One month from today I will fly to Ecuador! I’ll land in Guayaquil (pronounced why-a-kill) and from there take a van to Cuenca, a 2.5 to 3 hour drive through the mountains. Friends have told me that riding through the mountains at night is where the adventure begins. (They have obviously never ridden in a taxi or auto rickshaw in India!)
I’m excited about this next trip and plan to blog while there, beginning with a report on my first outing which will begin within hours of my arrival! While it may sound kind of crazy, I’ve reserved a seat on a train that will take us on a journey into Ingapirca, Ecuador’s most well preserved Incan Village. The crazy-sounding part begins when I arrive in Guayaquil around 10:30 p.m., hop on said van after collecting my luggage and arrive at my friends’ home in Cuenca by 1 or 1:30 a.m. And this is where it gets really crazy; we’ll have to leave their home at 5:30 a.m. to catch the bus that will take us to the train which will take us to the Incan village, a two hour ride away. So, at most, I’ll get three hours sleep before getting up to shower, dress and be ready to catch the bus.
Another challenge on this journey will be adjusting to the altitude and doing it quickly! Cuenca is at about 8200 feet elevation while Ingapirca is at 10, 200! Why on earth am I willing to do this? While I don’t know if this is a karmic leaning or simply curiosity, I am, and always have been, drawn to know more about indigenous cultures; to learn about their their relationship with Mother Earth, their spiritual perspective, and their healing methods. Maybe it’s because I believe they experienced an intimacy with the earth that I long to feel.
I have tasted this kind of intimacy through the Native American practice of honoring aspects of nature as relatives: acknowledging that the trees are my sisters and brothers, the Sun my father and the Moon, my sister. I even experienced it once with a calf when I called him my cousin. I felt a true heart connection with him when I said, “Hello, Cousin,” and think he might have felt it, too, because he stopped eating grass for a moment and looked straight at me.
Perhaps because of my desire to reach out to nature in this way I may have established myself as a crazy person in your eyes. I hope not, but if so, I suppose it’s best to establish that early on. I would like to think that anyone reading my blog will be in alignment with this perspective and even if they’re not, be willing to stay here and possibly learn something about how someone with a different perspective experiences the world.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Before heading for Ecuador next month, I’d like to keep a promise I made last year; a promise I was unable to keep because of power failures and all-around busyness while in India and Australia. My next blog will be an effort to share both my experiences and my take-aways from that journey! Hope you’ll join me then.