I believe it happens to all of us at some point, no matter where we may live – falling into a rut. Lately, my life has been a bit intense. With the most recent events of my “Dark Days,” coupled with dealing with the details of re-applying for my visa and finalizing the completion of my house, not to mention the day-to-day routines of working three days a week (which requires me to stay at home), as well as chores and general “life maintenance,” I finally looked up to realize I have been just existing and not living. Although sun and a few other things lifted my spirits this past week, by Friday I had pretty much been at home all week and realized I needed to finally get intentional and “break out” of my rut. So I decided to do something I have not done since I’ve been here – make my first solo trip to the nearby town of Puerto Lopez.
Puerto Lopez is a .75 cent, 30 minute bus ride south of me. Although also a fishing village, it is a larger town with more shopping and eating options. It’s also a bit of a tourist town – it is the place where the boats take off for visits to Isla de la Plata and whale watching excursions, and also contains many artesian shops of handmade goods, restaurants, hotels, bars on the beach, etc. And on Friday, it was also full of sun! I enjoyed shopping to bargain for and purchase the perfect blue hammock for my hammock room, as well as an alpaca blanket and local style dress. I spent a little time enjoying the sun on the beach and also relaxing in a hammock in the shade at one of the juice bars, sipping my fresh pineapple & coconut juice (aka virgin piña colada). The trip was rounded out by a stop at the Tia (best described as a “Dollar General” type store – small with a little bit of everything). All in all it was a very pleasant way to spend the day and break out of my routine.
Then this morning, I decided on another “break out” excursion and did something I have not done since my first week here while my friends Gail and Jefferson were still visiting. After my regular morning routine of praise and prayer with the dogs on the beach, I took them back to their home and then sneaked back down the path (so as not to be followed by them) and walked on the beach all the way to the main “playa” area where the restaurants are, to have “desayuno” on the beach! For $2.50 I enjoyed a breakfast “tortilla” (which is a frittata-like egg dish made with white cheese and chives), “pantacones” (fried plantains) and “cafe con leche.” Afterwards, I walked back through town and stopped at one of the tiendas for eggs and bananas. Walking home I encountered many of my local neighbors and we always exchange an, “Hola – Buenos Dias,” whether we know each other or not.
I am grateful to have finally taken the initiative to do some intentional things that have reminded me, once again, that I am a “human being” and not a “human doing” and that life, wherever you may live, isn’t just about “surviving” but “thriving!”