Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Buenos Días

Brian was out doing Ecuadorian chores.  He'd unhooked our modem and was taking it back to our carrier to get a new one.  It'd been on the fritz for 3 months and we'd finally gotten the repair guys out to tell us it was time to exchange it.  (What a concept!)  In addition, he was going to drop by the place he'd taken his drivers' training to see if his certificate was ready.  He'd taken along his English/Spanish bookie just in case, even though his Spanish these days, was pretty adequate. 

Fredi & I were out for a walk.  Every 100 steps or so, Fredi would stop, dig her heels in and look back towards our apartment building.  You see, we were not supposed to be walking about without Brian the Alpha Male.

Solitary walks are good for me.
(Fredi doesn't count...well Fredi counts but not in that way.) 

I get to thinking pretty clear thoughts on solitary walks. 

A long time ago Brian & I & and my youngest child piled into our boat (Dowager) and putted away out into the wilderness.  It was a "pipe dream" but not one that neither Brian nor I regret.
[In the "long run" I like to think my youngest daughter will not regret it either, but we're a good distance away away from 
the long run.]

Blah Blah Blah...

In any case...during the year "out" we spent a few months in a small town called Gibsons.  Gibsons is somewhat famous in Canada because it hosted a television show called The Beachcombers for several years.  There are many of us of a certain age in Canada (before the miracle of cable TV), with only 1 or 2 channels available, who were big fans of The Beachcombers. 

In Gibsons, we were a part of small dock-side community and fitted in pretty well.  In addition, it was a friendly town, in no small part because it had for so many years hosted the crew from The Beachcombers.  Walking down the street we learned to nod and say hi to a great portion of the populace. 

Many adventures later we eventually returned to the City of Vancouver, defeated, unable to find a way to support ourselves out in the wilderness.  Nevertheless, we were happy to be back in the city with our other children and confident that things would turn around quickly.
They did. 

There I was, glorying in the short-term Vancouver sunshine, walking down the big dock, off to do some chores and I passed an older fisherman. 

"Good morning!" I said, still in the routine of being cheery with everyone.

"What the f**k do you want?" grumped the fisherman.

I stiffed-leggedly passed the man and continued on my day, lesson learned.  I was back in the City.  It was time to lower my eyes and my lofty expectations and worm into a place that was adequately safe.

Later on,
that grumpy fisherman and I became, 
perhaps not friends, 
but 2 people who had a small respect for each other. 

So, there I was out walking Fredi in Ecuador (keep up) while Brian was doing Ecuadorian chores.  Every 27 or 53 or 172 or maybe even 345 steps I encountered an Ecuadorian.  Eyes up, I always said "Hola" with a smile on my face & a bounce in my step and each and every Ecuadorian (with one exception which I'll speak to below) said either "Hola" or "buenos días" back to me with a smile also on their face.

(The exception was a teenage boy, who had the good grace to look embarrassed when I looked him in the eye.)

Now...I've heard people say that folks here in Ecuador aren't ready and/or willing to accept us extranjeros, but I have never encountered this. 

Eyes up, small smile on my face, a ready "hola" or "buenos días" on my lips and I always, always, always (with expectable exceptions) get the same in return.


Everyone here (with exception of some small minded, mean spirited "gringos") loves Fredi.