I am afraid that there will be no pictures to accompany this post. When we get done, you will realize why.
First of all – a little explanation about “slice of life” for those of you who are not regular readers. – Several years ago now a friend of ours named Wayne was sending home pictures of the mountains and sunsets and his daughter told him that these pictures were all well and good, but she wanted pictures that showed a, “slice of life” in Ecuador. Pictures of people interacting or living the Ecuadorian lifestyle. Since that time we have tried to relay, “slice of life” information to our families up north to try to convey what life is like here in our little fishing village.
Well – here is a slice of life.
This afternoon Mary asked me if I would head downtown to get a take-out pizza for dinner. I readily agreed, knowing that the pizza would take a while to prepare and I would have an hour or so to cruise around and visit some of our friends. I cruised up and down many of the side streets and then rode up a road where a fisherman friend of ours often rests in a hammock on Sundays. As I approached the hammock area I noticed that three young men (about 25 years old) were in the hammocks, so I waved and proceeded to ride on by.
The young men waved me over and asked me to sing some songs in English for them. (Right there is a bit of a “slice of life” because almost no one in the United States would flag someone down to sing for them.) But, I am pretty well known in this little village for singing out English songs as I ride along, so I pulled up. I asked them if they had a favorite, but they told me to sing anything, so I sang the song I had been singing as I rode up. I sang an old Loggins and Messina song named, “Vahevala” or “Songs of Sailors”. They got a real kick out of it and I was having a great time hamming it up as I went.
About half way through the song I noticed that one of the young men had a fresh bandage on his right leg covering a stump where the bone had been shorn off just below his knee. It was apparent that the wound was new, yet he was swinging in the hammock laughing and clapping along with his friends as I sang.
Now if I was new to Ecuador I would have tried to look like I had not noticed the bandaged wound. But, I am now a true Ecuatoriano so I asked him frankly what had happened to his leg. That is an Ecuadorian thing. For example an Ecuadorian friend might come up to you and ask, “Why are you getting so fat?” Or, “Why did your mother die?” There are no North American prohibitions pertaining to “political correctness” or “sensitivity” here. It is not rude or insensitive – it is simply a person wondering what has happened.
So, my young friend simply told me that last week he had been in an accident while working on a construction site and the doctors had to cut off his lower leg. No tears. No self pity. No counselors. No rehabilitation. Simply a young man in a hammock telling me how it is.
His friends teased him that now he could be lazy and they would have to work for him. Everybody laughed (including the injured young man) and I sang two or three more songs.
Bad things happen – life changing thing happen – even here in paradise, but life goes on. This is a slice of it from here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!