Friday, May 28, 2010

Preparing to Leave Ecuador

Eric leaves Ecuador in three weeks and Maya and I stay a little longer. I had planned our return to be a few days after school ends, but I was confused about dates, and the last day of school is earlier than I had thought. I have committed to starting back at my office August 2.

Which means we must start organizing our departure from Ecuador, which is difficult because none of us want to leave. Going to Machu Picchu was our last 'blast' and now we are all walking around with long faces and dread, and avoiding the inevitable. In addition, I have been recovering from both a cold and some sort of GI event, so I have been under the weather since we flew back from Peru on Tuesday. I have had little desire to do anything, and cannot get excited about packing up the house to leave.

I have been burying myself in books, reading furiously, which is what I usually do when I am ill, as if being sick allows me to indulge myself and let reading be my first priority. I am addicted to my kindle, and spent the last three days reading the third of the series of the 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. I have decided that I will finally get back on track when I have finished the book, which will be today.

Meanwhile, Eric and I had a salsa class today, or at least I had canceled our Wednesday class and rescheduled for today when I was too feverish to make it earlier in the week. When Jypsum did not show up, or perhaps had not received the message (he likes to go to Santo Domingo for the weekend), we rescheduled again for next week, and wandered around in the Mariscal. We stopped for coffee at 'Cafe Cultura', after it turned out that 'Cafe Libre' was not yet open, and began compiling a list of 'things to do'. This was terrifying, because in truth we have far too little time to do all that must be done, or at least Eric is plagued with many impossible and time consuming tasks. I wrote the list on paper, Eric transcribed it on his computer, and we sorted out the daily schedule of events until he leaves.

And we are both sad and resistant to leaving. It makes sense that Maya does not want to move; change is difficult for children, and now that she is accustomed to her life here, Baltimore feels new and strange and scary. My taxi driver asked me if I liked it here and when I said that I was very happy in Quito, he asked me why I wanted to stay. I had to think a while before I answered, because in truth, I did like my life in Baltimore and did not want to leave either, as I did not want to leave Salt Lake City ten years ago, or Newport Beach before that. Perhaps change is equally difficult for adults. I feel at home here and Baltimore is an unknown again.

I could not come up with a coherent answer for the taxi driver. I like my life here because it is quieter, calmer, more relaxing than my very intense life in Baltimore, where I work long hours, ferry Maya around everywhere, and take care of my house and family. I like traveling and exploring new places and cultures and learning a new language, and having new adventures daily. But of course when in Baltimore, I travel and explore and have many adventures too.

I like the simplicity of my life here. I am not burdened by belongings or responsibility, except of course to Eric and Maya, but taking care of them happens in either place. It is interesting that living with so little can be so satisfying. Returning to Baltimore means living larger, living with more, having more responsibility, getting back on the treadmill of life, doing too much, thinking to much, stressing too much, being overwhelmed, feeling paralyzed and seeing no way out. This year in Ecuador has been an escape from all that, no doubt presenting its own challenges, but a momentary break from the usual and customary.


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