Friday, Jun 15, 2018

Happy Factor

Ecuador is a happy place. Well at least the locals seem happy to me. I walk around the small towns here and what I notice first is that most people seem to have smiles on their faces. They look at the people who walk by them and who they pass by. It is easy to get a “Buenos dias” or “Buenas dias” back when one is given.

I admit that it seems like I may have to be the first one to extend the greeting, but once I do I am usually met with a big smile and an appropriate response of Good Afternoon and How are you? My judgment is that many of the locals are shy about speaking to the gringos, but are more than willing to do so once spoken too.

When I see the school kids in their unisex sweat pant school uniforms all walking in the streets on their way home, they are smiling and laughing. It’s genuine. They don’t seem burdened by many of the stresses that exist in more modern areas or countries with kids. I don’t know if I am projecting my own desire for a simple and happy life onto them, but it sure seems like they are joyful.

It isn’t uncommon while I am waiting at the bus stop in town to have 3 or 4 men sitting there, with absolutely no intentions of getting on a bus, they just watch what is going by them. It’s not all watching though; sometimes I can tell they are giving each other a rash of shit. It’s all in fun as they grin and laugh and shake their heads at one another. They seem happy.

Dancing In The Streets

I was walking down the street in Olon one day this week and some ladies were gathered for something. Maybe it was a birthday celebration, I don’t know. What I do know is that they were having fun. They had music playing, and then they just got up and started dancing. People in nearby homes and business came out to watch them. Some even brought chairs out so they could really enjoy the show. No one cared. No one was self-conscious. It is a way of life here that the community watches and observes what “the neighbors” are doing, and “the neighbors” always take it in stride.

Here is some of what I saw.

Of course Olon’s neighbor just over the hill is Montanita. There is often dancing in the streets there too. If it is happening at night it usually involves consumption of mass quantities of alcohol. In the daytime however it is a little different.

These two people were traveling down the street of one of my favorite hangouts. Suddenly there is music and dancing. Well…trying anyway. Dancing for some coin is less common than singing here, but it works just as well when you’re trying to earn enough to pay for another night at the hostel. Take a look.

There Is A Reason It’s Green

I’ve had some enjoyable walks this week, not only on the beach, but on the hills as well. I walked up from the beach to visit my friends at Samai in San Jose. Their resort sits at the top of one of the hills that travel parallel with the ocean shoreline. It certainly is green and lush up there. As you can see, these hills attract the clouds that then just sit over the beach…and me. 😉

Lush Vegetation and Cloud Cover Line My Way To Samai

On the beach side of things, the clouds create an entirely different feel and look. On this day the tide was up and pushing back against the river that lightly flows into the ocean at San Jose. As I passed, both the bird and the old man were searching the waters for food. I wonder who caught more?


Oh Rats

I also came across a dead beach creature that I haven’t seen before. This guy may have wandered from the river area out onto the beach. Another theory I have is that he was in one of the fishing boats out in the ocean and somehow went overboard. The tide brought him in…dead of course. Regardless, this is the first rat I’ve seen in this area.

Oh rats!

Now I bet you’re wishing for one of those sunset pics I just wouldn’t stop posting, huh. Me too, but no sunsets this week. Rats!