Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Leaving Cayambe

Have you ever felt like a whole bunch of things in your life have lined up for one specific event? I don't feel like that very often. But my trip to Ecuador is one exception. Which is funny because when I first heard I was placed in Ecuador I was less than thrilled. But now that I have spent three months here, I feel that I was meant to come here all along. I believe this aligning of stars, so to speak, began when I first touched down in the Dominican Republic back in 2003, continued with learning and falling in love with both Spanish and salsa dancing, and then going back to the DR last year. Even something as strange as finding out I am severely allergic to horses helped to ensure I was placed in the Barrera-Velasquez family instead of up in the mountains (where some of my friend's families do in fact have horses). I ended up exactly where I was supposed to. I met someone who told me I have an Ecuadorian soul, and I think he wasn't too far off the mark.

Becoming part of another family and culture for three months is a strange experience. You are never truly part of the family, but you start to feel pretty close to being one. I am excited to see my family back in Canada, but it will also be very hard to leave my new Ecuadorian family. I never though it would be this hard. Most of all I will miss having siblings, especially my younger sisters. As much as they annoy me at times, I adore them, and we have become very attached. I will no longer have little sisters to greet me with a hug, kiss, and a "buenos dias" in the morning, and an "hasta maƱana Amy, duerma bien" before bed. Last night, as I was organizing my things and beginning to pack up, both of my sisters wrote me notes telling me they love me and will miss me (in Spanish, of course), and I almost started crying right then. In June or July, my host mom informed me I was staying until December, so I think she will be sad to see me go. My host dad and I had a long conversation on Sunday (well, I mostly listened), and he told me I am another daughter in the family, and that I am very intelligent (there were some more adjectives too, I think, but I didn't understand them, though I know they were positive ones). I will miss hitting dive discoteks with my older sister Liseth, and my brother Santiago talking to me in English (adorably broken, btw . . . he does really well but he tells me "very beer last night", and when something is expensive, "very cost"). I will even miss my other host brother Werner, even though we never had much of a connection and he's usually silent when I'm around.

I will also miss this city (I have a week to enjoy some more of the country). I will miss the horribly uneven sidewalks (though not the dog poop I am not always lucky enough to avoid, due to the fact that there are tons of stray dogs and no one cleans up after them . . . in fact, I don't think any one cleans up after Berto, the family dog). I will miss the brightly coloured buildings, the parque central, and the reggaeton blaring from the stores. I will miss the chocolate bread and bizcochos (though not the chicken, rice, and potatoes).

In fact, I should head out now so that I can spend my last remaining evening with my family.

So . . . I will miss you dearly, Cayambe. It's only hasta luego, though . . . I'll be back.