Sunday, October 31, 2010

We're Home!

It seems like it's been a long dry spell without posting.  So much has happened in the last few weeks but I just felt like we had to be in the 'zone' of tending to business and our prearranged assignments of tasks while in the US.  It is all a little unfortunate in a way because I'm not sure we were totally ourselves and we were certainly stressed while travelling about the US, shipping household goods to Cuenca from Denton Texas, meeting with family in Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma, getting married in Tennessee, going on a honeymoon in Missouri, going to the Ecuadorian consulate in Texas, taking care of business matters in Oklahoma, clearing out Rachel's house, having two household sales, and in general burning candles at both ends.  Color us exhausted.  Color us unwinding.  Color us relieved and happy to settle into this new home of ours in Cuenca.  We're home!

I'm hoping that Rachel will add a few words at some point to describe her feelings and emotions as she takes in her new surroundings.  I was in the states for almost a month so my first couple days back in Ecuador were a juxtaposition of dreamlike surrealism and giddy joy.  The 'giddiness' was certainly due in no small part to having the love of my life right here with me.   Its one thing to marvel at your surroundings but when there's no one to share it with it's like the proverbial falling tree in the forest with no one to hear it.  There's no sound.  My experience in Ecuador is at last a shared experience.  If you are a US expatriate you can identify with what I'm saying.  If you go back to the states and tell people about why you keep coming back here they just look at you like you are certainly a Martian.  At least to Rachel, I'm no longer a Martian.

Every time you engage in a conversation with a local here it is a virtual treasure trove of Ecuador culture and the heart of the people.  Today Rachel and I were blessed to meet Dr. Rodrigo Crespo Toral.  If you live in Ecuador, especially in Cuenca, you know the name Crespo.  There are statues and streets named for Rodrigo’s father and his great uncle Remigio in Cuenca.  They are a family of physicians, healers.    Rodrigo was a professor of pediatric medicine at Georgetown University.  At 86, he is still handsome and regal and is obviously proud of his beautiful wife of 62 years.  This day he had two granddaughters, their mother, and his lovely wife at his side.  We ate ice cream together at a wonderful heladoria on Parque Calderon.    It was important to Rodrigo that his granddaughters knew about the city that fostered his development.  The building where we ate our helados once housed the high school where Rodrigo learned Latin and the disciplines of biology and physiology.  I felt so humbled and privileged to be with him this day.  Rachel talked with him about being a specialty neo natal nurse in the US.  “You aren’t retiring are you?” he admonished.  I had the feeling Rodrigo wasn’t long out of the practice of medicine.  His passion was still in his eyes and his steady voice.  We had just brushed with the heart of Ecuador and her heart is well.


T Bird said...

Hello Rachel and Jim! I found your site amazing! Incredibly I know the Crespo family. I was an exchange student from Georgetown University. I studied in Quito ( Catholic University) from 1979 and stayed until 1981. I met and knew Dr. Crespo's son, Ramiro Crespo ( the now famous economist). Are the two grandaughters in the photo Ramiro's girls? I would love to know! Your site brought back many memories of the gorgeous country of Ecuador. Not only is it beautiful but the people are very loving and charming! Best, T Bird

Anonymous said...

Hi T BIrd. Im Ramiro's daughter, yes we are his daughters. Im really happy you loved Ecuador.

-The Crespo family will love to meet again.