Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and cherry pie. It was a pared down Thanksgiving celebration one day ahead of time, and it did feel like a special occasion, but nothing like what we are accustomed to. Maya expressed her disappointment that it was not like our usual yearly event, with days of preparation, hours and hours in the kitchen and massive amounts of food and so many people. I think that is the most difficult part of our lives here; that we are always surrounded by so many friends and family at home, and here in Quito it is always just the three of us.
There is much to be thankful for. Our lives are settling and we are adapting to our new home. Maya is making progress at school, Eric's projects are moving along, I am enjoying my Spanish and salsa lessons and am seeing and learning more about Ecuador each week. I am almost enjoying myself too much in that I am not sure I can return to my life at home. I like the freedom I have now; I am not compelled to follow any particular direction. I can decide how to conduct my life day to day and pursue the projects that interest me. I think Eric is getting worried that I will not return to work. He is right that if I had the choice I would not work again. But without my contribution, we could not live our lives as we do, so I understand that I do not have the choice and that the freedom I am enjoying is limited. I appreciate and am thankful for the time that I have.
I have made all the arrangements for Maya to stay with Isabel and make it to all her extracurricular activities. I am packed and ready to go to the jungle tomorrow morning. Eric will be working all night to get his equipment ready for the experiments he is planning while at Shiripuno. My cameras are ready, my batteries charged, I am feeling better and less defeated by my flu, and believe I am finally on the way to recovery. I will have no computer or power or internet in the jungle, but will keep writing and download everything when I return on Monday.