Sunday, July 5, 2009


I always expect July 4 to be a bigger event than it is. The parade in Woods Hole was small and silly and fun to watch, but not particularly impressive. We drove to Falmouth to watch fireworks on the beach and when they were over we went to bed. I am always disappointed because I want to feel that the day is meaningful.

I look forward to the festivals and celebrations in Ecuador. I want to stay as long into December as possible so as not to miss anything. Apparently, in Quito, all of December is a celebration. Carnival happens in February and is not to be missed. Throngs of people fill the streets throwing water balloons, flour, eggs, and more at each other. There are events every month, in most major cities, most of them tied to religious rituals, primarily Catholic, but many older indigenous ceremonies. Political holidays are celebrated as well. Every month has at least one long weekend with a ceremony or fiesta attached, but often the precise date is not certain until the last minute. Different cities are known for particular celebrations, so I will have to organize our weekends to make it to the various events.

I found out that July 16, which happens to be my birthday, is a special celebration for a 'Virgen de Carmen'. We will miss it this year, but will plan to be there in 2010. I a still debating about our departure date. I will try to get my visa next week, which will make it possible to leave anytime after that, but there are so may other considerations. Why not just leave and start my year in Ecuador sooner? I have been preparing in so many ways for so many months, it almost feels redundant to stay in the United States any longer. I have a few more days of work, more days of paperwork to finalize things, the house will no longer be mine in ten days!!!

On the other hand, changing our dates will be costly, and having a few extra weeks gives us time to finish up many details and leave less undone. My daughter arrives home from her sojourn in Italy and France on July 29, so I may have a chance to see her before I go. Maya will be a happy to see more of her friends before we go, I will have a chance to celebrate my departure over an over again. I am going back and forth with the decision; it is rather wonderful to have the freedom to make such choices.

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