Tuesday, January 15, 2013

From the Heart

Some of you who read our blog try to imagine what it would be like to live in Ecuador.  Some of you already live here and know us.  We all take in our environment and the people around us in different ways so our stories may seem different.  I guess our stories are all true in our own eyes.


It has been an unexpected gift to get to know the indigenous family that has been living in our development.  Rodrigo, the young father of three sometimes battles the bottle and his culture doesn't know how to help him.  His dutiful wife Rosa is the persona of resolute caretaker of their children.  She is the glue that keeps this family functioning.  The children, Sebastian (13), Estephania (11), and Eva (8) are products of dysfunction.  They are in most ways like all other children.  They love to play.  They love to laugh.  They know when to stay away from Dad and they know their mom is the boss.  They are also sponges to receive all the love you can give them.  There are many families like this in Ecuador.

Rachel and I eschewed our normal routine this morning in favor of an early morning walk down our lane.  I think we realized how much we'd been missing.  Early morning is our favorite time of day.  The mountains around us were glorious.  The songbirds were in an audition for prime time.  Having Doggie waiting for us just outside our back door was proof he wanted in on this too.

Some day I will tell you about how we fell in love with Doggie, but for now its just about the walk.  It was clear that Doggie had a specific agenda in mind this morning.  As we left the front entrance to Yanapamba with Doggie we met the lovely indigenous children, Sebastian, Estephania, and Eva, all on their way to school.  Doggie seemed delighted that he had brought together his favorite families for a walk.  He was now in charge of our protection (and entertainment) as we walked down the lane.

Some time ago little Eva had run up to me unexpectedly after we were playing frisbie and she just hugged me as if never to let go.  I was so stunned that I didn't know quite how to respond.  We share so few words but the language of love and warmth is universal.    I promised myself I'd never let a spontaneous gesture of affection pass by us again.  As Eva came running up from behind I reached out for her hand and she drank it up and gave me a smile that made my day.

I already knew how to speak frisbie with the kids. 
¡ Corre! ¡ Salta! Gran captura! Gran tiro! 
We have played endless hours and I am their cheerleader when they catch and throw well.  Going to school is another matter.  First, I'm sure they are wondering what their friends are going to make of this....a gringo couple walking hand in hand with them to the bus stop.  Somehow, it didn't seem to matter to any of us.  They just seemed happy to know that we wanted to be with them, to share in the magic of the day.
Rachel was in her glory too.  She is speaking Spanish much better than she gives herself credit for and being with the kids was license to exercise it without concerns for accuracy in grammar or pronunciation.  Kids are our best teachers since they seem to have endless patience and forgiveness for our elementary attempts.

This is Rachel's photo debut of her shortened and natural hair color.  Say good bye to Clairol my love!  You are beautiful au natural!  It is so wonderful for her to wake, jump out of bed and be on our way with no hair fuss what so ever.
Front to back:  Eva, Rachel, Estephania, Sebastian
We learned from the kids they make this sojourn with Doggie each day.  He seemed in his glory pretending to protect us from the multitude of neighborhood dogs that barked from behind the fence.  When we arrived at the bus stop the kids seemed proud to be connected with us in front of their friends.  I think we were even more proud to be with them.