Finding Contentment

David Jenkins - Ecuador


January 26, 2015

It has taken a lot of thought for me to say the things that I want to say and say them correctly. I can only tell you my story, and only give you a glimpse of what my time has been like here. The glimmer and the gloss of a grand adventure has faded. The sense of adrenaline, has been replaced with finding joy in the more simple aspects of life. Learning to be more appreciative of the simple things, and patient with the pace of life. No longer do I feel resentment towards my experience, I am beginning to accept my journey for what it is.

The first month in my community was the most difficult length of time, so far. An average day began with me lacing up my boots, and approaching the other employees with a smile, feeling optimistic for the day ahead, and excited to start working. Once the good mornings had been exchanged, and the minimal conversationended, we began our day. Which usually consisted of performing robotic movements while sitting alone, and in complete silence. With so much time to myself, there was nothing I could do to control the pace at which my mind would race. My thoughts would take me on a roller coaster ride of emotions, only to leave me feeling defeated at the end of each day. I would come home after work, and let everything that I had been suppressing around the other employees, spill out in silence. Forced to endure these emotions over and over again, day after day.

After working a full month, I made the decision to switch apprenticeships. Having been lacking interactions with people and feeling isolated, I was in dire need to find an environment that would include me, and allow me to me feel a sense of acceptance. It took some time, but I have now found a better sense of belonging alongside the local people thatlive and work within my community. I work for the city of Cuenca’s municipal garden, growing vegetables, and raising animals, for the less privileged schools in the surrounding areas. It’s an urban agriculture program, and there are only a few employees working on the project. What has been so refreshing is that these people included me in conversations, ask me to help, and most importantly want me to learn. The feeling of community has grown, and I am beginning to build relationships with these people as the days go by. The work itself is hard, actually more difficult than what I was doing before, but the people have made my time here feel more valuable.

When I look back over my past few months. I really resented some of the most difficult situations at the time, but now I have grown a view of affection towards them. I realize now my hardships mold who I am today. At the time I would think: I wish this wasn’t happening

David Jenkins