A Passion for Peace

Responsibility, respect and a loving connection with all beings and for this Earth we share.

La Vida Loca

Sunday afternoon whilst wandering the streets of Manta with Luke I was musing how unremarkable and not quite as crazy life here in South America has been as compared to life in India and South Africa in the recent past. Sure it may take five trips to the tailor who runs a business out of his house to get him to correctly complete a three-minute task of sewing a patch under a tear in Luke's shorts, and sure we got a fake $20 from an ATM and need to visit a bank this week with our receipt to try to exchange it, but all in all, especially in this non-touristy city in Ecuador nothing especially remarkable has happened, which is fine by me--not as many crazy ups or downs as some other places. (Photo: streetscape in Manta, Ecuador)

Then last night while enjoying evening air and a view from the roof of our apartment building, a school employee showed up with a stranger and started showing him around and asking us questions such as where to recommend this man buy his groceries. We quickly followed them back downstairs and realised that the man had just moved into our shared apartment. Last week another couple from the US stayed here with us and the Ecuadorian couple, which was fun and we were warned ahead of time, but this time someone just showed up, and besides not having cleared any space in the refrigerator or cabinet out of politeness, I had made no space in my mind to feel safe in sharing the apartment with someone new. In addition, I felt incredibly disrespected that we were not so much as informed when we were with various employees over the past two days, nor by the one with whom we live. This stirred up a lot of anger and feelings of unsafety in me, and I spent some time processing those, which included writing a kind but strong email to the school director explaining how I felt and how incredibly preventable this entire experience was. Luke looked at the email through his Western male lens and thought I talked an awful lot about feelings which men may find tricky to take, but I pointed out that the Spanish culture here is better versed in emotional health than we Anglo and Germanic westerners tend to be and that I think he will respond well.

The next morning I awoke to an apologetic email from the director full of responsibility for "causing me such distressing feelings"and assuring me he will speak to the staff and make some changes to policy so that this does not happen again. Imagine our surprise when upon returning to our apartment during a break from class there was a sign on the refrigerator 'Please Leave Space for Other Students in the Refrigerator.' Outrage! We would have made more space if we had but been informed! We quickly went back downstairs to school to speak to the employee we live with, and he apologised that he keeps doing things without telling us first and said the sign was intended for people next week because many new residents are coming to stay after we leave this weekend, and that because of our not being informed last night, the director sent him new instructions to help inform with signs around the apartment. Relief and laughter soon followed. What an unnecessary series of events! (Photo: bamboo scaffolding holding up a concrete building)


Later Luke looked in the freezer to gather some ice. Inside the freezer was our avocado. Por que? (Why?) Which employee would put our avocado that was sitting on top of the refrigerator into the freezer, and why? We left it on the counter to thaw. I don't have much hope that it will be remotely edible, and I have never heard of a frozen avocado. As I sit here typing this, I am informed by Luke: our avocado has melted. Crazy? Maybe just a bit. (Photo: sunset on the Ecuadorian coast)

PS, an update: In case you were wondering, thawed avocados have the texture of rubber. We didn't eat it.

Posted byValerie at 3:42 AM  

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