October 30, 2012

Relying on Others

This is the start of what will be more consistent posting. I'm going to aim for posting something at least once a week until we leave Ecuador. Hold me to it, friends and fam!

When we moved to Germany, we brought a lot of silly things with us because we weren't sure what they would have. I mean, things like a half-used jar of Vicks (which we didn't really use) and a huge soup pot (which we did use a lot). Well, of course, Germany is very westernized and sometimes even better than places in the US because it has IKEA. We learned better in the two years we were there. The soup pot went to a good home at the end of our stint in Germany along with quite a few other things.

So when we came here, we didn't make the same mistake of bringing way too much. We arrived with our four suitcases and two carry-ons including all the things we thought we would need.

Here I am relying on my buddies - Meghan and Tamara -
when I didn't bring a hat for this chilly hike last year!
Our other friends used my long underwear for
warmth and her daughter had on my extra pair of gloves.
The funny thing is that Quito is very different than Munich - it's westernized, but not the same amount. And the products that are Ecuadorian can vary in quality A LOT. Plus, the imported items are marked up so much because they have to go through customs. And often you can't find what you're looking for (e.g. almond butter, bulgur, molasses, real maple syrup, good loose-leaf tea, etc.). So all this leads to us relying on our friends to bring us much of our needed items from the US when they go back to visit.

In the US, we're conditioned to feel like if someone does something for you, you need to show your appreciation very soon after that act of kindness.

It's not quite the same here - we, of course, thank the person profusely, but it's more about good karma. If you bring back something for a friend, you don't expect anything from them as a thank you because you may soon have to rely on her or someone else to bring back something for you.

Being here has really taught Greg and I the meaning of community and pulling together for the common good.

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