Friday, Feb 2, 2018
Heidi and her sister Chris had a whirlwind trip up the coast. It included visiting Bahia de Caraquez and meeting with some of our friends still living there. Chris was able to see first hand all the places we hung out at after arriving in Ecuador and settling in Bahia.
She was able to meet our friends Don and Donna, who we rented our condo from while living there. She also met Henry, our friend who continues to work magic with the H Bar; a welcoming place where we spent many hours chatting with friends over a beer.
Chris also got to see all the changes that have happened in Bahia since the earthquake two years ago. It has changed a lot. So many buildings are gone. So many people are gone. It is not the same place I wrote about in my blog two years ago. Now it is a community in transition, a city in the midst of transformation. And still, a very special place remains in my heart for it and the fantastic community of people who remain with it.
Good Friends Visit
Don and Donna brought Heidi and Chris back to Olon. We had a nice visit with them. We also had Darlene and John visit with their family at the same time. It was like a mini Bahia reunion. Sadly Heidi has been fighting the flu all week so she missed out on some of the outings. After a quick 24 hours it was time to say goodbye to these wonderful people.
Back To The States
We said goodbye to Chris this week as she traveled back the to the states. The original plan was for Heidi to see Chris off in Guayaquil, but she was too sick to make that trip. We had the good fortune of Chase and Easton still being here, so they went with their aunt and made sure she got from our house to Guayaquil, and then onto the plane headed for home.
It was great having you Chris!
Our oldest son Chase left this week too, on Thursday, destined for Columbia. He went with Michelle. We said goodbye as they both headed off to explore the wonders of our neighboring South American country.
Easton will be meeting up with them in two weeks. He would have gone now except that he has used up all his out of country days until February 16th. That is when he officially meets the 2 year residency requirement and can then be gone for 5 years at a time.
This feels a little deja vu. Last year we said goodbye to Easton first as he headed off to fish in Alaska for the summer. A month later we said goodbye to Chase as he headed off to teach English in South Korea. Although never definite they would return to Ecuador when they left, both of them did.
What is different now is there are no intentions for either of them to return here. They are pursuing jobs and education, and doing what young men do. I’m proud of them. They are adventurous and know the value of a life experience. More than that, neither of them are afraid to reach out and have these experiences. What a blessing for Heidi and I who got another few months with them. It was like a bonus win on top of a really great prize! 🙂
A Final Goodbye
We are forced to say the final goodbye to our dear friend Jim. He passed away this week in Guayaquil, surrounded by his loving wife and daughter. He and his wife Bev have been our friends since we arrived in Ecuador.
Jim and Bev were some of the first people we met when we came to Bahia. They are both warm and inviting, and a delight to be around.
Jim lived life in Ecuador with the glee of a young boy. His humor was unique, even baffling for me at times. Though looking at the glint in his eye and smile on his face when he spoke, I knew his jokes had to be funny. They were just never obvious to me.
I had to think to figure them out. I believe Jim took a lot of pleasure in not being obvious. His creative writing and poetry revealed that. He was a thinking man and seemed to encourage others to do the same.
Jim was a fellow “porch dweller”. He was a survivor of the 7.8M earthquake and a fellow companion during the days that followed. He told me he came to Ecuador for an adventure. One that he and Bev could share together, keep the flame of their romance lit, and enjoy each other’s company until they departed from this earth.
Jim departed earth on Thursday. He lived his adventure! Earthquakes did not scare or stop this man from pursuing the life he wanted to lead. He enjoyed his South American adventure in and around Ecuador until the very end; and now, I believe, he continues on another great adventure.
Well done my friend, well done. You will be missed.