Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Final Good-byes

Goodbye Pichincha

I started today with a list and very systematically went through each item on it. The greatest challenge was to fit just enough in the bags so each of them weighed 50 pounds and no more. I crawled into bed after 1 AM last night and started again at 7 this morning. Life felt suddenly brighter when Maria and Gabriel came by and relieved me of my toaster oven and various and sundry items, and then Gustavo came to empty out my refrigerator and my kitchen cupboards. The apartment looked definitely emptier and I could focus on the stuff I had to fit into my suitcases.

I had missed dinner last night and breakfast this morning, so Maria suggested a coffee. It was back to Boncaffe next door where the coffee tasted so very good. We had a lunch date with Isabel and the family and arrived at the designated time (12:30) but of course it took another hour and a half to get to the restaurant (Lo Nuestro) and another hour or so to get fed. Maya and I were starving! The food was delicious (I like Costeno food best) and it felt good to catch up with the family. Erika is off to Finland to study at the end of the month, Stephanie is back from her year of study in Portland, and Junior just finished high school and is learning French at Alliance Francaise. He will be studying at Universidad Catolica next year. I was delighted to be able to understand everyone at the table and keep up with the conversation.

We stopped by to visit Jipsum at our dance school in the Mariscal and arranged to meet again in January when we plan to add a salsa class to the Ecuador course. Amparo came by for a visit and cakes from Cyrano's, and we were all crying when we said goodbye.

There was more craziness when I started weighing suitcases again and invariably found each bag a little over 50 pounds. When Gustavo came by I had him weigh each bag again, and he decided all of them were overweight. It was too late to do more than pull out a few more clothes, so we took the huge heavy bags downstairs. Of course there were no cabs when we searched for one. We had to take two taxis, and I stopped at Isabel's to give her a bag of clothes and say goodbye again. As I ran across the street to get to her house, the bag broke and underwear and socks were strewn across the road, so I cringed and grabbed all the bits and pieces and stuffed them together and left themwith her, how embarrassing!

I was so thankful to have Gustavo with us to get through to the Delta desk with our junk. Everything went rather smoothly except that the narcotics police decided to go through every item in one of my bags and I am afraid the breakable things will not survive.

The day has been a whirlwind of activity so I have not had much time to think about how painful it is to leave. I have no doubt that I will adjust to my former life without difficulty, but change is challenging and we have had a good year with many wonderful experiences and relationships and we will miss this place. It feels as if the year is ending without too much noise, not with a bang at least, more like a whimper. We are just leaving and that is that.

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