Sunday, August 14, 2011


¡Viva Ecuador!

That's right, Ecuador's Independence day was August 10th, which was (barely) celebrated on the island by a small parade in somewhat inclement weather. Being a Wednesday, the holiday was moved to Friday, providing proud citizens with a three-day weekend to reflect upon the liberation of the small nation.

Since it's quite possible that Ecuador loves its holidays more than any other free nation in the world, last week's classes were poorly attended. But this could be due to several reasons. Either students were A) confused about the weeks holiday schedule that I plainly posted for them, B) too wrapped up in the marching parades and flag-hanging and powerful speeches given by their leaders, or C) totally didn't bat an eye about ditching out on class. Or any combination of the three.

No matter, it was nice to glide through a shorter and easier week, all the while looking forward to taking the boat out this weekend for a quick run to test the engines and do general cleaning.

That is, until Thursday morning, when word spread that we were under an Orange Alert.

Upon first hearing this, I was more than a little worried about the fruit that has only recently come into season, and of which I have been consuming like some sort of shameless Vitamin C junkie.

But, to my further dismay, the warning was not concerning the abundant fruit harvests, but to the strong waves that were due to arrive within the next four days.

The next four days which happened to fall over the three-day holiday weekend. Crap.

So, while some nervously monitored the shores and breaking tides, plenty of others were left trying to fill their days with other activities, since their business trips, food and gas cargo, and tourism ventures were delayed for half a week.

The weather hindered many options by refusing to put on a happy face and let the sun out long enough to dry up the rainy/misty landscape. (Not to mention the beaches were completely prohibited, don't even think about it, gringa.)

Movies were bought. Naps were taken. I read two books. We even attended a glow stick party. Same bar, same songs, same drinks, same people, but with glow sticks. It was a nice try.

We spent most of a whole day in the highlands farm, socks and shirts tucked in to keep out the biting ants and mosquitos (to no avail) while we collected oranges, tangerines, papayas, avocados, bananas, and one lonely egg that hadn't already begun incubating. Even the donkey looked disappointed with the foiled holiday plans.

So now here we are, Sunday afternoon and not even a dampening of the waterfront with hazardous or violent waves. The sun has decided to come out as an act of consolation, and the boats have once more fallen back into routine tours and charters and deliveries.

So the joke was on us, Ecuador. Maybe you really just wanted to insist that we all take the rest that you thought we surely needed this weekend, in honor of your free and laid-back spirit.