Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016

Whooo hoooo! Another good ass kickin’ this morning at boot camp. Seriously, at one point I thought I was experiencing heat exhaustion.

We mostly ran today…along the Malecon, on the streets passing humble Ecuadorian businesses, and through poor (by American standards) residential neighborhoods.

One part of our run included a stretch of road with a steep incline. We ran up to the top, then back down to the bottom…over and over again. After reaching the top the final time we kept running and the road surface was horizontal. I thought, thank God we are headed back!

Oh no mis amigos! Not true.

We took a left turn and I watched those in front of me start running up these concrete steps that climbed the heavily forested hill that goes to the highest point in Bahia.  Probably a thousand steps to the top….well that’s what it felt like, and we didn’t get anywhere close to the top before we were instructed to run back down the steps. Did I say run? Yes that is what was instructed but at some point I realized I was walking.

Coming down the steps I started running again. We headed back the way we came, and followed the road down the hill. At the bottom we turned right and then started up a small inclined road. Then it happened again! Hard right and more stairs headed up the hill, now lined with shanty-like homes. By this point I was barely walking up those hard concrete steps. All I could think about was where I was going to puke.

We again were instructed to turn around and come down. This time I walked down, afraid I would leave my breakfast behind if I tried moving any faster. People were passing me…you know, the fast ones that went much further up those stairs than I did.

At the last step I started running again and before too long Easton was at my side…one of the fast ones who climbed many more stairs than his padre did.

We were on our way back to our starting point and it was way too far for my liking. I felt as if my face was blowing up…like on a cartoon…5 times too large for my body. Yep, I think this is heat exhaustion. The good news, I thought to myself, is that if I pass out and die I won’t have to be at boot camp on Friday. There is always a silver lining…just need to look for it!

We met a very nice cab driver today who drove us home from “the big supermarket”. His name is Luis and he tried very hard to make conversation with us. In the first few minutes being in his cab, we tried to use what little Spanish we have learned in conversation with him. He could tell we were trying to learn and this seemed to perk his interest. He asked us questions and we tried to figure out what he was asking.  It was slow, and a bit stressful of a process, but he was patient with us.

As he dropped us off at our building, we asked him his name, and then he asked ours. He also asked for my phone number and then he gave me his. He was telling us that he charged a fair rate and, basically, wouldn’t “gringo price” us. So, when we needed a cab we could call him.  I want to remind you that he was speaking Spanish the whole time, and all of us were trying to fill in the blanks using what words we could find and hand gestures we could use.

I appreciate this guy. He tried hard to communicate with us in Spanish, and he even corrected our Spanish when a word was off a bit. It was an honest conversational exchange between people who were interested in one another. I think he just earned my business.

I‘ve been telling Easton and Heidi today that I can’t believe how busy we are, and no one even has a job. Heidi reminded me that I still only get the same number of hours each day, and I’ve just filled up them up with other things. So true…and so gratifying.