Bus Ride

Charlotte Kaufman - Ecuador


November 1, 2013

I wrote this blog post over the period of my bus ride from Quito to Napo

Exiting Quito (mountain tops, high altitude [….] , morning daze and frigid air):

It is a clear, clear day and once again I am leaving home. As I drove to EIL, into the early morning sun, for the final drop-off, we saw Cotopaxi. The mountain top seemed so distant but so bold. It sat there, like a hardworking man sits in his arm chair after a long day. He contemplates the world that surrounds him– in Cotopaxi’s case, he contemplates the city and maybe even those inside the city… me?

It feels like déja-vu. The car ride to a new adventure. When I left New York my parents drove me to the airport. I was so confused and here I am again. This same feeling in the car, but with a new ‘home’ and new ‘mother’- only a few weeks old.

At first, when I look into the eyes of Cotopaxi, I am slightly intimidated. But then, I feel peaceful because in comparison to this great mountain, something so permanent, my adventure seems so small and temporary.

So, homes come and go and parents can be far away. Life can be a whirlwind. But, there are these moments of stillness, permanence, reflection and grandeur, where the magic happens.

Having descended into the jungle (mountains more distant, rich greenery, ears popping, cascades and white water):

After the silences, there are the moments that are quick and fierce. Pure exhilaration. Heads pop out of the windows. The screams,  ‘Wohoooo!’. Feeling lucky to be alive, lucky to be in Ecuador and lucky to be with people who feel this same appreciation. These moments give a renewed sense of purpose and motivate us to fulfill the goals we made for this year.

After a quick stop for lunch, we are minutes away from dropping off the first fellow at his location (Cosanga):

The excitement has faded and reality is setting in. Things are silent once again. The bus won’t stop moving and every minute we are getting closer and closer to this new life we will be living. With a new family, job and living environment, which we will have to face mostly on our own.

Charlotte Kaufman