito on a similar mission in the UK! (Gullane beach?! London? The midlands) x

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