I took a hiatus from writing specifically about Cuenca, Ecuador because I have been mulling over whether our family trip this summer will be a permanent versus a temporary move. I have always been a “just do it” kind of gal, and I find the leap before you think approach to life very invigorating. So why am I becoming more hesitant as the weeks roll past?
Because being on vacation is like being drunk at a party – your normal walls and insecurities come down, your hair is loose (be it yours or store-bought) and your soul is free and open. Then you return home and after a few weeks of the normal routine, that vacation feel starts to wear-off. That said, the best quick-fix solution I have come up with for reminding me why I am considering making this trip a more permanent move, is a visit to any McDonald’s between the hours of 8:30-10:00 am.
Is it the incredibly gross “beef” products they sell? No. Is it the $1 any size coffee? No. It’s all of the older, retired Americans who have made McDonald’s the new hotspot. Yes people, if you are in your 70s and 80s and looking for a vibrant social scene of your peers….McDonald’s is the spot!!
This is both an interesting and distressing fact, depending on where the McDonald’s is located. If in the wealthier suburbs, then you see groups playing cards, bingo, and being rather jolly. However, if in an urban or lower social economic center, well then the scene is just depressing.
Depressing, because it is so clear that so many there simply crave human connection. Another person to hear their voice and know that they exist. They sit and complain about the family members who no longer care about them, the friends who are awaiting open heart surgery, the medications they take, their aches and pain, their past glories, and the latest in local politics. It is depressing because their communion with the world happens for the few hours they are within the overly fried, mass-produced confines of Micky D’s. Then it is back to home.
Now…granted, I am under forty, so bingo at Micky D’s is a way off…but it reminds me of how wonderful it is to live in a place where age is considered a privilege and not a purgatory, where friends and neighbors are family and your life is filled with the sight and sounds of young people (if you so choose). It reminds me that there are so many beautiful places and people to experience in this world and I am very blessed to have the opportunity to explore it.
So, we are looking forward to making Ecuador our home for a while and really learning about the country, its history, and its people. We are looking forward to getting really good with our Spanish, growing our base of wonderful friends, and continuing to live a life rich in adventure, communion, love and laughter.
Yup, this a permanent move for us…well, about at permanent as we get.