My Story, Part 5

This is a continuation of My Story from the previous post and if you didn’t start at the beginning of My Story, you really should start here and scroll up 😉

By this point in the story, I was in Ecuador and had just left the airport in the back of an old truck bed. I was holding onto my suitcase with one hand and balancing my weight with the other. A giant dust cloud followed us.

As we traveled down this rocky, dirt road, I began to wonder when we would reach a paved road. My wondering turned into disbelief,which then became a dis-reality. The road never changed, and we had arrived.

We pulled up to the house and I nervously gathered my belongings. My aunt and I jumped out of the truck bed and she led me to the house. We were greeted at the door by a friendly man, with a warm smile.

The man was accompanied by two beautiful young ladies, with dark, gorgeous hair. He took the lead and introduced himself as my uncle, Tio Jose. Once he was done, the two girls told me their names, Claudia and Lilianna.

I greeted each one of them and they welcomed me in and showed me to my room. I was surprised by the simplicity and starkness of their home. Even more so when I entered the room my cousins and I would be sharing.

Much like the airport, it was almost empty. It basically just had our beds in it and that was it. The bedding was plain and neutral and so were the bare, matching walls. I began to miss my Top Gun poster instantly.

I barely slept that night as I anxiously tried to wrap my brian around my current situation. I was 13 years old and my parents had sent me away, to a foreign country, to live with family members who were strangers to me.

Over the course of the night, this reality sunk all the way in. I woke up in an unfamiliar place and had to adapt. I started with acceptance, and moved forward into adaptation. I observed intently and followed their lead.

This practice became the essence of my being while I was there. Not only was everything I experienced, culturally different but I barely spoke the language. I felt awkward and eventually lost my confident front.

I had to struggle through communication, and therefore became selective about what I used my words for. I didn’t feel like an interactive part of my environment, so I embraced observation. I felt like an outsider.

I watched the people around me and how they acted and interacted. I was so used to being a part of a group, that this mind shift was difficult. No longer was it I that was acting and interacting, I was an observer.

These people, my family, had taken me into their home. From that day on, they made me a part of their everyday lives. These strangers included me in each of their routines, plans, chores, interests, and social circles.

The choices they normally made without thought, had to be rethought. Every plan they made, had to comprise of something at least one of them could involve me in. They shared their space and their lives with me.

I didn’t realize it then, but now that I think back, this family was amazing! They welcomed me, an outcast, rebel with too many causes; known as a trouble maker, with no tolerance or respect, into their home.

They took me in and invited me to stay as long as I needed to, because we were family. I loved them instantly, but I missed the luxuries of the good ole’ USofA. My desire was to get back there, as soon as possible.

I felt comfortable in my previous way of life, I knew it well. This new life was so totally different. I would even say it was almost the complete opposite, of the way I was living before I got shipped off to Ecuador.

To be continued…..

Wishing you smiles and sunshine,


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