Sweet Surprises

It’s been over a month since I’ve been here in Ecuador, and it’s been a week since I’ve been in Pano. So much has happened, it’s pretty crazy. To everyone back home who are reading this, hello! You all are going to be surprised with the things I’ve eaten, done, and tried. And the great and scary thing is that there’s so much more to try! But I’m here to tell you guys particularly about last night that made me feel so happy.

There I was, feeling scared and hesitating to return home to Pano after TS0. The rain poured hard. I stepped into my compound with caution and care, got to my room, and set my bag down. I went outside after, feet hanging off from the floorboard outside my room. I was about to start crying, when my cousins came towards me, laughing and screaming my name: Este, the 10 year old boy who loves bringing me fruits from the trees in the compound, Yashira, the 8 year old girl who is basically my Spanish teacher, and Mayra, the 9 year old girl who likes to cuddle with me. And even though it was raining, they didn’t care, they were outside my room, saying hi and telling me to come down. Romeo and Juliet got nothing on OUR balcony scene. And so I went down, without my flip flops, without my flashlight. And played in the rain with them for a good solid hour: dancing without shoes, sword fighting with leaves, gliding with the rain.

Afterwards, we changed our clothes, and Mayra, Yashira, and I cuddled in a twin bed in front of a small TV. I found myself thinking, thank you kids. I never thought I would like kids as much as I like them. And in the back of my mind I feel sad, because when April comes and I have to go home, I have a feeling I’m going to be bawling and crying harder than the sky does here in Napo.