American-born photographer Thomas Ives has worked for international news and feature magazines for over 38 years. His photo essays and images have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Geo, Stern, Newsweek, Life, Smithsonian, and many others publications. He currently lives in Vilcabamba with his Ecuadorian partner.
Dialog in the kitchen (translated from the Spanish):
“Should we put the grageas (sprinkly bits) on?”
“Sure, he’s a old Gringo.”
“Well I mean did he ask for them?”
“No but they’re cool, he’ll like them … it’s too late anyway, I already put them on.” “Chevere no?”
I spent three minutes staring at this technicolor dish, thinking about how much similar bits of colored sugar meant to me as a kid, while sitting on a stool at a Rexall Drug store soda fountain in small town Ohio, and another two minutes removing them so I didn’t crack a tooth.
So the owner and mesero would not think their efforts went unappreciated, I removed the orphaned grageas from the plate and wrapped them in a napkin, which I tucked it into the small coin pocket of my jeans.
I walked home a bit tipsy from the sugar rush. Reminding myself to get them out of my jeans pocket as soon as I arrived at the casa.
Well, things happen after a big night out … promises are made and broken … things go missing, important things are forgotten!
They resurfaced a few days later as tiny dots of sugary dye randomly spotting a relatively good dress shirt, that was now a relatively great work shirt for the yard or a unique conversation starter at parties: “Are those banana split sprinkle splotches?”
— Thomas Ives
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Copyright © 2015 by Thomas H. Ives