Expecting the unexpected has slowly but surely become to the day to day norm as most every one of my expectations has been broken down and built back up with wonder and curiosity.
Here are examples of some of the things that have absolutely bewildered me in the most fascinating and exciting way:
The use of spoons. Solely for the purposes of food application, but still surprised me that a spoon can be so versitile and helpful. There really is no need to use anything but a spoon if you truly have the gumption, the spoon allows for the mix of all things on the table including, but not limited to: honey, salt, salsa, hot sauce, rice, and all items on your plate, it is the equipment in which you can mix and match in all sorts of exciting ways.
The observedly innate quality of sharing as not an exception, but a commonplace relative part of our everyday community experience. At school everyday all of the beautifully happy kidlets offer their food, fruit, and hugs no matter the state of their food, if they have it and say hello almost always the next exchange will be them holding their various types of snacks for our enjoyment. Occassionally you will encounter the kid that clearly just came from the bathroom with a pelled orange in hand, dripping liquids which you have to hope is orange juice. Another encounter with this new cultural exposure is the process of giving and receiving gifts. My host brother from the trip Trevor, who I have been sharing mama Lidias haven with, and I have been cruising through the instant coffee every morning and thought it would be a kind gesture to purchase a new canister for the fam. This morning as we rolled in sleepy and contently filled with a weekend full of newfound adventure to the kitchen we observed our usual routine a wee bit different as after we had been served our food, Lidia strolled over around the corner to the table with the face unrecognizably of that of a mothers with displeasure. She was uneased that we had bought a item that is used by all in the household and wished we had let her replace it as the mother of the household. As Trevor and I were rolling up our sleeves with the confidence of being greeted this morning with thanks, much the contrary as we had not understood that our presence and sharing of personal opinions greatly outweighs any physical item we might be able to gift her. The moments of simplicity solely involving those around us engaging in lively banter and drowning laughter have meant so much more than I could have ever expected.
The traversing of mountanis terrain could be so cinematic giving us the opportunity to about as close as possible experience what Spongebob and Patrick must have felt like in their crabby patty mobile driving to the sea of monsters to recover neptunes crown. As the rainy season has quickly commenced, so has the engulfing of this region by beautiful cloud cover. Driving along the ridgeline on the cloud cavern is an immense pleasure of not knowing whether you may be soon apart of that cloud as the car begs the question right up until the point of no return if we will be returning. Driving with the local friends here as given a whole new meaning to the snuggle party in the backseat of trucks as by the end of the car ride it is sometimes hard to differentiate your body from those next to you.
The possbility of a what looks to be a casual sunday excursion to the city of Quito ending up in the palace of the president of Ecuador receiving a private tour by our host sisters husband, who turned out to be the coolest secret service agent ever. As we arrived to our destination of the house of the amazing daughter of our mother, we were greeted by her and the hunk of man that was her husband, also accompanied by their adorable baby that looked to be the mixing of the Ecuadorian Michelin man and pillsbury doughboy. This child was the most buddha of babies I have had the pleasure of laying my eyes on, his arms were like those stress balls of which he could use wonderfully to get down to some Pitbull riding in the secret service agents (dads) car.
The unexpected everyday occurance of what seems like an impossible feat of topping the day before. Between the hiking of waterfalls, stimulating and extremely liberating sessions of seminar at which we are given free reign of interpretation and internalization of not just our readings, but of our everyday experiences and frequent encounters with locals on the street, there is always a new adventure to be had. Everyday here has been a new page in my book of wonder and beauty. Developing a newfound sense of appreciation for the ability of each indivdual to induce happiness and inspiration has quickly become the norm here. Every person has a story to share whether it be through a simple Buenos Dias or a High Five in the classroom, each unique and individual, illuminating little by little the unconditioned love all these people have for one another. My love for this place and these people burns almost as much as my diaherrra. Only difference is I cant wipe away their influence on me, that will last forever.