Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016
Heidi and I decided to walk to the far end of town to pick up some coconut oil that we can only get at one of the B&Bs here. We keep saying we need to go into the coconut oil business. It’s a strange anomaly to me that it is so difficult, and rather expensive, to get here.
Walking through town is always an interesting experience for me. I still see new structures and business within the row of tightly packed buildings lining the various streets. We walked by a store that had some good-looking tennis shoes displayed in its storefront. The entire store frontage was probably only 8 feet wide. These places are easy to miss.
Around another corner we passed a store that had kitchen ware in it. I think I remember seeing this one before but I had forgotten about it. I told Heidi we should spend some time going into these places and see what they have. I know why I haven’t done this though.
Most of these tiny little hole in the wall places, and I mean that literally, have very little room in them. Some you can’t even walk into more than a few feet. The merchandise kind of lines the walls and often times is behind a counter. There will be one or two people who run the place sitting in chairs on the sidewalk out front.
Language becomes my real barrier to “shopping” in these places. I just don’t want to deal with it. Mind you when I do, it usually goes pretty well. At the end of any one of these spontaneous and longer conversation I am usually exhausted. Generally there is a point in the conversation where I do not understand what the person is trying to say to me, and that is the point that is hard to deal with.
As Heidi and I were walking we laughed that “here we are” in Ecuador. Looking at the many, not all, run down places we pass I shake my head in amazement that I am here. It’s not bad being here, just really different.
The streets have been dug up a lot and haven’t been repaired fully. There are pot holes, broken asphalt pieces, dirt road patches on almost every street. I guess before these streets were dug up they looked great. Evidently there just isn’t money available to fix them yet.
We discuss about being here and what the appeal is…because there is one. The obvious things are the ocean, the beaches, the sunsets, and the warm weather. The other has to be sorted through, and felt or seen behind the messiness and third world look of the town.
Heidi describes it as everything is harder to do here…getting groceries, walking or using a cab or bus to get around, cooking from more base ingredients, doing dishes by hand. Things take longer to get done. The energy here though is more relaxed.
There is a calmness that can be felt that we didn’t often run into at home. It’s not that it wasn’t there; it’s that it’s more difficult to tap into because of the constant barrage of activity and information from every direction.
Living here in Ecuador, the doing is harder but the being is easier. The doing requires our muscles and physical body. The being involves our inner selves, our souls I guess. I think a person gets a lot of mileage from an inner self at peace, a calm soul.
So we walk…and so we be.
Todd, just a comment about the torn up roads in Bahia….and they are a mess! A completely new sewer system is being installed with new pipes through out. That is why EVERY road and sidewalk seems to be torn up! It has taken longer than expected which is the norm in EC. Also, work come to a stop for a few weeks one time…I heard they ran out of money. Also the norm….probably some money went missing, some skimming off the top or whatever. I don’t know details, but hopefully things will be restored soon.
Thanks Miriam for that info. Honestly, I think it adds to my romanticization of an out-of-the-way South American town. 🙂