Friday, Mar 24, 2017

I think Heidi is finishing up her shrimp head soup. I’m sure it is going to be delicious, but before I get into that…some reflection on my week.


The tendency of the psyche to battle itself is an interesting dynamic of human nature . I’m still working on getting my psyche and nature into a peaceful, relaxed rhythm. Why wouldn’t my “being” automatically go there, living where I am surrounded by amazing beauty and where my soul seems most content? Good question. Quite frankly I drive myself insane.

There is a discipline required for “stop to smell the roses” living. That discipline is required here in Ecuador, just as it is in the States…at least for me. I can be at my computer most of the day working on my projects, my goals, and the things I want to accomplish. Much of what I am doing is a stretch of my innate ability, taxes my attention span, and requires a great effort to produce the results I’m after.

I get caught up in all the things “I have to do”, which usually has a basal level of stress associated with it. When this happens the ocean fades away from outside my window, the freedom I have to fill each of my days how I choose is forgotten, and the fact I actually did make a huge move, not only in location but in my life, loses significance.

Present Moment

Fortunately I am able to shake myself awake to the present moment. I leave my computer. I walk out of my house and onto the sand along the ocean’s edge. Thank goodness for the beach! It is my touch point. I get connected to earth, energy, and a world that is so much bigger than me; so much richer than anything I alone could produce.

On this particular day the wind is blowing north to south, paralleling the shore line. With my face into the wind I feel lifted and refreshed. Connected again, as the ocean tide laps at my ankles and covers my feet. I’m “smelling the roses” of the Ecuadorian Pacific. Embracing my life and what it is in this moment. I’m content. I feel relaxed and at peace.

It is amazing how this one simple exercise can change me. No longer do I feel anxious about the future I am creating. I’m grounded, and in this place my world opens to all the possibilities  and opportunities that lay before me. I feel like I can fly once again.

This brings me back to a realization I have discussed here before. Wherever you go…there YOU are. If you are wanting to move to Ecuador, or anywhere for that matter, what do you need to know about yourself? What will you bring with you that will be an asset? What will you be bringing that may be a detriment? I have found changing locations is a whole lot easier than changing thoughts and behaviors. What do you think?

Español Again

Chase, Easton, and I started Spanish lessons this week in Olon. I have to say the instruction is excellent! I am at my learning edge with our teacher, and probably over-extending it 25% most of the time. Still, I am able to understand and follow her instruction, answer and reply correctly most of the time, and stay engaged through the entire two hour class. And oh yeah, 99% of each class is completely taught in Spanish. Hang on to your sombrero amigo!

Beach Life

The beach this week has washed up a few examples of the marine life in the waters we swim in. The octopus was right next to our area of the beach. The baby dolphin was only about 2 feet long, and being picked apart by vultures when I came across it. I thought the mouth of this dead fish was interesting, reminding me of a bird beak more than fish lips.

Marine Life…and Death

These things don’t stay long on the beach. Either the high tide takes them back out to sea, or the birds get a meal. It’s sad for me to see some of these creatures laying there with the life ebbed out of them, but it is a circle of life kinda thing. Vultures are quick to pick away at mammals, like a dolphin, or reptiles, like a big turtle, that occasionally wash ashore. Smaller birds pick at the fish.

Shrimp Head Soup

shrimp head soup

Prepping Shrimp Heads

Heidi tried her hand at shrimp head soup. We are going to eat it tonight. People around here rave about shrimp head soup. Have you ever cut the head off a fresh shrimp? All I can say is “yuk” at what drains out when I mistakenly cut too high into the head region when I am shelling shrimp.

She has cooked the heads with various vegetables and seasonings creating a very aromatic broth. For a minute she considered not straining the broth to keep the vegetables in it, but then she saw tiny black eye balls and shrimp whiskers floating around. Needless to say, straining the broth was a “must have” for me to eat it. Still, I don’t think tiny eyeballs are as bad as swollen chicken feet in a soup!

Fish Market

I was at our humble fish market this morning with Chase and Easton. A couple of tables once again had whole fish; this time with a few very large whole fish. Another table had octopus, as well as corvina and linguado, two very delicious white fish. I picked up two pounds of freshly caught and filleted corvina…$3.50 per pound.

Fish Market in Olon: Fisherman prepping fish, and octopus cut in two pieces

The table I was actually after was the one with shrimp. Heidi is going to fill her shrimp head broth soup with succulent sautéed shrimp, so I bought a couple pounds…$3 a pound. I love being able to buy freshly caught fish and seafood here. It is one of the special things about living on the coast.

Beach Wedding

There was a wedding on the beach in front of our house this week. The house next to us was rented out for this wedding ceremony and reception afterward. I could see the wedding platform on the beach decked out with all kinds of flowers. It was a pleasant evening listening to the symphonic sound of cello and violin wafting up from the beach and through our place throughout the evening. The only thing nicer would have been them sending us some plates of food to our terrace. 😉

Gotta love Ecuador!

Well, looks like Heidi’s shrimp head soup is ready…mmmm!

Shrimp Head Soup

Shrimp Head Soup