I’ve been in Ecuador for almost six months; so much has happened in that time, though . . . one incident set the pace for the next few months. Four days after arriving in Cuenca, Toshi, my very nice and very helpful son-in-law who came with me for five days, and I were at the Rotary Plaza. He was ahead of me; I was standing still, we were looking around, trying to decide where to have lunch. Suddenly, I was flat on my face. Oh, what a sight! I’ll spare the details. People thought I had tripped because gringoes here seem to be good at that . . . the sidewalks are decorated with fairly large holes (just the right size for the ball of a foot), or protrusions, and when looking up at the beautiful architecture, or at shops while walking, or in conversation and not noticing a 14″ high curb . . . a fall might be the order of the day.
So, there I was bleeding, holding a piece of my front tooth, and absolutely dumbfounded as to what had just happened. Do you remember Christopher Reeves as Superman? He’s wearing his big S outfit and ready for action, then in a flash, SWOOSH! he’s in the air, arms straight ahead. Me, too! -though, in a flash, SWOOSH! I was flat on the ground, arms straight in back of me.
“Were you pushed? Did you trip? Do you have altitude sickness?” – “No. No. And No.” Then “What happened?” – That was the question that gnawed at me. “What the heck happened?” – I asked myself as I sat on the curb, dazed.
Then Toshi and I took a waiting taxi to the apartment where I’d been living for three days in El Centro. When we arrived, we saw Jorge, my landlord, in front of his store. He looked at me, and soon Toshi and I were in his car going to Bolivar Clinic where the inside of my lip was stitched! It was an ouch! hour. Jorge slipped out of the Clinic once and returned with an English-speaking friend from Loja. After stitching was completed, we drove to the old Military hospital across from the Rio Tomebamba for X-rays. I spoke no Spanish; therefore, was not part of the conversation with the doctors. Shortly after we returned to my apartment, a few quarts of tapioca soup prepared by Jorge’s lovely wife, Susana, were brought to me. Since I could barely open my mouth, it was perfect. And, in case you’re wondering, tapioca soup is ever so comforting. Jorge’s son, Steven, who speaks English, said that Susana prepares tapioca soup whenever anyone is sick. A few days later, another few quarts of soup came my way.
And two days later Toshi left for the States with a promise to not tell family about my temporary new look. In the weeks to come, Steven accompanied me to doctor appointments – always saying, with a smile, “No worries.”
It was a time to heal and read, and while I was doing that, a sentence made me stop: “Treat everything that happens to you as an experience. Don’t judge it as good or bad. It’s just an experience.” Those words grabbed my attention, and made me snap out of thinking, “What the heck happened?” And to stop reliving, and wanting to figure out, that accident- so important because those thoughts take energy away from healing.
Then I began remembering the kindness and help that came my way after that “experience.” Before I arrived in Ecuador, I’d read that Ecuadorian people are friendly and helpful; experience tells me that that would be an understatement. They really do “go the extra mile” if that’s what’s needed. Jorge, Susana, Steven, and the Casa Britanica Cuenca staff, I thank you!
It’s a gorgeous day in Cuenca. Where you are, too?
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“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything,and love is all there is.” – Gary Zukav
“Worrying will never change the outcome.” Gregg Braden
“Life is an adventure. Dare it.” – Soulseeds