Prizes and Awards – Quito, July 29, 2007
OAT Group to Peru & Ecuador

A presentation by Dan C. West, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 

The secret committee continued its work even after we arrived in Ecuador and I have been asked to announce a number of awards it now wishes to make.

The CLEVER DISGUISE award goes to Fred Linton. We’ve all been fascinated by the collection of pens in Fred’s breast pocket. What we didn’t know is that these are miniature flasks: Gin, Vodka, Scotch, Bourbon, Canadian, Tequila, etc.

The WET LANDING PRIZE IS GIVEN TO Barbara Preese. She wanted a wet suit because she thought a wet landing meant falling over the side of the boat and swimming ashore frogman style.

The BEST MUSTACHE AWARD IS GIVEN TO Grant Hammersberg. In his previous incarnation he was a Prussian general who collected pre-Columbian ashtrays.

The BIG FOOT prize goes to Dan West. If he has to have a foot that big why didn’t he just go barefoot! Or bring size 47 rubber boots with him!

WHERE’S THE BEEF award. Herb Bernstein. He said, “I’ve told them a hundred times I don’t like pork!”

T SHIRT COLLECTORS prize is given to Jim Bailey. He got a T-shirt at every place we stopped. The best one said, “I don’t know where I am but I’m glad to be here cause they’re giving me free coffee.”

MOST VISITS TO THE BANYOS award to Sidney West. She bought a book in Lima entitled, “Fifty Yards to the Banyos” by Willie Makeit and Betty Will.

BEST MALE HAIRDO is awarded to Herbert Herman. Several of us are hirsute challenged but Herbert had the best comeback. He said, “when I was a young man I grew up through my hair!”

The I MISS TEXAS award goes to Dennis McKillip. One day he said to Jaime, “where are the armadillos?”

The FLAMINGO prize is handed to Steve Stephens. He tried standing on one leg like the Flamingos and fell into the swimming pool. On the way down he yelled “remember the Alamo!”

The NEW HAT prize is presented to Barbara Mikolajawska. She was trying to manage her new hat and her sunglasses and her purse and her camera all at the same time. She got her hat on backwards and took a picture of the inside of the flap!

The I’LL TAKE CHARGE award goes to Elmer Sullivan. When the dog started barking in the middle of the night Elmer said, “I don’t care if he is indigenous, he’s got to go.” And he threw the dog in the hot tub.

The CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH prize is awarded to Susanne Herman. She said, “it looks like to me if you took a baby Frigate and a lava lizard and stuffed them both in a seal and fed that to a giant tortoise you’d have everything in one place and we could cut back on all these transfers from boat to bus to dinghy, etc. & etc.”

The GALAPAGOS FASHION award for Sidney West. She said she hated the orange life jackets. She wanted a pink one.

The GOOD SPORT award is given to Bonnie Stephens. She didn’t get to see the Fly Catcher but she said, “that’s O.K. Steve sleeps with his mouth open every night. He’s been catching flies for years.”

The prize for the BEST COMMENT – Barbara Mikolajawska. She said, “We LOVE Boobies!”

Finally, the TOP GUIDE award goes to Jaime Dominguez. Here is Jaime, on a typical day as he guides our group.

“No Sidney, Lonesome George is not the president of the U.S.”

“Walter is indigenous.”

“Grant, please don’t aim the blow gun at Elmer.”

“Barbara, zip it up.”

“Fred, turn your collar down.”

“Herb, come back to the trail.”

“Dan, watch your head.”

“Please remove all lava lizards from your packs.”

“So, friends, this is what we are going to do. No breakfast, I’m sorry. Bags outside at 4:45. Check luggage at 5:15. Depart at 5:30. Bring shorts, repellant, binoculars, sunglasses, sunblock, good shoes, old shoes, wet shoes, bad shoes and a gift for Lonesome George. Our first stop will be the banyos in 20 minutes. We will make a wet transfer without dinghies by riding the sea turtles. There are no dry landings today so just suck it up. We will swim with the Penguins and then watch the Iguanas sleep and step over the seals on the way to the post office where we will mail a card to Lonesome George in Washington, D.C. Sidney, keep it clean.”

“After that we are going to walk around the sink hole so you can see the Fly Catcher make a dry landing on the Mockingbird’s nest before we have the home hosted lunch. Then you have free time until you have to remember what you ordered for dinner. Then you go to sleep and dream about the mommy and the daddy and the babies.”

Seriously, Jaime, you did a superb job as our tour director and we admire you and thank you. Also, you are a good sport with a sense of humor and we like that too.

See also the earlier Peru Prizes and Awards. First posted 07 August 2007, after file conversion by gMail’s Show as HTML utility. Last updated: 08 August 2007.

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