An Ode to Ecuador

This is going to be a blog. Or a love note. Because the world is SO big. I will never know it. All of the photos I see and all the roads I travel and all the faces I encounter have their own story. Spending 6 months in Ecuador is only the tip of the iceberg. I could stay twice as long and still feel like a novice. I met dozens of friends from around the world who touched my heart in different ways and I hardly even know them. And I probably never will. It breaks my heart to part with them, yet I’ve learned so much. I pray that our lives will cross in the future.
Nothing lasts. Change is inevitable. I think that idea is hard to grasp and fully understand the implications, nevertheless it is one lesson I have been forced into learning. Saying goodbye to this life that I have created, so that everything I have been becoming just disperses, might help me come to know and understand what is left that is me. Also, I’m struggling to know how much to let go and what to hold onto. Because while things do change, living a life without any attachment or permanence would be a distant and lonely one.
Living in Ecuador has giving me the humility not only of my undeserved, gross affluence but a glimpse of wealth that dwarfs mine. Living in Ecuador has allowed me to let my hair down and realize my destiny as a free-spirit. Living in Ecuador has shown me that more than ever, that I have no clue what life has in store for me. Living in Ecuador has taught me to keep my eyes down and doubt my trust in people. Living in Ecuador has given me a full appreciation of Latin time that places a greater value on relationships, quality, and going with the flow than punctuality and productivity. Living in Ecuador has planted dreams in my mind that may grow into amazing things. Living in Ecuador has devastated my reputation as a cheap date that gets drunk after 3 drinks. Living in Ecuador has reinforced my desire to be multilingual and demonstrated the value of multilingual communication. Living in Ecuador has forced me to see that I am stronger than I imagined and yet more vulnerable than I was aware. Living in Ecuador has shocked me by how inaccessible the developing world is for people with handicaps. Living in Ecuador has given me the travel bug. Living in Ecuador has made me appreciate the green spaces, clear air, and regulations in the US. Living in Ecuador has made me miss public restrooms, sanitation laws, and clean streets. Living in Ecuador has taught me a new meaning of family that inextricably binds people together from womb to tomb. Living in Ecuador has created space for me to step back and think about life. Living in Ecuador has assured me about certain aspects of myself and put others in doubt. Living in Ecuador has challenged me to stay above the degrading culture of machismo and endless sexual harassment. Living in Ecuador has introduced me to the complexities of what it means to be a developing country. Living in Ecuador has brought me great joy, inner peace and true love.

Living in Ecuador is just the beginning



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