Sometimes All You Need Is Love and a Smile Full of Happiness

Our welcoming was far and in between anything that I ever would have expected, but was so precisley indicative of what the coming days were to hold. We were welcomed into this absolute haven of a city by a celebration of the cowboy which consumed the whole city in a excited frenzy of horses and welcoming faces. The minute we got off the bus we were greeted by a few of our parents awaiting with anxious smiles and anticpating children wondering who was coming to inhabit their lives. We were ushered into a parade of what seemed like gargantious proportions consisting of a rockin marching band repeating the same chorus for the entirety of the way closely followed by those dressed as the indigenous Minas cowboy. For quite some time we led the charge until the Mayor came and took the his rightful Mayorally position at the front wearing a skin tight pink button up which, to his credit really accented nicely his skin pigment and gelled hair. I wont go into detail of our love and laughter filled stay here, as it would take me staying up past my bedtime of a cool 830, which I have never been more happy to say. But will give a brief look into a usual day in the life of the Mountain Town.

Monday to Friday.

Wake up at 6 to our charistmatic mother eargerly waiting for us to “sientase” at the dining table ready to give us one of the many outlets of care and immense love she shows for us through food.

Get ready for our school day and board onto our school bus of a pickup truck accompanied by families and children alike making the daily whole family effort to bring their child to school.

Arrive at out primary school, Named ESCUELA CUMANA, and distribute many kisses of good morning and smiles of a new day to seized.

Start teaching the eager kidlets of ages 7 to 10 begining with some camp songs, activites, and the usual fist bumps and broken english.

Ball out on some kids on the soccer field at recess and work up way to much of a sweat playing 10 year olds. I have to say very much can hold their own and have taught me some things about the utilization of any and every piece of equipment to have the most fun possible. Many soccer balls are being kicked around and spanish terms through around while jumping around a tire laid on the edge cement.

Prep for about an hour for the next days lesson plan.

Walk around and observe other teachers welcoming us into their daily teaching classrooms while exchanging smiles and hugs with the students, often ending in me explaining my life back at home. Much of the fascination comes from the fact that the leaves are in mid change and that sooner than later the lakes will be frozen over.

Come back home to our awaiting Mother, Lidia demanding to tell us everything about our day and how it was and offering incredible laughter and a place of consistent nurture to return to no matter what may have happened that day. For lunch every day we will start with soup and then move onto a salad, type of meat, and mountains of rice.

Proceed to digest food and make the half an hour walk to the center of town for either a seminar with our group, or on Tuesdays and Thursday, Spanish class involving much local interaction.

Have a little bit of free time after class and return back to our place of happiness nestled on the mountainside over looking a ravine of farmland while looks more like middle earths shire hobbit land than anything else.

Eat dinner, and conversate about our days and the days to come filled with unending laughter and appreciation of the full attentiveness our mother has to our lives making sure every aspect she can control is at perfect harmony.

Read and journal before I dive into a bed covered with Sesame Street covers and a jumble of other blankets that I wish so deeply I could sleep naked in they are so welcoming.

Although it has only been a week of experiencing this city and all that is to offer, the citizens sense of welcome and the culture of appreciation has made it feel like a lifetime. The mother and I bond on a level of laughs and physical joking that seems like it has been arranged by some wizard also involved with Lord of The Rings. The only way I think I could accurately describe here is if Mrs Doubtfire were to happen in the mountains of Ecuador and made a child with Steve Martin from Wild and Crazy guys and she was shot with cupids arrow of love. This is our mother. I could go on and on about how absolutely magnificient this city has treated us giving us all of its fruits of pleasure. One of my favorite aspects of our living arrangement is that about four times a day we make a half an hour walk through a mountain pass to go to and from our house to the city. This walk has quickly become an extremely mindful and therapeudic journey being able to internalize all the beauty and intangibles that would otherwise float by un noticied. I never wake up from my dream in the morning, it just continues on through the day.

3 thoughts on “Sometimes All You Need Is Love and a Smile Full of Happiness

  1. Mom

    Oh Nick, what a beautiful and inspirational description of your life now. I am so grateful you are being cared for well and loved and that you are having a wonderful life there! I miss you and love your dearly and deeply. Love, Mom xoxoxooxox
    Greg and I, with Andrew and Anna had a wonderful visit with Emma in Seattle last weekend! Emma took Greg and I on a hike to a mountain lake and we had lunch there. It was very beautiful and we all said you would love it there! We did a lot of sight seeing and boat cruises. The seafood is delish! Emma started Graduate school this weekend and loved her first day! Andrew and Anna got a 1 year old dog- Bentley. He looks very sweet and cute! Gma and Gpa are doing well. Sarah was home for the week and we were at the lake enjoying the 70 and sunny days! We all miss you and love you! Aunt Ellie turned 95 with a birthday bash! All of her 6 kids came home for it! Love, Mom xoxoxooxoxo


  2. Amanda

    Great description of the community you are living with in the mountains there. It brought back clearly a time when I led a TBB group in Ecuador. We lived in Atahualpa and the people were so warm and welcoming and the landscape so incredibly beautiful, offering those peaceful moments of contemplation you spoke of in your blog post. Have you tried guinea pig yet?? I hope you continue to stay present to your experience and enjoy the community!
    Take care!


  3. Hey Scorpio Guy… I am so very thrilled that you are embarking on this Latin America adventure! I understand the culture shock !!!! I Love your writing and descriptions of a distant culture. I was an AFS student to a third world country in 1973 in Central America for a year .. It took over 6 weeks for my family to receive my letters– I still have been unable to read my writings from that tumultuous time. So I feel I am reliving some of my experiences through your writing in a safer world—and whew… Fun!!! . So glad you are safe and supported as we say in CostaR ” Via con Dios amigo mio!


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