Day 121 Ecuador- Observation or comparison

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

My wake-up call at the park went off at 6:30 am but I laid in bed another 15 minutes before I got up. I’m in the kitchen making coffee and I don’t have enough coffee grounds for a full pot. I’ve already filled the water reservoir to the max line on the coffee maker. We were supposed to buy more coffee yesterday and forgot…what to do? I grabbed a small jar of instant (why we have this I do not know) and added it to the coffee already in the filter. It worked.

We have some things we need to do today. First, it’s time to hit the market and stock up on fruits and vegetables. Second, we have to take a cab to Corral, a department store, where we need to return sheets we bought that didn’t fit our mattresses. Third, we need to find somewhere that sells the recessed LED light bulbs with yellow light, so we can replace the fluorescent white ones our place came with. This is my life right now. Fuck.

I am struggling living in Cuenca. I’ve only been here two weeks and I know it is unreasonable to find my groove in that period of time. Heidi and I have been talking about our life here; how it is going to make sense for us. We didn’t come to any profound conclusions yet. We did reinforce to one another that it is going to take time to adjust and figure it out. We also reminded ourselves that it hasn’t even been a month since the earthquake and we have been in a state of flux the entire time.

Since I am here, I have to figure out my “why”. Why am I living here in Cuenca? The obvious answer is that we needed to live somewhere after the earthquake, and Bahia as I understand it, still does not have electricity to all areas. It also doesn’t have internet available throughout the town. And the biggest obstacle, it doesn’t have a place we would want to rent to live. So we needed to move somewhere else.

Cuenca was on our list to live here next year for a period of time and experience life in this Andean city. So we just accelerated that schedule. That seems like a good “why I am here”…for the experience. The problem for me then becomes how long do I really want to experience Cuenca? How long do I want to live in these mountains and check it out?

I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but I do realize that since I arrived l have been in a state of constant comparison of what “this or that” was like in Bahia, and what “this or that” is like here. I believe there is a difference between a comparison and an observation.

Doesn’t an observation sound more detached than a comparison? Doesn’t an observation feel less judgmental? Doesn’t observing sound like an opportunity to learn? If that was all I did, make observations of Cuenca, I would probably be doing a lot better than I am now.

This is what is causing my problem right now. I am making comparisons, and comparisons have judgments attached with them. It may be unconscious but when we compare, we judge. Good or Bad. Better or Worse. More or Less.

When I end up with a score card that has Bad, Worse, and Less on it, I am setting myself up for failure. That score card becomes the prism that I see my current world through. It is what I see Cuenca through. It is a no win situation for me and Cuenca.

I have to stop the comparisons, the judgment, and become an observer. A learner. I’m going to need some time to sort through this. I think it’s important.

Chau.

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