Posts Tagged With: travel

Day 248

I remember writing our Day 1 Post. I remember the awe and excitement and wonder, and nerves, at all we had just done and all the unknown that was ahead of us to do.  I remember saying that it was great. I remember that it was.

Beginnings get a lot of press. Like the first day of Spring, which we are experiencing in the Southern Hemisphere right now, beginnings are clean and open and green. They smell good. They are unmarred and easily celebrated. As they should be.

Endings though, rarely get the joy of that flip-sided coin. And that is a shame. Endings are beautiful. It is in the beginning that something becomes possible, it is in the ending that something becomes precious.

This was true of leaving Crested Butte last January. I had lunch with friends, took impromptu walks on trails I thought I knew, and initiated longer sidewalk conversations all on a moment’s notice, and devoid of the “busy” excuse I used to wear like a uniform. Anxious to get the time and love in before we left.

This was true of leaving Cotacachi, when suddenly all the oddness and quirks and messes that hours before drove us mad, took a drastic turn towards the endearing.

This was true of leaving Taganga, Buenos Aires, and even our one day in Colonia as well. Each place that we found new and exciting in the beginning really revealing their worth as we prepared our goodbyes.

Of the blogs I’ve read of other families that have done something like this, they unanimously report at the end of it that they wanted more time. It felt too short. They wish it could be longer. They were just getting the hang of things.  All of them say that – whether their stint was 3 months, 6 months, or over a year. Importantly, all of them say that in their last, or next to last, post.  We feel the same way. We want more, now that at the end of things we see without distraction the gift of what we have together.

These are the most fantastic people I hang out with. They are funny and brave. Cute and dashing. Kind and honest. They are my heroes. I knew these things about them before of course, but I know them differently now. I know them in the way I know my own skin or recognize my own voice. And I suspect that while we may feel like we are “just now getting the hang of it”, it would be truer to say that we are just now realizing how much we actually got the hang of  together and are justifiably in awe, with a splash of disbelief.

This has been amazing.

Amazing, Amazing,  Amazing.

Beauty and love and awareness and appreciation don’t always show up at first, but they unfailingly swell at the end. Daring you not to cry at the noticing.

And so through the tears and the reflection I can’t help but grin. I am so happy about this ending. I am so grateful for all the spotlight on the precious. I am so fortunate to have a lifetime experience that is wonderful enough to mourn its passing.

What happens for us after the end? After Day 248?

We wake up tomorrow in Colorado with yet another clean slate and a multitude of spring green options ahead.

We wake up on the next Day 1.  And all the joy and possibility beginnings always have.

So. Grateful.

Categories: From Jamie | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Doors

We’ve been on the move; five countries, eight months, 27 different hotels/apartments/homes, one lovely lady and two of the best boys on the face of the earth. At every place we stayed, we tried to get the boys picture in front of our door. Along the way we added in a few churches and fancy buildings. Here’s some of the doors we’ve gone through together…what a joy!

Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

City Life in Buenos Aires

We like it here in Buenos Aires.

The city feels one part Europe, one part US and one part something all its own. It seems to be both coming and going; fading into the past and diving into the future. It is super sophisticated and kind of messy. We ride the spray-painted and rickety subway to the children’s museum, grab some awesome Middle Eastern take-out on the way home and when finished we take our trash out and throw it on the corner with recyclables separated so the “waste pickers” can find them faster.

Buenos Aires is a massive city and we ended up in the Palermo Soho neighborhood. There are old sycamore trees lining the streets, cafes on nearly every corner, trendy clothing boutiques and dogs, lots of dogs. Not the wandering, stray ones we’ve seen everywhere else in South America, but the kind with sweaters and color-coordinated leashes. So loved are these pups that people let them poo on the street and then leave it there for everyone to admire. Luckily our boys have been in training and are very skilled at jumping the stink bombs.

The house we’ve rented has an office, a nice courtyard and plenty of space for everyone. The kitchen is fully loaded including a dishwasher. I mention this because we haven’t seen a dishwasher since we left the states. We also haven’t had a bathtub. This place has a huge bathtub, much to Vaughn’s delight. In fact, as we were touring places to rent, his only criteria was if it had a tub. So Vaughn approves of this place too.

It feels nice to be in a home that seems like it could be ours. It’s cool to be surrounded with so much culture and so many options. Great food and drink are good for the body and the soul. It’s not perfect of course, but for us and for now, it seems just about right.

Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Travel Light for Now

We are in Bogota waiting for a redeye to La Paz, Bolivia. Jamie and the boys enjoyed one last morning at the beach while I packed up our things. I thought picking up and zipping up would take all morning, but it only took an hour. We simply don’t have that much stuff anymore.

When we decided to do this sabbatical we did a mega purge. We moved from a four bedroom with a huge family room to four suitcases and a backpack. When we left Cotacachi for this travel phase we moved everything into two suitcases and a backpack. Now that we’ve throughly used our swimming trunks, cheap t-shirts and snorkels we are leaving those, plus a few other things we won’t need in the cold highlands of Bolivia.

It feels good to be so nimble and without much to drag around. Travel is challenging enough without bringing things you might need. It’s just the four of us, some clothes for the next week, stuff to keep our bodies clean, a nice selection of Apple products and a few toys. As we head into South America’s poorest country, I suppose it is good we’ve been practicing living with less. It’s also amazing that our less is more, way more, than most of the people we’ll meet.

I’m looking forward to Bolivia. Most days, I’m also looking forward to our return when our stuff isn’t dictated by what we can fit into the back of a small taxi. When we land stateside in just a few months and pick back up for life as we knew it, we’ll have nearly a clean slate on which to add our new stuff.  As I consider just how few things we have and ponder what we need and what we want, I hope we will be a bit more intentional filling that slate up than we were before.

I’m looking forward to that.

Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Plans Change

One year ago life was pretty good.

It was early summer in Crested Butte. The boys were enjoying the long warm days and time with friends and family, Jamie was looking forward to her cousin’s wedding and to doing another show, I was getting in biking shape and work was as good as it had been in years. Things were all right and the plan was to keep building our lives more or less like we had been.

But, plans change.

Under the surface of our relatively steady lives, and maybe in part because of our relatively steady lives, there were the makings for some major change. In fact, within six months, we would announce that we were going to leave all that we knew: friends, family, home, work, toys, favorite activities and even our dog, to live a different life in a different land, at least for a while. There was a unique window of opportunity that might not come again to follow this dream and to be closer to each other in a new way.

We had thought hard about making this change and done what seemed like a lot of research on the logistics. The plan was to start in Ecuador, travel around, find a place we liked, live there for six months and then travel to other parts of South America for another 8-12 months. We looked at our finances and estimated that if we could live on a very lean budget (1/3 of our monthly budget in the US), that we could make our family sabbatical last for 18 months. After our “down time” in Ecuador, we hoped to visit and spend weeks and months in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. With that as the plan, we were off!

But, plans change.

In the ensuing weeks and months, we learned a few things. While Jamie and I are willing to put ourselves through some crazy stuff, we have limits when it comes to our boys. We now realize that although it’s possible to live on 1/3 of our previous US budget, it’s not preferable. We still like to eat good meat and sleep in quiet, “undank” rooms with a low chance of bug infestation. We’ve used many resources to aid us along, but there is no “Lonely Planet” type manuel of instructions that addresses our family-with-young-kids-on-a-prolonged-family-sabbatical demographic. We are writing our guidebook as we go. So yes, we have learned how to live with less, but we’ve also learned to appreciate who we are and what we want!

Usually, what we want when we are thousands of miles away from home with our young boys costs more money than we budgeted, sometimes by a lot.  In fact, on top of our newly defined culinary and lodging sensibilities, we have also determined that more than eight hours on a bus with our boys is a recipe for disaster; one of us is likely to crack, or at least throw up. Alas, the alternative of flying from country to country also turns out to be much more expensive than we’d read! The result of these lessons and other now better understood realities is that it is time to change our plans again.

We will be leaving Ecuador in a few weeks, which is about a month sooner than we’d thought, and heading to the Caribbean coast of Colombia for a few weeks. From there, we hope to make it down to Peru for some more time in the Andes and then onto Argentina for some trains, good steak and wine just as their spring arrives. It seems then that Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay have been placed back into the some day maybe category again. After all this, roughly 6 months from now, we plan to be back in Crested Butte gearing up for a great and very snowy winter.

But, plans change.

And that’s okay with us. The point was never the plan, the point was, and remains, to follow this dream and grow closer to each other while we do. Which, as it turns out, makes for one really good plan; one that hasn’t changed.

Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Vaughn’s First Blog Post: Indigenous Fútbal

After a busy weekend, neither of us felt like going anywhere. However, I knew that if I didn’t take this chance to see the championship game among the Otavaleños in a remote village, we’d regret it. Vaughn (age 6), not being familiar with the concept of regret for cultural experiences forgone, started to dig his heels in after the third time I asked him to come with me. Thankfully Jamie, in a moment of inspired-mom-creativity, whispered to Vaughn that if he’d go with me, he could take the pictures and tell a story to go on the internet.

So here we are! Below are the pictures, taken by him (except when he’s in them) and his words explaining them.

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Indigenous Fútbal is what this story is called because they won’t know what we’re talking about when we say fútbal.

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No, I didn’t want to go to soccer because it bored and annoyed me. Then, mommy said I could hold it [the camera] and so I felt good.

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This is my mommy giving it to me.

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Dad, you know who that is! It’s you getting the backpack ready.

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That’s the fake corn in the stairs. [It is fake] Because mom said.

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Here’s my shoe.

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Okay, that’s a pig face. I see a lot of these around.

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When we got to the field we saw trophies and people.

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Then people playing soccer. They call it fútbol.

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At the field a guy was holding a big stick with lots of cotton candy. We took little bites of the cotton candy. Well there was one big stick, but I didn’t get the big one; just a small one.

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I was happy kinda.

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We walked with lots of people. The men with long hair were drinking beer. They kept asking daddy if he wanted more beer. He sometimes said, “Si”.

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They were putting music on.

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Yea and the lady was putting ribbons on people.

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I was drinking water because I was thirsty from eating empanadas.

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I took a picture of this dog. It makes me think of Lucy, my dog.

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Because other kids were tumbling in the field, I did too.

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The sun was sunsetting.

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I was trying to get a picture of the ball flying so high.

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We started to leave to find a taxi or a truck.

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But then we saw some niños playing fútbol.

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I went and said, ¿Puedo jugar con tigo?

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They said sí!

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We started playing and wining by kicking to the goal. They say “gooll”.

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We found a truck actually and I was trying to take a picture of that house, but there was steam [dust] in the picture.

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The truck was so fast. I was holding onto a pole so tight.

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Cows and police were in the way. They kept walking and then the truck stopped.

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We were in Quiroga and waited for the bus that goes to Cotacachi.

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On the bus I looked at my fake money. I got it from the cotton candy.

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We made it home with my fake money. So that was good.

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Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

So…what is it you do with your time?

When I talk with friends and family back home, the most common question is: “So…what is it you do with your time?”  The short answer is that we spend most days working with injured jungle monkeys, writing poetry in the native Quechua language and breathing in the mist of waterfalls.  On good days we do all three at the same time.

Yea, right. The truth is the things of normal daily existence seem to take up a lot of our time. Just cooking, cleaning up, getting the boys to and from school, doing extra school lessons with the boys, grocery shopping, running errands, finding ways for the boys to burn energy and relaxing a bit can take up whole days. Some of these daily to-dos are made more challenging simply because they are done in a foreign language and culture.  For example, the idea of one-stop-shopping is so far-fetched as to be laughable. Just today I tried to buy superglue to repair one of Luke’s toys.  The quest for one simple items involved numerous half understood conversations, visiting four different stores and walking two or three miles all around town. When I reached the much discussed store, it was closed for some unknown reason.

Entertaining and educating the boys, it seems me, also takes more time than it did back home (I say it “seems to me” because I might just be realizing now how much work it took Jamie the past six years!). There is the extra time for the English and math lessons which we anticipated, but man do I miss sending them to the family room to play with their numerous toys or to the yard to run in the grass and dig in the dirt.  Here in our apartment the “family room” and “back yard” are the same thing, which is the space right next to our desk. It’s where I hooked up my Rip 60 exercise equipment so I could get…well ripped!.  Although I have only used it maybe four times in nearly two months, the boys spin and swing on it for hours on end.  Thank God for Rip 60. Here’s a short video of Luke building his core strength!

Even with these new challenges we do have more free time than we used to. A lot more. I’m not working and that frees up countless hours.  The boys are in school five mornings a week.  Also, we have a wonderful lady named Elena who comes to help around the house three mornings a week. We pay her twice the going rate, but I’m still amazed at how much we get for so little.  This extra time allows Jamie and me to split the family responsibilities and chores pretty equally.  We have settled into a nice routine where we have a date on Tuesday mornings, family adventures on Saturdays and where we take turns with the boys in the afternoon allowing focused attention on them from each parent and large chucks of open time for the other person.

With the extra time I am doing more yoga and trying to learn to meditate, but not trying too hard or that defeats the purpose…I think. I’ve taken up running, which is much less fun and more painful than biking. I read more than I used to and watch less TV.  The extent of our TV comes from the pirated $1 DVDs of recent American movies and TV shows sold out of ubiquitous little stores (which also somehow have selections of cheap Oakley sunglasses and Converse All Star shoes?). We go for long meandering walks through the countryside and these walks may be my favorite thing about where we live.

We study Spanish a lot; or maybe more accurately, I study some and then watch Jamie study Spanish more. Last, I’ve also found a surprising number of ways to stay busy without actually doing much which boils down to either spending hours on sites like reddit.com or taking naps bookended by games like tetris on my iPad.

So how do I feel about how I’m spending my time? Pretty good actually. The main reason is that I get a lot more time with Luke, Vaughn and Jamie. We’ve spent the last 88 days together. At first, it was a bit much for me to be around the boys almost all of the time, but after maybe week three or four it started to feel normal and a never-before-seen casual comfort set in. Daddy being around was no longer just for evenings and weekends.  Much of our time here is spent doing unspectacular things like riding a bus or eating a meal but what a blessing to be able to enjoy and just be in these moments with my family. Back home I was often too busy or preoccupied to simply enjoy just hanging out with my boys.

And that touches on the second reason why I’m okay with how our time is going: namely, it is a great chance to practice taking each moment as it comes. After settling into this sabbatical thing, I’m now a bit less focused than I was back home on making sure every moment is productive and aimed at some big goal. Paradoxically, when it is time for me to focus on something or respond to a surprise, I often have more energy to do it. When it is time to just chill out and have a beer at lunch I do that with a bit less guilt. Put differently, it seems I have slightly more patience with reality, whatever it happens to be, because I’m not trying to impose my will it with the same intensity.

Don’t get my wrong; I’m no zen master here (I don’t think they drink rum) and life is not a continual flow of pure bliss. This place often overwhelms me to the point that I just feel like hiding. I still want and even need a routine, to-do lists and goals to stay on track, but it is fun to see some changes showing up in how we spend our time and how we see the world. It makes me feel okay about putting my wife, children and self through all of this.

We are blessed to be able to have this unique time away to get closer to each other and practice living in the moment. Often I wonder what it will be like when we return to normal life. Then after wondering a bit, worry sneaks in as I contemplate the stress of moving back, jump-starting our careers and rebuilding our lives. But then I remind myself that those are challenges for another day, they are months and even years away, so for now I just need to figure out where to get some superglue. 

Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Semana Santa and Giant Smurfs

Years ago Bo and I were lucky enough to be in Granada, Spain on a Good Friday. It was an incredible spectacle for sure, with images that have stuck with us to this day. This year however has been our first experience living in a predominantly Catholic country and taking part in the whole of Semana Santa. Being that this holy week also coincided with the boys’ school vacation (lots of side trips all week), Vaughn’s first lost tooth (our own big event!), and our local town’s artisan expo (HUGE craft fair taking up several whole streets with tents)… the amount of sensory input in each moment was exponentially more than anything we have ever had before.

Sights, sounds, smells, noises, masses of people, colorful processions, loud food vendors, clanging cathedral bells, cloudburst rains, ricocheting thunder, and yes- even giant Smurf (and Barney) mascots selling various plastic toys and cups of bubble solution on the street. All of these things happening right on top of each other, no sequence or delineation between religious and commercial events…a whirlwind of culture served up inside of one special week.

LOTS of photos to share for this one. 🙂

Categories: From Jamie | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Iskay Siki, or “Two Rear Ends”

        I’ve been doing some research lately on the local culture and their language, Quechua, and came across this website with a goldmine of poems and phrases common to that tongue. Apparently people speaking Quechua can have all different kinds of siki (rear ends) as there is a something siki to describe just about every type of person. Iskay Siki literally means “two rear ends”,  ‘but it is used to refer to a “person who wants to sit down in two homes”, For example, a husband spends as much time at his parents home as with his wife, so he is undecided about which home he should be in.’— (http://www.andes.org/phrases.html)

I think it’s possible that I am an Iskay Siki.

(Oh how the fingers twitch with all the self-deprecating jokes possible right now.)

I think it is possible that I am an Iskay Siki because our first 2 weeks or so of settling in have been… remarkably unsettling. Largely because while I want my butt here, I also want my butt in its cozy spot back home with friends I can communicate with and food I don’t worry about getting sick from, and quiet. Oh, how I miss Quiet.

I’m not trying to worry anyone, I really believe that these are growing pains of what will be a beautifully fruitful experience. But as many times as I’ve started, and deleted, and re-started this post, I’m still finding it a staggering challenge to sum up just why it has been so much more difficult than imagined.

Do I give you the part that is nearly comical in its absurdity as was the case with my most recent breakdown? It sounded something like this:

(sobbing. with hiccups.)

“I-I-I jjjussst don’t thhhink I ccan doo this.

I wwaantt the real ch chuurch bells on the other side of tttown,

nnnott the stupid electric-blared-megaphone-awful onnnes!

And I wwant the ssinging garbage trucks like in Otavalo. Not these that just bbblare Spanish

ttalk radio at us until we’re deaf!

Or, do I share the heart-hurting bits like Luke clinging so hard to my neck that it took two teachers pulling his legs to get his tear-streaked-mama-screaming self into his new classroom. As a school bonus, there was also this conversation with Vaughn:

Me: “Hey babe! How was school today?!”

Vaughn: “Um. fine.”

Me: “Can you tell me about it?”

Vaughn: “A boy grabbed me and started pulling my hair and hitting me. I kept saying No! No! No! ’cause I don’t speak Spanish and he would just hit and hit saying “Si!” My teacher stopped him and he got in big trouble.”

NEXT DAY

Vaughn: “I was pushed and kicked again today mom.”

Me: “Did Katie help you again?”

Vaughn: “She didn’t see it this time.”

Makes me think that selling all our belongings, moving our family away from the people who love us for the purpose of exposing our children to the beauty and richness of other cultures in the world is going swimmingly, no?

I could also share just the oddnesses (c’mon, it’s totally a word), the annoyances, the differences that still weigh in at Uncomfortable on the scale, as opposed to New and Exciting.

Things like the car alarms that never stop going off. The fact that while I’d resigned myself to no wine here, I was expecting good coffee, I mean they grow some of the best not an hour away! But for some reason everyone drinks powdered instant coffee and all our attempts to use some of the actual beans from nearby have resulted in a liquid tar substance that I fear really is putting hair on my chest. The spider and mosquito bites we were waking up with because of all the quaint “indoor/outdoor” space we liked so much at first glance. The fact that our apartment being the first one renovated in this former hostel means that the whole rest of the building will be under major construction while we’re here. The packs of stray dogs defecating on the sidewalks. The automobiles of all shapes and sizes that attach a giant speaker to their roof and drive around blaring public service announcements at decibels that make our roof rattle. The fact that it gets cold here and almost every home (including ours) has a fireplace, and we can see smoke coming out of them, and yet every attempt we’ve made for weeks to buy actual firewood has resulted in the blankest of stares and the shaking of heads at such a query.

So, it makes a bit of sense that part of me is ready to be sitting somewhere more comfortable and familiar. Somewhere that is not here.

And yet.

I had a dream last night that Bo and I were visiting back home and when we were supposed to load up to come back here he said we weren’t going to. We were never coming back. And I cried. And I begged. And I used every argument in the book as to why we needed to get back to the life we were living in Ecuador. We were so close to… something. Something worth pushing towards and being close to. I woke up before knowing if we stayed or went, but carried with me into the morning that ache in my chest of sadness at the thought that we had left all of this. It’s that ache that is finally helping me write this post.

As any Iskay Siki will tell you, you cannot stand forever and you cannot sit in two places at once. You have to choose.

And so I did.

I’d say we all did.

I made an appointment with the principal at Vaughn’s school, who speaks English, to talk to Vaughn’s teacher with me. I told her how I used to teach students who didn’t speak English and I know what a challenge another language in the classroom can be and how much I appreciate her taking Vaughn in this late in the school year. It meant a lot to her and now she and I are much more of a team in both the lessons she’s working on in class and the time he spends out on the playground.

Bo has talked and loved Luke right on through his school anxieties. Two days in a row now and not a tear shed. Luke even flashed Bo a thumb’s up this morning when it was time to go to class.

My handsome, brave, and powerful husband also addressed the bug issue. In style.

And a real perk of our apartment is the family we rent from could not be kinder or more willing to help. AND we have a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood and local life in all it’s brilliant colors and characters.

We are also soothing our senses with fresh roses, regularly. They are grown near here and Bo found a place in town that sells 2 dozen long-stemmed roses for $2.50. And by “long-stemmed”, I mean as tall as Luke. So he grabbed 48 flowers in all.

I’m actually considering heading back there to get more. But that would require leaving this view of Imbabura Volcano I have and getting out of my chosen seat which, for today anyway, I’m just not going to do.

Categories: From Jamie | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Expectation Management and Herding Guinea Pigs

I’m writing this post from our new penthouse apartment in Cotacachi, Ecuador!  Jamie just finished a long nap while the boys watched a movie in their room. Vaughn needed some quiet time after another busy day at school and Luke was just happy to be with is brother after a boring morning of home-making with mom and dad.  More on the boys and all the new things with them in future posts!

For now, Jamie and the monkeys are off to a nearby playground and in this moment of peace, I thought I’d open a cold Pilsener (grande) and catch up on our blog.  After all, we made such a big deal over where we were going to settle that it’s time to tell everyone.

But instead of doing a fabulous post about our new little town in the mountains, I’m gazing off at the mountains; specifically Imbabura, the dormant volcano that dominates the view from our new office.  Here’s the actual view from our place taken this afternoon:

This is what the mountain looks like on a clear morning (it seems to cloud up in the afternoons like CB in July):

When Jamie and boys get back, we’ll take a stroll with the locals on the clean and pedestrian friendly streets down to the main square where the boys will do a bit more running around.  After that I think we’ll head to Pacha Mama’s, a restaurant in a cool old colonial building near our apartment run by the nicest indigenous family. We’ll have a wonderful natural dinner for four, including another Pilsener for me, for under $20.  As Luke has taken to saying recently, “This is the life…”

There are a few other details about THIS life we’re living that I should share.

As I’ve been typing this post, I’ve had a cacophony of noise: construction, barking dogs, car alarms, buses, moments of quiet and a neighbor of ours yelling and laughing from her rooftop.  Our apartment is only three stories above two relatively busy streets and our lovely outdoor/living room/office/dinning room/garden patio is covered with a clear plastic roof that acts like a sound amplifier…I can hear every sound above a whisper from all four directions a block away.  Even if we didn’t have this sound-drum-amplifier effect going, the building we live in is undergoing a full renovation and our apartment is the first to be finished so we get the pleasure of hearing how an Ecuadorian construction crew works through a challenging apartment remodel. The answer turns out to be banging on the walls with large hammers and load music from broken speakers.

What’s the yelling lady all about?  She runs a guinea pig farm on her rooftop and one of these cute little delicacies escaped.  The yelling was her shock at this realization and the laughing was her chasing him around her roof and through her drying laundry.  Thankfully she caught the rodent and he is back to eating alfalfa (which apparently makes them fat and yummy).  I took this photo after the little piggy was caught and put back in his rooftop prison, but maybe it will help you imagine the scene:

While I’m on the topic of our roof top oasis, do you see those pretty plants in the background of the first photo of the new desk?   They are covered with aphids and ants. Lots of them.  As I learned with our apsen trees in Crested Butte, aphids like to work in conjuction with ants; it’s something about ants protecting the plant and the ants get to eat sweet aphid poo.  The aphids and the ants have the same arrangement in South America as the do up north.  So as an unexpected result of moving into our new place, Jamie and I now know know the words for aphid, ant and very strong incecticide in Spanish.

This whole adventure has been a lesson in expectation management and taking the good with the bad.  Having a year off to have a family sabbatical is a dream, but it is also a dream happening in the real world.  We are grateful to be here in Cotacatchi and have a home.  We had hoped for a safe, clean, affordable home in a quiet and historic neighborhood.  We got the first three, but have to give on the last two.  Plus we get all sorts of things we didn’t expect like living above a fully functioning guinea pig farm.  Let the adventure continue!

Categories: From Bo | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

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