There will not be any photographs accompanying this post as it is simply a, “slice of life” segment meant to illustrate and explain some of the things that make life different here in Ecuador. In the last few days we have had a couple of experiences we would like to share.
The first happened last Saturday when I rode over to Jimmy and Susan’s house to drop off something before they left on a trip to a city named Baños. As we mentioned in our last post, Jimmy and Susan hosted a “sleepover” party for Luna and five or six of her thirteen and fourteen year old girl friends the previous night. I asked Jimmy how things had gone.
He told me that the sleepover idea had been Susan’s and he had actually been dreading the noise and sleepless night that he had anticipated with a houseful of girls. He and Susan prepared on large bedroom area with extra beds and mattresses and snacks and treats. The girls went off to the room at about 8:00 to do whatever girls do at sleepovers. But, he told me that about 10:30 in the evening all of the girls filed out and thanked them again for the party, kissed them goodnight, and went back into the room, turned off the lights and went to sleep.
Sleep at a sleepover? What an unusual concept!
Then – to boot, at about 6:30 Saturday morning Melina (Luna’s older married sister) came by, woke up the girls and supervised as they made the beds, stacked the extra mattresses, swept the bedroom, living and dining rooms and then quietly left to return to their homes.
Mary and I were blessed with well behaved good kids, but that is amazing behavior even to us.
Then today I had to run down to the local public school in town to ask the school’s director a question. As I was leaving the school it was recess time and dozens of kids ran over to say, “Hi” and to see what I was doing there. I am not sure why, but there is apparently something about my makeup that tends to get kids riled up and the school masters were busy trying to keep the kids in line, so I hastened my retreat.
Before I left I asked a group of twenty or so eight year olds (our little friend Sol was in the group), “Which one of you is the smartest?” I expected all of them to raise their hands and shout, “Mi, yo soy!” Instead the group fell silent and looked at each other until Sol stepped up and said, “Todos son inteligentes – Todos!”
My heart was touched as the group agreed that all of them were smart.
There is something to be said for raising young people in an non-competitive community environment where everyone is smart and all chip in to clean-up for the communal good.
Just a few more examples of why we love the Ecuadorian people and hope to be more like them every day.
Life is good in Ecuador!