Thank You Ecuador


There is a special reason for Americans to thank the people of Ecuador.

The biggest asset in Ecuador is the people.  We can eliminate border blindness by exposing ourselves to the people of other cultures.

christmas roses

Roses from the people of Ecuador.

We are bombarded with so much bad news and focus on governmental conflict that we often have a Border Blindness that stops us from knowing the people around the world.

My novel the “65th Octave” dwelt on this.

In this book, the hero and heroine, Robin MacAllen and Talking Panther, stumble across a group of Controllers who try to gain control of the world’s economy.  These Controllers accumulate huge amounts of shares and dump them after creating terror in the marketplace. With their extensive cash hoards, they buy up the market for pennies on the dollar.  When this was written over a decade ago, I worried the premise was far fetched. Now the plot hardly seems dramatic enough!

Here is one of Talking Panther’s dialogues about our connection with all the people of the world.

“In the beginning, we were one. We were in the middle and this was good. All knew the other and all were in harmony with nature. Then some of us wandered and left the middle. Some went west. Others east. We lost touch.

“In the east and the west as they settled, they forgot that there was a middle. For their sons, the east and the west became the middle. Those in the west saw the sunrise and called it the beginning as those in the east saw the same sun setting and called it the end. The difference was confusing and the confusion made the difference an issue.

“In the beginning we were one. We were united by all that was common.  Then as we moved we became united by all that was different. Spread apart the view was beyond the vision of the eagle and it became easier to look at the horizon than beyond.

“Few could see that we are still part of a whole.

“This was the beginning of ignorance and its son fear. Fear made each feel less and made each want to be more. Fear blinded the truth that all are equal and that we really are all one.”

Sometimes… the people working together transcend these illusions created by the news and do something so heart warming that we remember who we all really are.   Such an event is described by Roberto Ribedineira, head of the Ateam Ecuador in Quito.

Memorial Day

By Roberto Ribadeneira

It’s hard to talk about a Day that brings so many feelings, mainly because I am from Ecuador, but I did my best to bring the emotion that I could feel when talking to the people that were involved in a beautiful experience on this day.

Kevin Clifford (co-Director) is one of the organizers of this event. Ramiro Penaherrera (co-Director) – who is a friend of mine –told me that I couldn’t write this piece without talking to Kevin, who he said “is the one that make this happens.”

So I called Kevin – who is always busy – but made the time to talk to me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyascott/9085040420/

Delaware Valley Floral Group Trucks at Arlington National Cemetery, May 25th 2013

For Memorial Day Ecuador and Colombia donated thousands of roses that were sent through an amazing logistic (thanks to Delaware Valley) to a little over 184 cemeteries across the USA. Between both countries over 220,000 long stem roses arrived for the sole purpose to make Memorial Day a very special event.

Ecuador got to send the vast majority of flowers, making all of us really proud.

Ramiro and Sophia who work for www.memorialdayflowers.org, made that possible reaching to fifteen flower farms to contribute to this cause.

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Cub Scout volunteering at Arlington National Cemetery – May 27th 2013

Among the farms and importers that helped we have (in no particular order):
Greenrose, Agrogana, Roses & Roses, Rosaprima, Flores Verdes, Florecal, Ecuatorian Flower, Nevado Roses, Pambaflor, Denmar, Floreloy, Galapagos Flores, Glamour, Ingüeza Roses, ValleFlor, LatinFlor, Royal Flowers, Queens and Sole Farms.

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What this team of great people did on Memorial Day was amazing. With all the flowers that went to the cemeteries, they gave some away to family members to put them on the graves of their loved ones. The important aspect of Memorial Day Flowers is that no one has been forgotten, no life was lost in vain, and that every single sacrifice is recognized and will be remembered.

Kevin said that the purpose is to thank, to tell a story and also to support the families of the ones that have lost their lives. The families are the ones that suffer the most, not only their loved ones are gone, but their burden and suffering goes unrecognized by many, which is why on Memorial Day they need to feel that people support them.

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Arlington National Cemetery – Memorial Day 2012
Photo credit www.memorialdayflowers.org

This is a simple gesture, handling a rose could seem not that important, but to the hearts of the families and to the hearts of the people involved in this event, things are much more than just being there, it is about understanding and getting a symbol that many will remember and that says… we are there for you.

Kevin would like this to be bigger. The idea is to reach more and more cemeteries across the country. He says that words can’t describe the feeling of being part of this. People feel that this noble gesture means that someone remembers and if this can be bigger every year, the feeling would spread across the USA.

Kevin said that when his daughter helped him out, she couldn’t understand why kids have no parents. But that is the sad reality of many children whose moms and dads have died defending the country. That is why this is really important, so children could also understand the sacrifices that others like them have made, because their moms and dads are no longer there: to watch them grow, to teach them, to love them. She now helps and is aware of what the man and woman that serve the country have to sacrifice to keep the nation safe.

The families can’t thank the participants enough. Kevin said that people were brought to tears and felt so happy receiving roses for their love ones.

Once the volunteers get to see this first hand, their lives are never the same, their views change, they have no idea how different they will feel at the end of the day.

I was so touched after I heard Kevin that I volunteer to help next year; I said I could do anything. Kevin said that he will be pleased to let me help out; the more volunteers and the more people involve in the event, the more awareness that the event will have.

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Volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery – Memorial Day 2012
Photo credit www.memorialdayflowers.org

Ramiro didn’t want to take much credit on this. I know him for many years now and he is a good friend and very bright and forward thinking. But my feeling is that without his involvement this couldn’t have been possible in the dimension that it was.

He mentioned that after three years the event has grown. In 2011 10,000 roses were handed out. In 2012 140,000 and this year over 200,000 roses. The logistics are complex and Delaware Valley was great at making it happen. He also said that this helps the families and supports the ones who serve the country. “It’s a way to honor those willing to fight.”

At Arlington they got the most notorious display of flowers. The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation is the organization in charge of making this happen. Ramiro said that the idea is to grow every year and to get more people, more flowers, more volunteers and more farms involved.

“This is a very emotional thing, I have five family members buried at Arlington… so it’s really important to me in a personal level.” Ramiro said to me.

Sophia Romero was behind getting the farms and the roses from Ecuador. When Ramiro mentioned that many roses he said that Sophia was responsible for getting them. The logistics and the quality are also very important, so they made sure they got the best farms on board.

There were over 200 volunteers, among them: boy scouts, girl scouts, cub scouts, firemen from Fairfax County, ex alumni from Landon School. All of them making this a unique day to the many visitors. There were also over 200 florists making arrangements all over the USA. At Arlington Cemetery there were also President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, besides Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense.

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Cub Scouts and Sole Farms Volunteers handing out roses at Arlington National Cemetery, May 27th 2013

The goal for next year is clear. After hearing and getting to know just how great this project is, I can’t help to think that the more people that know about it, the more involvement there will be, and I have to be a part of it.

There are many things that words can’t describe, which is why it´s so important to be there, to participate and to collaborate.

The following is a link to a video of what happened that day; you can hear and feel how emotional people were and how a small gesture can change someone’s life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kOzxIlCaIM

Next year I know many more will be there to help and I sure want to be a part of this; Kevin, Sophia and Ramiro will do their best (as always) to make sure that next Memorial Day reaches even more hearts. I know many of us will be proud to follow their lead.

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Section 60 – Arlington National Cemetery – Memorial Day 2012
Photo credit: www.memorialdayflowers.org

Roberto

What more can I say except to thank the people who made this wonderful gesture!

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priced in gold

Dollar chart from pricedingold.com (1)

The Fed has let the dollar lose most of its strength plus has allowed interest rates to fall so low, that safe investments cannot keep pace with the drop in purchasing power.

multi-currency-chart

Chart from Grandfather Economic Report (2)

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There was a severe global economic recession affecting much of the developed world in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The United States and Japan exited the recession relatively early, but high unemployment would continue to affect Europe and the UK through to at least 1985.  As a consequence between 1980 and 1985, the US dollar had appreciated by about 50% against the Japanese yen, Deutsche mark, French franc and British pound, the currencies of the next four biggest economies at the time. Then the governments reached an agreement and exchange rate values of the dollar versus the yen declined by 51% from 1985 to 1987.

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Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics. Cycles create recurring profits. Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 years as shown in this graph.

stock-Charts

The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.

Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity.  Economic downturns create war.

Here is the war stock cycle.  Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WWIII) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine,  production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet.  The military technology shifts to domestic use.  A boom is created that leads to excess.  Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.

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keppler asset management chart

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Gary

 

Gary

(1) Dollar chart from pricedingold.com

(2) Grandfather Economic Report