Maya and I just escorted Eric down to the street to send him off to the airport for his flight home. He is burdened with three very heavy suitcases and a shoulder bag carrying three computers. I expect that he will encounter difficulties trying to carry on his bags, but I am crossing my fingers for him (everything is possible in Ecuador). When we awoke this morning and I saw the floor of the apartment littered with clothes and papers and equipment and all manner of paraphernalia, I wasn't sure he would get it all packed away in the time he had. I feel lucky to have another month to sort through my piles.
We walked around in shock today, going through the motions, wading through lists of things to do, tasks to be accomplished, organizing, cleaning, discussing concerns, delivering items to CENIT and the university and Hotel Sierra Madre, where we store what we cannot bring with us. Eric and I had our last salsa lesson, which felt wonderful and reassuring. Despite Maya's busy schedule, we were able to celebrate Father's Day at 'Crepes and Waffles' (we risked a 'Pico y Placa ticket, but survived on the roads for 15 minutes with the errant license plate numbers) before sending Eric off for his 11:30 PM flight.
Eric will be in Baltimore only for a few days, to organize the transport of electric fish from his lab at Johns Hopkins to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. He will be setting up for his course and teaching intensely for the next few weeks, which will be a way to transition to our lives in Baltimore. There will be little time to think or feel the sense of loss at leaving Ecuador. I think he is more worried about me and how I will manage. He suggested that Maya and I stay in Florida for a week or so on our way back home, as a way to relax and adjust gradually to leaving Quito ( I am booked in my office August 2 and my house is not inhabitable for now), but his parents refused a request to stay at their exquisite home on the beach (not unexpected but worth a try), so Maya and I will have to look at other possibilities. I promised Maya a vacation at the ocean, which is entirely possible here in Ecuador when school is over, but I am a little anxious about traveling eight hours by bus overnight and staying at an affordable hostel on the beach, and Maya also needs a quiet place to practice and prepare for violin auditions in early August. So we have some planning and reconsidering ahead of us; I am sure we will find something quite perfect to do!
Meanwhile, Maya has another two weeks of school, several dance and music events, and practices nightly, and I have time to keep working on my Spanish and my salsa, to see my friends and say good bye, and many opportunities to revisit and re explore all the delightful corners of Quito that I will miss when we are gone.