Miss Fine

Miss FIne Tuned English

On Friday I attended an event to crown ” MISS FINE TUNED ENGLISH ”  ( Fined Tuned English is the school I presently am associated with)

I grew up in the seventies, when women liberation was in full swing, and women were exerting their rights to be treated as equals, not just “pretty young things”

I learned, and I believe, that women are equal/ better/worse ( in some cases) than men, and that all people should be valued for what is inside their head, not for the face that is on their head.

Then I got into model photography where the looks of the lady was very important.  I also learned that just having looks was enough to be a great model, and that a great make-up
 artist is sometimes more valuable ( to a photographer) then the model themselves.  ( I was lucky to have been taught about make-up by some of the best….)

Fast forward to my life in Ecuador.  It is a different culture.

I was talking with my friend Daniel about his photo business and he said that he was getting a lot of “Queens” (reinas) in for photo sessions.

I asked him what a Queen was?. ( In Toronto a Queen has a completely different meaning… guys dressed as ladies….not something I had seen in Loja… )

A Queen is a winner of an election to be crowned Miss or Reina of something or other. Basically beauty pageants…. and the Ladies take the contests very very seriously.

I have been to three so far and they follow a similar pattern.

  • They Start late ( this is Ecuador)
  • There is usually a dance group as warm up.
  • Then the contestants appear on stage in sexy clothes ( swimwear, or shorts)*

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    They do a dance routine  and then they introduce themselves individually.
  • Then there is a performer ( heart throb male… the audience is largely female)
  • After this the contestants reappear in gowns…. and the gowns are amazing… and it is standard to be wearing 3 inch heels…with some wearing higher
  • Then they do the sub categories ( most photogenic, most hits on facebook…etc)
  • Finally the final 5…
  • And then the ONE
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*The Contest in Zamora was a bit different.  Since the representative of the city can come from different Indigenous cultures the clothing for some was not very revealing and frankly, was more interesting and tantalizing.

What I was amazed about is the audience.  This is a real contest, with each lady having her group of supporters.  They have signs, whistles, noisemakers and they throw all kinds of confetti and sparkles as the contestants walk down the cat walk.



From a photographer point of view, I really like these events.  I have created some great photos.  As a Canadian Man I have trouble with the message this is sending..but this is not my country or my culture.

Images from the Event ( Facebook)





Loja Ecuador

Loja Ecuador

Loja is a city in Southern Ecuador. Safe and friendly it is a City with several Universities and a strong musical heritge.

It is high in the Andes so the temperature is temperate, to cool…. the sun can burn you quickly, but you will need blankets at night.



 It is a city that conbines modern life with Colonial Buildings.

It has a rich culture that combines Pre-columbian ideas, with present day thinking.

google map











Pigs Head, Taxi Ride

Sunday 2 September 2012

12:00 A very interesting experience yesterday.

Went to Malacatos for the birthday of the son of the schools owner. I had a good time, nice people good weather great food and great hosts.

When it was time to leave, Mr b and I walked to the bus station.

While waiting for the bus a rather intoxicated gentleman with a pigs head started talking to us. Usually in these types of situations I don’t try and in-courage the conversation, but I am also not rude. I find the middle ground is the safest.

After about 10 minutes of hearing about the pigs head… the great meat in the cheeks…the ablility to speak english, spanish, russian and chinese ( and spanglish whatever that is) a taxi pulled up that was going our way. It is normal for long distance taxis to be shared.. So we hopped in and much to my dismay, so did the man with the pigs head.  He spent the trip showing me the head, talking, and generally entertaining us ( though not intentionally)

Mr b was laughing so hard he was crying.  I had to hold back, since I was next to him so as not to be rude.

It was a fun ride… Though I had to wash my jeans since I was not sure if I had any blood on them, and it was the first time I have ever had a pigs head on my lap.

( you can check out this link to see a few comments about my adventure)
21:50 I have had a few interesting experiences in my life, but a taxi ride with a drunk Ecuadorian who kept waving his pigs head in my face and putting it on my lap rates as one of the more interesting ones
by Glenn Specht via Facebook



Saturday 1 September 2012

11:20 difficult to contact people by text when the cell network seems to be down….
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

14:16 Sept 1. A long weekend in north America , but not here.

Friday 31 August 2012

14:49 This has been a rough week. It has been cold and rainy which makes it difficult to keep the spirits up.

Mr b leaves in a couple of weeks for his home, and he is really excited about that. It is tough to share his enthusiasm. I have been looking at when and how and how much to get to Toronto to deal with my stuff.

I am also up I’m the air about if I  doing a 2 week course in Zamora or not… First it is on, then it is not then it is.

My ideas for a photo tour are shaping up, but I am having trouble connecting with the people I need to to make I happen.

Oh well, it is Friday and the fair is in town…

Thursday 30 August 2012

9:23 Having a tough time getting motivated this morning…..
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

Wednesday 29 August 2012

12:37 Hates catch 22 situations…. needs to come home to deal with my storage issue, but can’t afford to come home due to paying for storage……
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

Monday 27 August 2012

9:45 Getting tired of the rain….. not a happy camper this morning
by Glenn Specht via Facebook

10:11 On Friday I was told I may have a class on Monday, but they would confirm on Saturday but no messages or calls.

Started trying to contact the school about 8:30. Finally got an answer around 9:00.

Sunday 26 August 2012

16:38 Yesterday I went for a long walk with a nice lady. It was an enjoyable way to re-find a part of the city I had been too before, but wasn’t sure where it was.

Today I spent a couple of hours talking about my favorite topic ( photography) then doing some more work on my web site.

My friend, mr b, has announced his plan to head home to Michigan. I will miss him.

Our recent conversations about what to do and where to go has increased my restlessness. I am looking at other opportunities, but nothing is jumping at me… Though the photo tour idea is still forefront in my brain.

I do have a great idea for a school, but that is being pushed due to not having a proper partner.