so the month of rain has arrived in macas. aside from making it a little difficult to hear my little students answer questions (they live on a top floor which is only covered by a tin roof, you can imagine what that sounds like), or being challenged as to the best time to do laundry, i'm actually enjoying this. having a nice dramatic thunder storm roll through every day is definitely an interesting change from hot, humid and sunny.
not to mention that everything becomes even more intensely green, if that's at all possible.
i'm a teeny bit resentful, but can already tell that living here will teach me to develop that extra oomph that you just don't need back in good old mannerly (and it's true, apologetic) Canada. this will probably serve me well in future life.
assertiveness training 101. while remaining friendly, of course.
one of the beautiful things however (as i've probably already mentioned) is the kind of hospitality that is shown here. it has nothing to do with great table settings or spending days cooking a feast, or having the best wine. it's more about offering what you have. a simple glass of water, juice, a little fruit or a cheese sandwich. something to make some else's day a little easier, and making them feel like a part of your family for a while, no matter who they are. it's one of my favorite things about this culture, and i hope is something that i can bring with me wherever i go, and shake off the western (or is it northern?) perfectionism and accompanying anxiety attached to 'having guests'.
today was a lovely day to be on the receiving end. i got to taste some freshly smoked meat (right from the front yard, mmmmmmmmm) and drink tea made from the leaves of a local tree. i also got sent home with a bag of bananas and cinnamon and a little recipe for breakfast (cook sliced banana in milk with a stick of cinnamon, just for a couple mins. a nice relaxing food to start the day). amidst all these generous gifts i managed to squeak out that i would one day make some beef stew with beer and try to return the favor. but there's no way to win... you just have to accept it with gratitude.
ecuador is probably packed with more surprises. some good, some unsettling. is this an appropriate time to say 'life is like a box of chocolates'?
more things to get used to and decide whether to roll into my personal life vocabulary or leave to the side and just accept it as a part of someone else's.
still a long road ahead. one step at a time.