Today is our last full day in Ecuador, a place we have called home for two years. It’s hard to believe that our time here is over and that we will be embarking on a new journey in the US and as first-time parents. Who knows what the future will bring or where we will settle down next but until then, here are some final thoughts on our time here in Ecuador.
I will miss…
- Walking on the beach in Palmar with the sand between my toes, Max chasing birds and Paul’s hand in mine.
- Juicy mangoes, sweet pineapples, and the wide variety of bananas all available from street and bus vendors for pocket change.
- Feeling a part of the community – whether it was with the women in San Pablo, the youth group in Palmar, or our best friends from Peace Corps.
- The clouds in the Sierra.
- Simple pleasures like taking a hot shower after months of bucket baths, finding a favorite food from the US in the supermarket, or freezing the perfect moment with my camera.
- Taking my time – to visit with someone, to enjoy a lazy lunch, to spend a day relaxing at home.
- My host mom’s ceviche.
- The pescado encocado from Esmeraldas.
- Taking Max for a walk in Parque Carolina.
- My amazing doctor here who has held my hand through the first two trimesters of my pregnancy.
- Having someone to call at the Peace Corps Office when I need help or support.
- Speaking Spanish regularly (though not on the phone – still hate that).
- The cost of taxis ($1 to most places) and home-cooked 3-course lunches ($2.50-$3.50).
- Feeling like my work was making a difference.
- The thrill at arriving at my destination after a long (8-12 hour) bus ride.
- The enthusiasm of the elementary-aged kids I taught on Saturday mornings as they learned something new.
- Learning new things everyday.
- Being challenged and growing constantly.