And….. I smiled. I think a better way to describe how I was feeling in the end of my first 10 kilometre race, is gratefulness. You see, in my life I always run when i need to go through things, or think something through – it literally keeps me mentally stable. And so that spontaneous night race together with my host mom, was something I really needed at the end of my first month and a half with my host family.
First let me back track a bit, and try my best to give an insight to my life here, after almost two months: The first part of my day either consists of running two laps at a local running circuit – around the river – or being close to loosing my arms, to the pain cross-fit imposes on them. Straight after I continue to breakfast with my whole family, which is made cooperatively by two different family members everyday. I begin my work at the special education school at nine in the morning. My work at the school consists of literally working with all the seven classes. Depending on the level, my work varies between sitting in a chair helping 3 year olds pronounce words in Spanish – which I still can’t understand – to teaching basic math, and working one on one with different students – which despite their disabilities, be it mental or physical, have such a tremendous amount of motivation to learn and understand, which truly makes you feel humbled by the opportunity, and inspired to do everything you can to support them – after four hours of work, I have lunch with my family and continue to my guitar lessons – three times a week = mental stability. My afternoons usually consist of practicing guitar, reading, writing or talking with my host sister.
After this introduction, I want to try and do my best to give an insight to this run, which I can’t shut up about: After starting with another 5000 Ecuadorians, I settled into my own pace, and let my mind drift to a different place. A month and a half in, I was starting to feel a lot better, but still had the occasional breakdowns. In my life I have moved (too much) and have some degree of experience, with the processes involved making a completely new place, your home. The best way to achieve this (for me, at that moment) was to think about the things that made me grateful within my host community and my host family.
The things that made and make me grateful:
- The school which I work in, has the classes laid out as small rooms, on an outdoor space, some classes are far away whereas others are placed closer to the entrance. As mentioned earlier, everyday I work with a different class, and so a lot of the days I end up walking to the other side of the campus – it’s not long as it seems , maybe a minute – everyday I pass the class of the fourth graders, there is this one kid – which loves me for some reason I never understood, but couldn’t be more grateful for – everyday when he sees me, he runs outside the class says good morning and gives me a hug – whilst (obviously) disobeying his teachers command to stay seated – although I’m not trying to promote disobeying teachers or anything, these hugs, or just the positive and enthusiastic “good morning”, really make me smile in the mornings, and along with other small things within my school, make me truly grateful for my job.
- As I previously mentioned, I take guitar lessons three times a week. On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s I’m accompanied, by one or two other students. However on Thursday, it’s only me. It’s quite amusing to me, since on thursdays, the lessons tend to shift to about half an hour of playing, and another half an hour of talking. I really love to actually learn and practice guitar, but the amount of information me and my teacher have been exchanging every Thursday, has been very inspiring and interesting to me. I talk about the knowledge I have within middle eastern music, and he teaches me about Ecuadorian music, and south american music in general. These lessons have been something for which I’m truly grateful for.
- This might sound ridiculous to some, and sane to others, but the variety of fruits have in this country make me smile. And so every Monday, before Spanish class, I go to the market, with fifty cents, and challenge myself to talk with the different dealers in the market, in order to see how many oritos (small bananas) I can get. My record has been 10 for fifty cents – which makes me quite happy and proud. Although aspect might just sound weird, I love oritos and they make me grateful for living in a country which has such diversity within it.
All those things that are mentioned above, are the primary reason for which, after running my life out on that 10 kilometre circuit, I crossed the finish line, and could do nothing else but smile
Words of gratitude:
As always, I want to end this blogpost, with gratitude to those who support me, both in my host community and in my actual community(s) around the world. The first person that comes to mind, is a very close friend from Israel. His name is Tim. We go back along way, and he never stopped supporting me, and also constantly asking me about upcoming blogposts, and complementing me about old ones, I’m grateful to have such amazing and supportive people in my life. Secondly I want to give a mention to my uncle here, in my host community. His name is Fabian, and he makes sure to accompany on my runs, and laugh at me after a tough upper body training in cross-fit, when I feel (and look) like I’m going to drop dead every minute. Besides those two I would also like to thank my family and friends at home, in addition to the other fellows here in Ecuador, for the constant support and love, when things are good or when things are challenging.
Thank you for reading.
Much love from the south of Ecuador,