Well, this is definitely the saddest blog post I’ve written since I’ve been in Ecuador – because today I had to say goodbye to my dear friends, Bill and Elaine. Fortunately, it has been coming on gradually, because I moved from where we were all living just over a month ago and they moved into their house outside of town just over a week ago. But this coming Wednesday they return to Canada for at least six months (and maybe more, depending on their visa situation), so today they had me, Mesfin and David (as well as Tulia and Sarah, another new friend of theirs that I’ve recently met from Mirador San Jose) over for a farewell lunch and last few games of cards. When it was time for Mesfin and me to leave, I had to say a hasty (but nonetheless tearful) goodbye. But now I am back home and well into a full blown “ugly cry”!
I cannot even begin to say what these two sweet people have come to mean to me in the five months since I’ve been here! Although they had only arrived three weeks ahead of me, they had already covered a lot of ground and quickly took me under their wings showing me the ropes; feeding me countless meals; taking me shopping; introducing me to their friends; teaching me what is now my favorite card game; coming to my rescue from numerous household problems at my last residence; providing a listening ear and advice when needed; and just generally adopting me into their home and lives. Even when I wasn’t actually with them, I could always hear them up on their balcony – Elaine’s infectious laugh or Bill’s warm chuckle. And I knew even when I couldn’t hear them that they were just a “holler” away. I honestly logged more hours with them in the last five months than I have with many of my dear friends back home that I’ve known for years – because here, life is very much a “community event”.
I always knew this day would come (and even began to brace myself for it when I wrote my post on “Change“), but here it is and it still hurts! I know they will be back at some point and we will enjoy new times and memories in their new house and mine – but it will be different from living as upstairs/downstairs neighbors, as we did before.
So this blog post is my feeble attempt to thank them for being such dear, sweet friends (although when I reflect on all they’ve done for me and all we’ve shared together, words just cannot even begin to adequately express what is in my heart!)
Here is a slideshow of a very few pictures of some sweet times – one more sad thing I realized in doing this was just how few pictures I have from all the memories – I guess the majority of them will just have to be preserved in my mind and heart!