Monday, November 2 is officially the first of a two day celebration of the Independence of Cuenca. However, the celebration really begins on Saturday. Monday was a surreally gorgeous day here. The city sparkled. The humidity was low. School and work is out and the streets in El Centro, the walkways along the Tomebamba river and the nooks and crannies throughout the city are filled with the booths of artisans and crafters of every genre from all over Ecuador. There are huge woven rugs from Salasaca (must see), artistic jewelry from the Amazon, macana (ikat) weavings from Bulcay and Gualaceo and yum, delicious ceviche that is as good as Peruvian. People are happy and women walk arm in arm or hand in hand with their daughters and friends. I smile as I watch them, I am drinking it all in. The artwork of the Ecuadorian culture is amazing, I think creativity oozes from their pores! It seems like they are in constant artistic motion.
On Tuesday we left for Baños de Ambato, about 7 hours away by bus. Some of the most spectacular scenery I have observed since we’ve been here along the way. Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries in the world I think, but then again I haven’t seen every country. Our trip included mountain biking down the avenue of the waterfalls (me of course, Chet took a taxi) visiting the thermal baths, thus the name of this town, taking a trip to view the volcano Tungurahua and swinging off the edge of a cliff (not as bad as it sounds and very fun).
It has been said that life changes quickly and dramatically. Just when you think you have the pieces in place someone or something moves the pieces. As a modern day (trying to imitate) Sarah (and boy do I have a loooong way to go) it is time for me to pack up our tent and head out.
Many tears have been shed as we get ready to say goodbye to Cuenca. Yes, we are moving back to the States for various reasons, nothing traumatic, serious or life threatening. Chet and I have prayed and reevaluated our situation here and some responsibilities back in the States and made the decision to return. To ease the transition we also are enjoying the English meetings once again. It has been quite fun actually to have the whole of Cuenca as our territory!
Our plane leaves Cuenca on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 headed for Alabama. We plan to settle in a small city in northern Alabama that is renowned for the blues. I mention it simply because I happen to love the blues so what a happy coincidence to land in an area that hosts a great Blues Festival every summer. Most importantly we are eager to meet our new congregation and get busy in the work that Jehovah has us to do there. We made a small wish list, prayed and lo and behold we have a place to live when we arrive, that will make the transition easier as well. So on to a new adventure! How long will we be there? Who knows?!
I will forever be grateful for this awesome experience, we recount almost everyday the exciting times we had here, the things we learned about ourselves, each other and this beautiful country and culture, we will miss so many things but especially our dear friends in Paraiso Congregation. There were ups and downs true and I am so happy that you all shared this journey with us. Your encouraging words and prayers for us were very much appreciated. We hope that we have inspired you to take the proverbial leap and taste and see what Jehovah still has in store for you! Whether your move is across the globe to Myanmar or around the corner to Chocolate Bayou, Texas or Whynot, Mississippi (real places) for a week, a month or the rest of your life in this system we are certain you will never regret it! After all…Why Not?
Until we meet again my friends…Ciao!