Monday, December 19, 2011
a los tiempos . . .
Let´s see - agosto,septiembre, octubre, noviembre, y la mitad de diciembre - - a long time without posting. Hope one or two of you are still listening, let me know!
18 diciembre 2011
I was getting ready to go to Ibarra this morning, thinking that it would be a nice way to spend my first Saturday back in Ecuador. Not to mention that I could pick up a few hardware items, do a little grocery shopping, and meet my friend Sarah for a cup of coffee, since she was coming up from Quito to visit her in-laws.
I called Sarah to make sure we were still on, and to suggest that we meet earlier than 3 PM, the time originally planned for. She answered the phone, apologizing profusely - - Roger I am so sorry I could not meet you yesterday, blah blah blah . . . I said no worries we are going to meet today right, Saturday? Sarah says - - Roger, yesterday was Saturday, today is Sunday.
I had been wondering why it seemed so quiet around town this morning.
It´s not the first time during my nearly 5 years in Ecuador that I have lost track of the calendar, and I expect and hope that it will not be the last.
My recent 3 month trip to the U.S. was mostly a success. The only serious blip was the heart attack my brother Dave suffered while I was up in New York City visiting with my daughter Anna on what was to have been my last night in the states. I spent the evening haggling with the airline and sending emails to friends in Ecuador who were expecting me the next day, and on Monday I lugged my ridiculously excessive luggage back down Anna´s 5 flights of stairs, grabbed a cab to Penn Station and then caught a bus back to Baltimore. My nephew Ian met me with his truck at the bus- stop, we loaded the luggage and then headed off to the hospital where Dave had undergone a quadruple bypass that morning.
I stayed in Baltimore for a week, running errands for David and visiting him in the hospital, but mostly nagging Ian with reminders that he was going to have to step up to the plate for the next few weeks at least to make sure laundry got done, food got bought, etc. etc. When I finally left for Ecuador on the following Tuesday, Dave was back home, doing well, and as we drove to the airport I gave Ian just a little more friendly nagging and told him that I expect a visit from him before too long. I hope he takes me up on it someday.
It is good to be back, even if I don´t know what day it is. After 2 very easy and pleasant flights, first from Baltimore to Atlanta (a stupendously clear sky and we followed the Appalachians all the way down to Georgia from Maryland) and then the 5.30 PM ride to Quito, I arrived just before 11 PM local time. The paperwork (passport, visa) was easy, as was the luggage check and exit. It was by far the most relaxed arrival I have yet had coming into Ecuador.
My friend Gabby had said she would meet me, and she did, along with her aunt and niece. It was the first time I had ever been met at the airport - - and by 3 lovely women, to boot. We taxied over to the small apartment where Gabby lives with her mother, Silvia, (essentially at the very end of the runway) and as always when they have visitors Gabby and her mom slept in Gabby´s bed and I slept in Silvia´s. I used to argue about this arrangement, but it gets me nowhere, so now I just appreciate the gesture and the firm mattress.
Although anxious to return to Cahuasqui I decided to stay the following day in Quito. Gabby and I bussed into el centro where she had some errands to run, and then we spent a few hours wandering around looking at Spanish schools. My son Joe is coming to Ecuador in January and he may take a few weeks of classes - - - and it wouldn´t hurt for me to consider doing the same. I certainly get by with my hackneyed Spanish, but I´d like to, and should, take it to the next level.
We visited a few schools, liked some more than others, and then got back to the house just in time to watch championship soccer, where Ecuador´s equipo, Liga, lost badly to Chile. Oh well.
The next morning, after another good night of sleeping on Silvia´s comfy mattress, I got on a bus to Ibarra and then to Cahuasqui. By 3 PM I was home.
I´m going to do my best to post again before the new year . . .