here in Ecuador just over two months ago. There have been many ups and downs to
the experience thus far, but I am so glad I am here. We had some extra time off
this weekend from our community programs, which got me reflecting on some of
the things Ecuador has taught me. Although simple, I believe these examples embody
the daily lives of the Ecuadorian people I have encountered.
Often I find myself looking or thinking to
the next thing. Whether it is dinner plans, a weekend trip, or next year’s job
hunt, I sometimes forget to slow down and focus on the present. My interactions
with Ecuadorians consistently remind me of the importance to slow down and
appreciate the moment. One example that sticks out in my mind is from a late
night party with friends. It was well past midnight and one Ecuadorian friend
took out his guitar, another took out her saxophone and the rest of us joined
in singing traditional songs. This moment stood still in time. We all shared
that moment together – no distractions from the outside world.
can be rewarding
The other day I walked 5 minutes
through the pouring rain from our house to pay the electricity bill. While this
may require just the click of a button back home, I needed to stop by a nearby
tienda (small convenience store) to transmit the payment. The owner informed me upon arrival that her Internet
was down and that I would need to wait until it was back up. Initially I was frustrated,
but she offered me a seat, a snack and then we proceeded to share a few minutes
of conversation. This simple gesture brought new friendship to a potentially frustrating
situation. The patience I experience from Ecuadorians weekly has reminded me
that patience truly is a virtue.
enough = Happiness For Ecuadorians to have enough is to have
those they most care for their side. Ecuador reminds me daily what makes life
content: experiences shared with close friends and family. Nothing more is
necessary. Happiness can be found in these moments.
It is my
hope that I can carry these lessons and many more with me throughout my
remaining time here in Ecuador and beyond.