Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I am finally recovering from a nasty nasty cold. I gave in and prescribed myself a Zpack, even though it is most likely this was a virus, a powerful one at that. I do not want to be ill on the trip. I will not need any vaccinations for the Galapagos. I have had a yellow fever shot and typhoid pills for past trips, and malaria prophylaxis is not necessary for this trip. Of course, it is just not fun to be sick while traveling so I am hoping that I am over

I am starting to pack. I hear that the weather will be very hot while we are in the Galapagos, and I am looking forward to the heat. It has been cold in Baltimore and colder in New York, and I have had enough of winter. Quito will be pleasant. Of course, in January it rained almost daily and it was unusually cold, so I am not sure how it will be when we are there.

Our itinerary starts in Quito for a day and then a trip to Otavalo for the market, and five days in the Galapagos, back to Guayaquil for a short visit, and then the group goes on and Eric and I return to Quito to make further arrangements for our stay. We have met with a lawyer and have an idea of which visa we will need. We will revisit some schools and make a decision to move forward on that. Perhaps we will look at more apartments and think more carefully about where we will live and what sort of transportation needs we will have. This is most likely our last trip to Quito before we move permanently. That sounds so final. I am beginning to get eager for the move. All the preparations make me anxious. Eric has emptied the house and it looks wonderful. Whey did we not clean it up and live like this before? I feel sad that now that the house is neater and more organized and the holes in the walls are patched and painted over, and the closets cleaned out and half the books and the furniture removed, we are not staying to enjoy it. I feel more peaceful with this spare look. The clutter was irritating. I am determined never to accumulate as much as I am accustomed to. Of course, while we are in Ecuador, we will not have much, and we can be sure to live more simply and have less stuff.

I have participated little in the clean-up. It has been Eric's project and he has been putting in late hours to accomplish his task. I have used all sorts of excuses, and of course I have been ill and Pippi has died and I am tired after work etc etc, but in truth it is my ambivalence about moving that has motivated all the obstacles to doing anything to move the house forward. Eric is exhausted and irritable with me. I hope he understands. I am feeling more enthusiastic now that the house is moving forward, although I am not keen to sell it. I feel that if I have no house to come back to, there will be no compelling reason to return.

I am so eager to close up everything and leave. The preparations are overwhelming and the anticipation is disconcerting. I almost feel as if I have said my goodbyes and it is time to go. I am telling the last group of patients about my imminent departure. It is necessary to give my patients alot of warning, but now that I have announced my plans, I feel awkward seeing them again and again before I go. I am sure they will be fine, even if I left tomorrow. I have found doctors for almost every one of them, and they will be well taken care of. But I will miss them. They are my daily concern, and I care very much for each of them. When I tell them, they are encouraging and excited for me, and mostly gracious and encouraging about the move., but I feel guilty for leaving them. I have no problem leaving everything else in Baltimore, and if something happens that should keep me in Ecuador, I will be delighted.

Not formally working for a year sounds wonderful. I feel very lucky to be able to just live life without an agenda, to be able to wake up in the morning and pursue whatever direction or task or project or absolutely nothing at all. Sounds like a great adventure.

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