Friday, October 8, 2010
In just a couple days I'm heading back to the States to get married. I couldn't be more excited! Rachel is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone, let alone me.
Tomorrow some long lost friends arrive here in Cuenca and I get to be with them for a couple days before I leave. I've been reflecting tonight on how things happen here in Ecuador. First, you must understand that people here truly have a warm and forgiving heart. They MUST be forgiving to be kind to us silly gringos! I was thinking back to my first days in Ecuador back in January when it first occurred to me that I knew this was where I was going to spend the last chapters of my life. I encountered the locals in Cotacachi that simply took me under their wing and showed me their heart. The owners of Hostel El Arbolito and the restaurant owner next door became my friends. They looked out for me. They helped me with my pitiful Spanish. They called taxis for me and told me exciting and beautiful places to explore. They fixed my eggs the way I liked them. It wasn't just the perfect climate. It wasn't the majestic and mystical Imbabura. It wasn't just the pan pipes that still bring tears to my eyes from a recognition of a spiritual resonance that permeates this country. It's the people.
Another thing happens when you come to this country with your senses and your spirit open. You meet other people who who have come here from far away places like the US and Canada and Switzerland and Germany and they sense what is going on here too. A comraderie is quickly established. Suddenly you have more friends than you've ever had in your life! I look at the pictures I took of the people that were on my tour in January. They were all here for a visit. More than half of them are now living here!
Some special friends, Bob and Freida (see above), stayed in touch with me over the last 8 months and have found their way back to Ecuador from New Hampshire. They came into Ecuador this time to expand their search for their new home. Like me they fell in love with the charm and the tranquil life in the countryside of the Imbabura. This time they also wanted to experience the beautiful pacific coast. While exploring the sandy beaches north of Salinas they accidentally ran into some other friends of mine from Cuenca who just happened to also be touring over there. Bob and Mike are both former military pilots and share a passion for world history, politics, and the things that make the world turn. They aren't the kind of people that just sit back and watch the tide roll in. They are engaged and passionate about life's experience. Bob had an engineering business fostered at the University of New Hampshire and MIT. Mike was a career Air Force pilot in special ops and has lived all over the world. Mike and Bob immediately became great friends and their wives, Patty and Freida also became great friends. It's like that here. Believe it. Mike and Patty are passionate about Ecuador too. You can visit them at http://grimmstraveltales.blogspot.com/
Tomorrow Bob and Freida will be here to stay with me and experience Cuenca. They will stay in Rachel's and my condo and keep watch over our home while Rachel and I make our way around the midwest visiting family, get married, and honeymoon. The day Bob and Freida arrive in Cuenca Mike and Patty are throwing a party to celebrate their birthdays down at the California Kitchen. I am invited. Bob and Freida are invited. I know I will see other familiar faces there too. If they aren't yet friends, they soon will be. Life is so good.