An Ecuadorian Love Story

Nikita Dolin - Ecuador


December 30, 2013

You asked me where I am. Well, short story long; I’m 20 minutes outside a town that you cannot find on a map. I’m also 40 minutes outside the capital of nothing; nothing less than everything you need. If you take the journey somehow from the south, you should make sure to go when the sun is half way down its end, its end of setting that is. That way you’ll get to catch sight of my house at its peak beauty. It’s incredible really. The sun catches the house in a way that makes it glow, a standout to the already vivid wonder surrounding it. What is during the day as dry, parched and blending scenery turns when the sun hits it into a colorful, exotic and focused wonderland. There’s a secret though that only those who look get the chance to know of and it’s this; the land is always colorful and standoffish, you just have to stop and look closer to see. Anyways, you’re more likely to come in from the north and that itself is a whole other different kind of treat. First, I want you to know that we look down on Riobamba’s clouds. By quite a distance actually. When you look backwards while driving to me, you’ll be able to see on a clear day and if you look a little more to your left, Mount Chimborazo in all its glory. Then, because there’s still more to see, you’ll move your attention to Mount Tungurahua which a turn of the head in the “right” direction is needed. Though make sure to turn your head, and attention, slowly because that way you’ll get to marvel at the whole of Riobamba in a valley far below. Surrounded by mountains, a volcano and hills that will have you gasp, Riobamba looks cute cuddled and nestled against its giant counterparts. It’s really similar to a teddy bear being held by a sleeping child actually. Anyways, hopefully you’re lucky the day you come in because if you are, you’ll get to see big clouds of finely detailed smoke rising from the mouth of the volcano. Better yet, you might get to see lava pouring from it as though it were a bleeding heart.

Now,turn your attention back to the front where beauty flies by like confetti shot out of a cannon. Though it can’t compare to you, it still comes close and I’ll take anything that is half as great.Watch the small cement houses pass by and remember that each and every one has a story behind it. Imagine all of the happy family memories that happened there. Think of all the cherished moments that have passed and are yet to come.I know you’ll be getting more nervous with each passing second so realize that we have gone from so far away to only a few minutes in between(left). Love those last few moments because it’s the pain that makes us realize the greatness we have. Just a few more hundred meters. Look at the rising hills and mountains, the villages on the slopes that somehow stay put. The cows, donkeys, chickens; take it all in. The seconds pass by quicker. Your heart races faster and faster but don’t fret for I have nowhere to go.  You enter what looks like natural gates embedded in the hills. If you feel faint, don’t worry because the entrance to the river valley below is safe, friendly and happy. We are a quiet community. We love, feel and live so us two will fit in effortlessly. The hills roll like dough being shaped on itself. The green and brown square plots contrast each other, lying effortlessly like a blanket on a bed. You pass farmers herding their cows, their livelihood, their heart and soul back on home. The sky is a shade of blue that you never thought was possible. So bright and vivid; so carefree and happy. The road slopes down and you can see a giant mountain framed by two epic hills in front. It gets bigger the farther you drive forward. You become even more nervous but don’t worry because I promised I’d take care of you. The car slows down then comes to a stop in front of a big metal gate. The driver gets out and uses a great starting force than inertia to fly the grand thing open. He gets back in and you all slowly roll in to an opening where the car sleeps at night. You all get out and then you look carefully around.

Scared to death and nervous, your interpretation of what is around you is skewed but don’t fret for that will change in a matter of weeks if not days. You take in the bushes to your right guarding the perimeter but you don’t notice the flowers carefully tucked in the trees above. Big and pink, you’ll later come to love and care for them. You then look to your left at the big open garage housing all of the metal working tools. How could you have known that soon you’d be using them with others and by yourself to make quick fixes and grand pieces of finery?  You then turn your attention to the front where a separate building lies. It has a broken pane of mirrored glass tucked behind the metal ironwork that protects the glass pane behind. You would never have thought that your happiest memories would come from what you later will find out is the kitchen. The driver happily tells you to follow and so you do. You both go toward a two story house and up stairs that have no guards on the left side. All you can do is imagine the nights of falling down it but you are blind to the beautiful canopy of vines and flowers on the right side and above, forming a tunnel of sorts. You both go towards a door that is slowly opening and push it farther ajar. A voice clears behind you…

“Bienvenidos Nikita”

“Welcome Nikita”

 

 

Nikita Dolin