Today we took a day trip via bus to Girón, a town about an hour outside of Cuenca, and hiked up to see a waterfall. It was wonderful to get outside in nature again. Living in a city apartment for the past two weeks has reminded me that we are not city people. Having the boys cooped up without some green space to run around in causes fights, temper tantrums, and stress for me. It was fabulous to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, exercise, and revel in the majesty of the mountains.
The boys were so excited when they heard that our landlords had invited us to their house to eat Thanksgiving dinner with them and the rest of our neighbors.They have been asking for the past two days when Thanksgiving was coming. This afternoon they anxiously awaited Juan’s arrival to pick us up and take us back to his house. Dinner was at 8:00, which is incredibly late for the little boys, but they hung in due to their excitement. We arrived at the modern apartment and met the other guests who were a mix of Americans and Canadians living short and long term in Ecuador. The table was laid out with wine, turkey, ham, Spanish tortilla, rice, and salad. It was a lovely evening filled with delicious food and interesting company. I had a wonderful time meeting my neighbors from the building and getting to know my hosts.
Although I really miss my family and my husband on my favorite holiday, I am glad to be away from the American mass consumerism that follows this day of giving thanks. I’m lucky to be traveling through a country that I only thought I could ever dream of going to. I’m in the Andes mountains visiting places and experiencing things that few people ever have the privilege to go do. I am overcoming fears, stressful situations, and minor worries. I’m also getting to learn more about myself, my kids, and the world.
Its been a rough week, I’ve had challenges that I had to face on my own without Israel there to help me through. Although I’ve had my challenges, it is especially important for me to remember that I have so much to be thankful for. Israel and I have given ourselves the opportunity to live an exceptional life. This Thanksgiving I truly am giving thanks. These are some of the many things I am grateful for:
My children; who teach me how to see life from a new perspective.
Israel; my husband and life partner who supports and understands me. I would never have the courage to live this dream without him.
My family and in laws; whom I love dearly through thick and thin.
My friends who became my tribe. They give me a sense of belonging no matter where we all are in the world.
Our health. We have all been blessed with great health throughout our lives and even when exposed to new places.
The opportunity to educate my children they way I feel best suits them.
My American citizenship. The random happenstance of my birth has afforded me to live with more freedom and opportunity than most other people in the world. My worst-case scenario backup plan is the lifelong dream of so many.
My curiosity that leads me to learn more every day and always encourages me to explore what’s around the next bend.
Our financial freedom gained from selling most of our material possessions which now allows us to live and travel unencumbered.