Friday, Apr 14, 2017

Time Together

What can I say? Another fantastic week living on the beach in Ecuador. As my son Chase commented, it feels like a family vacation, and I would have to agree with him. Our family has been blessed being able to spend so much time together in Ecuador. These past several months we have been learning a new language, experiencing different customs, and sharing a life so different from the one we had in the States.

What’s Ahead

Change is in the air however. Easton is heading to Alaska next Wednesday for the summer. He is looking for a job on a fishing boat. He doesn’t have one secured yet, but is hopeful with the contacts he has it won’t be too long before he gets one.

It sounds like long, hard days of work on the boat which will definitely be a different kind of pace than his year in Ecuador. I’m glad he isn’t afraid to work. More than that though, it will be another really great experience for him to have in his young adult life.

Chase is heading back to the States in May. It appears he may be off to Seoul, South Korea at the end of May to teach English,  until (and hopefully) his US Aid job comes through. Although the US government recently announced it removed the hiring freeze, it did not remove it for US Aid. We are all wanting good news from US Aid before he actually has to be in South Korea. After reading more about the tensions between the US and North Korea today….who knows if Seoul is the place anyone should be right now.

Soon Heidi and I will experience our Ecuadorian adventure as “empty nesters”. We certainly have experienced our life together this way over the seven years prior to moving to Ecuador, so I know we will do well together. And just like memories of being a family back home, we have great memories as a family here in South America. For me, that is pretty special.

My Really Awful, Very Bad Haircut Day

I finally got a haircut this week and what a disaster. I have only seen one haircut place around here and it is in Montanita. The front part is a barber shop and the back part is a tattoo shop. The barber and tattoo guy are one and the same. So, I would think a tattoo artist would have the “artistic” eye to do a good haircut.

Maybe my haircut was too artistic, or maybe the barber was having an off day. The problem for me when he was done was two-fold. First, he sprayed down my hair with water so everything was pretty flat against my head. Second, I didn’t have my glasses on and I couldn’t tell that anything was out of proportion.

Well guess what? When I got home I looked in the mirror with my glasses on and I thought, “What the hell happened?” One side of my head was cut short and close, faded into slightly longer hair at the top. The other side of my head however had a one inch shelf of longer hair above the buzzed side, and looked completely ridiculous.

I came out of the bathroom and had my family look at what the guy did. It was hard for them to not bust a gut laughing. Chase said I made it worse because I had exaggerated the “shelf” on one side of my head. I said I didn’t exaggerate anything. It’s just what happens when it isn’t slicked down with water.

the pause

Bad Haircut Day

You know if I was 18 years old this would probably be fine. A bit funky and a little edgy maybe for that age bracket. But I don’t see those adjectives as an appropriate descriptor for a haircut on a 54 year old, white-haired dude.

Maybe I should have known better going to this guy. He probably just doesn’t have many old guys come in and sit in his chair for a cut. At any rate, Chase and Heidi were able to “fix it” so I stopped shocking myself when I looked in the bathroom mirror…and it was worth the $6 bucks for the laugh it gave all of us.

One Year Anniversary of Very Scary Stuff

One year after the earthquake, the tear down continues in Bahia de Caraquez. It is amazing not only how much damage occurred but how long it takes to deal with the clean up. Donna sent out this pic on Facebook.

the pause

The Ultimate Jenga

Personally, with the way that building is leaning at the top, there is no way I would want to be the driver of that backhoe. Maybe he is a Jenga master?

The Pause

This Sunday, April 16th, marks the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Bahia and surrounding areas of the coast. We are going to be in Bahia then for a get together with our friends at Don and Donna’s farmhouse porch. It seems appropriate since we spent 10 days living there while dealing with the aftermath of the quake.

Thinking back on what has happened since then, it makes me realize the importance of “the pause”. It is that place that may last only a few seconds, or maybe it lasts several months, but it is the place you go to slow down when things are moving too fast.

Heidi and I, and Easton, we paused. We found a safe place, paused, and were able to examine our options, consider our choices, and then act in a manner that served us, and not work against us.

The earthquake is an extreme example, but it was the thing that could have driven us out of Ecuador shortly after we arrived. Not choosing that option, we took our pause in Cuenca. It allowed for new experiences, friends, and memories. And with a new plan, we were able to act and get re-established back at the coast.

How many times can we fall into reacting, when intentional action would be a better choice? I react to what you just said, and then what comes out of me is hurtful. If I went to the pause first, I could get my bearings and then chose to act. Maybe I would have something different to say, maybe I would have a better choice to make, and maybe I would experience different and better outcomes.

Honestly, I am challenged by “the pause”. I can still be highly reactive….just have a taxi driver overcharge me. 😉 What I know is that when I am able to enter the pause, I get better results in my own life.

The pause can look like a lot of different things. Maybe it is deep breaths, or it’s meditation, or a nap, or a walk on the beach at sunset. The important thing is that it resets and refocuses you toward your best results.

It doesn’t matter if you try a new adventure in Ecuador, or continue the adventure where you are currently; everyone wins when we choose options that brings forward our own best results.