The Most Beautiful Place No One Has Ever Seen

Joe Giallo - Ecuador


November 5, 2010

I’m here in Apuela now. Well, in actuality, I’m just outside of Apuela, in a place that is just a bit more rural, and whose name I do not know how to spell, so forgive me. In lieu of a name, allow me to paint you a picture of what my house is like.

Ten minutes on the back of a truck roaring down a dusty dirt road. Five more minutes spent navigating around horses on a nearly non-existent road. Finally arriving at the rough equivalent of a cul-de-sac, and having the truck turn around. Hopping off on to rocks, dirt, and grass with more suitcase than I probably ever should have considered, and seeing a giant stone archway. And then a bridge, made of wooden slats and metal wire, spanning a magnificent river that you can hear from anywhere, a soothing background to everyday life.

That’s the front door to my house. A few more minutes of walking, down a path lined with coffee trees and other flora, and you arrive at my house. Two buildings, housing all five of my brothers and sisters, my mother and father, my father’s sister, my grandma, and me. Oh, and more people, too. At the instant of writing this paragraph, I just met my other two siblings for the first time, two cousins, and the husband of Carmen, who I think might be another of my father’s sisters, not to mention the people I may be forgetting.

And then there are the animals. We’ve got two dogs, one cat, four baby pigs, two really huge pigs, countless hens, one rooster, even more countless chicks, and lots of ducks. I may be forgetting some, too. Ah, yes. Horses. Which my father says I’ll be learning to ride, at some point. And cows too.

Welcome to Apuela, and my new life. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy.

Joe Giallo