Hey friends and family,
Well, the end of my time in Ecuador is rapidly coming to an end and on the horizon looms home. Home. Many things have passed in my life and in the lives of those who I am closest to since I set foot in DIA 8 months ago. Relationships have been forged and conversely distanced. Experiences have transpired that change the outlook one has on life. The connections made in life are a result of the individual paths that each and everyone of us walks. The beauty is that unlike a path carved through the earth, our paths are not set in stone. Our paths are ever-changing and intertwined with the paths of our fellow man, forming the beauty which is humanity. For whatever reason, my path has led me here to Pedro Vicente Maldonado, Ecuador for the past 6 months of my life. I have intersected along the way with people I never thought I would meet, and people that will not be forgotten as I move forward from this experience. My path has led me to an open-stary night sky where the universe seemed so infinitely brilliant, and has also led me to times where the trail seemed so cluttered and damaged that there was no possible way forward. I have metaphorcally picked up a beautiful rock here or there which gave me simple pleasure, learned how to kindle a fire to fend off the darkness of the night, or simply been carried by a man/woman when my weary legs could no longer endure. After walking in a land never known before, I now head to the place where my path was so beautifully born, crafted, and loved. The place is home. I walk to this place not with a sense of anxiety, desperate longing, or regret. I proceed with gratitude. Gratitude to all the people who have exhausted themselves to gift me this opportunity. Gratitude to the strangers that have generously opened their doors and given me more than just a place to rest my head, but a place I can call home. Gratitude to people met along the way that gave me a shot of laughter or a lending hand. My path will change dramatically again upon arrival, but I am confident that the experiences and challenges I have encountered will be a constant for the rest of my life.
I would like to share a 5 of some of the biggest things I have taken away from this year:
1) Don’t be intimidated by the size of objects presented. Whether it be thinking of 8 months in a different country, learning Spanish, or learning a banjo song, put your best foot forward and take small steps. A marathon is ran with one step at a time.
2) Don’t underestimate the ability of people including your own self. People are talented in many different ways and you never know who may surprise you.
3) Don’t be afraid to take risks in life. Won’t win ’em all, but risks are what make life interesting.
4) Honesty can be difficult in the short-run, but it pays off in the long-run.
5) I can never have too many friends. Friends can be made of all ages, sizes, color, etc. Don’t be afraid to take a step out and meet someone new based on prejudice. Get to know the person before judging.
Thank you to all the readers of this blog for giving me the space to write this year. It has been interesting for me to share experiences in this form of communication, and I have thoroughly enjoyed having the time to reflect in a creative outlet. I hope you have enjoyed reading this year, and I look forward to seeing many of your faces upon arrival. Cuidense!!!
Signing off from Ecuador,