I am naive enough to believe that the new year offers us a chance to do better, to change ourselves, our lives, our perspective. So I am always excited about the evening prior to midnight. I must arrange an event, there must be good food and wine and conversation for the new year ritual. So we began preparing early in the day. The menu included cheese fondue and meat fondue and chocolate fondue. Eric was sent to the store three times to ensure that we had all the ingredients necessary. There was good wine and champagne, four fondue pots, fondue skewers, lots of fruit and vegetables, bread, meat, oil etc. We were ready!
One Legged Seagull
Monica and Thierry, my sister and brother-in-law, and their children Edouard and Lorna, arrived early in the afternoon after a ten day sailing trip through the Caribbean. They are staying at the Don Cesar, the pink palace hotel a short walk away. We exchanged stories and Christmas presents sitting on the back porch with the view of the sand dunes and sea grasses between us and the pounding sea. They had had a marvelous week sailing and were relaxed and happy.
The party tonight was smashing. We were all so happy to be together to celebrate. Max and Jason joined us and fit in perfectly with our wild and raucous crowd. Eric's brother Marc arrived for the chocolate fondue part of the evening.
My brother in law, Thierry, asked us each to describe what experience was the best part of 2009; I thought of my first time on a rollercoaster a few days ago when I closed my eyes tightly and prayed alot, of my first time swimming with sharks in the Galapagos and being scared and thrilled at the same time, and how much I have enjoyed this past week cooking in a kitchen that is bigger than my whole apartment in Ecuador; but I chose to describe how wonderful it has been to take time off work and live life as an adventure every day these past few months in Quito. The year has been unusual, in that the first six months were devoted to our preparation to move to Ecuador, and the second half of the year have been focused on living in our new home and adjusting to all sorts of new adventures. Eric's answer to the question was that it has been great for him to experience me being happy most of the time. Many responded that being together to celebrate has been the highlight, and truly it has been marvelous to be together this past week and to feast and party with family.
We drank champagne on the beach, our toes digging into the soft sand. It was cool but pleasant, but I ran into the water to my waist to feel the tug of the sea. The moon was full but the sky was cloudy. I expected an explosion of fireworks at midnight, but they did not materialize. Eric had set off backyard firecrackers at the house, which I thought were rather lame, but they were our only fireworks of the evening, so I am thankful that at least we experienced a few 'juegos pyrotecnicos'. They were nothing like what we see in Ecuador. We tried to describe the 'vaca loca' and the 'castillos' , but I believe that one must experience Ecuadorian fireworks to know what they are like.
It has been wonderful to be with the family this week. There are dozens of delightful moments that we will remember forever. The hardest part of our stay in Ecuador is being so far from family, and I feel so lucky to be with them for the holidays. Maya is absolutely thrilled.
My Father Thinking
I do in fact write out a list of New Year's resolutions. It matters not if I follow them, they are fun to think about and aspire to. Happy New Year!!!!!!
Sunset on the Last Day of 2009!