Monday, June 29, 2009


I am existing in at least two realities at present. On the one hand, all the disparate pieces involved in our move to Ecuador are coming together and we are on track to leave in early August. On the other hand, I am feeling overwhelmed and astonished at how far behind I am in readying the house and wonder if I can actually do it. When I am away in Canada or Cape Cod or wherever I manage to escape for a short time, I look at our progress from afar and we seem to be fine. Occasionally Eric gets that 'deer in the headlights' look and I panic momentarily and feel paralyzed. I could not sleep last night after coming home late and finding myself behind on my own personal schedule. My friend Daphne volunteered to come over and help pack tonight while the children watched 'Starwars' and that seemed like a good idea. I bought boxes at our storage unit and was home when Maya finished ballet. I cooked lasagna while Maya practiced violin and had the table set and ready when Daphne and Belina and Marius arrived. The children were happy to watch the movie while sitting on rolled up carpets in the dining room, the computer on a chair and the lights dimmed. Daphne and I made some progress in Maya's room and the upstairs den, but in truth moved forward just a tiny bit. I had hoped to have the house essentially ready for emptying when Eric arrives next Monday, but he will be disappointed when he realizes how much more we have to do. We will have a week to finish--we have a deadline and that helps, and I am thankful for that. I cannot wait for the day when I can choose to do anything but packing for the evening.

I have piled up my Spanish and Ecuador books in a corner, ready for what I wonder. I will not have time to read about anything or learn Spanish before I go. I had planned to be far better prepared, but work and Maya and packing and everyday life has filled up the hours in the day. I wonder if it is better to be prepared or just to 'wing it', to experience a new place without a plan or any expectation. I will learn about Ecuador when I am there and living it.

Not having books to read is worrisome. I looked online at the 'kindle' machine from Amazon, which can store some 1500 books at one time. Perfect for me; I will not have to bring any books with me, just load them up before I go, and read them at my leisure. Sounds like the perfect idea, but then I hesitate; having my computer and my camera and my iphone and a kindle, so many electronics to keep track of, and will I be so noticeable that I will be a target for thieves? And what if something does not work with the little machine and I will not be able to get it fixed? But perhaps the same machine is available in Ecuador? It appears that everything available in the US is also available to Ecuadorians who have the means. I am not sure what first world and third world mean anymore. There are parts of Baltimore that are third world environments and segments of Ecuadorian society that are as first world as any other. Presumably every technological gadget we have here will be available in Quito. My parents gave me money for my birthday with precise instructions to use only for myself, so this may be the perfect acquisition.

My sense is that everything that I may want or need is possible in Quito. We will not necessarily have the means to purchase all that I want, but whatever is essential will be available. We will live simply, but we will not feel deprived or too limited. I will have to adjust to living with less, which Eric believes is a good lesson for all of us. I feel prepared for that; I have been limiting my purchases for months and months and usually do not feel too horribly deprived. Life is remarkably possible with far far less.

Everyone asks me how Maya is managing with the impending move. She seems just her usual self. Occasionally she will express concern about not seeing her friends, but mostly she lives day to day, not really thinking about the move, or at least not saying much. She lives her life in Baltimore, and one day she will be living her life in Ecuador and she will live day to day there too. She seems neither happy or sad about the move, it just is. She is prepared, having heard about it for months now, watching her belongings disappear, her bed dismantled, her room closed down. She does not seem distressed in any way, her life just happens to include a move to Ecuador for a year. She does not worry about speaking the language. I want her to study before she goes, and have bought workbooks and storybooks, but she is uninterested. She appears to have no doubts that she will learn the language when she gets there. I wish I was as calm about it all; how lucky she is to have such faith and so little concern.

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