You know the stereotypes – we Americans are brash, we’re loud, we wear blue jeans and white tennis shoes, we wear baseball caps or carry big leather purses, we don cowboy boots for festive occasions, we think Hawaiian shirts are dressy, we are all rich, we all have maids, we all drive SUVs, we are all Christian and each and every married couple has 2.2 kids and a dog. Oh, and most of us are white. If you’re single, it must mean you haven’t grown up yet.
I fit three of those stereotypes – I am married and I have two kids and I’m about as Anglo as they come. Military life has given me the opportunity to travel and to show people from other countries that this American is anything but average.
When I started writing, I was still living in Washington DC, anxiously waiting for the cherry trees to blossom while trying not to worry too much about our future life in Ecuador. I can tell you that my life today is very different than it was a year ago.
In some ways, the transition from the United States to this small South American country has been one of my hardest, even though I have a life time of moving practice. It’s the first time I’ve had to say goodbye to one of my children for an extended length of time. Our life in Quito is more sheltered than it has been for a while – we live in a gated community and travel primarily by private car. That certainly wasn’t the case in Washington DC. And I spend much of my day speaking a foreign language.
Though we previously lived in South America, we knew it was for a short assignment. This time, we should stay three years, barring any changes by either government. Knowing that we actually have time to settle down is a little bizarre, to say the least. Normally, I would be planning the next move and instead I’m wondering if I shouldn’t do a better job watering the plants on my patio. After all, they need to survive several more months to get my money’s worth!
This year has been one of discovery. I’ve learned that taking a decent photograph means taking tons of really bad ones. I’ve learned that I should write more pieces in advance. I’ve learned that my body has to re-adjust to altitude every time we return, though some times are much easier than others. I’ve learned that driving between the lines is overrated and that as long as I don’t hit another car and one doesn’t hit me, that I’m driving just fine. Of course, that rule never seems to apply when my husband is behind the wheel. Then, I’ve just learned to sit in the back seat where I can see less. It’s a calmer ride that way.
I know where to buy the best vegetables (and can even find kale!) and to see the prettiest hummingbirds and how to make Ecuadorian Ají. And I’ve shared a little bit of all of this with you. I write about this and about that and hopefully, it pulls altogether in a blog that you enjoy. Let me know what you’ve liked and what you haven’t so that this next year, this blog improves. Without you, I honestly wouldn’t write. It’s our relationship that makes this blog possible. So your opinion matters.
Thank you for reading and thank you for continuing to return!