You most likely aren't a subscriber, so this is the text of my column in Friday's La Tarde newspaper here in Cuenca.
My wife and I returned home from the United States Tuesday, and we felt Ecuador with us all the way. In the airport restaurant in North Carolina, we ordered lunch but my meal never came. It was OK—my wife’s food was more than enough for us to share.
In the Miami airport we rode a train from one side to the other to board our flight to Guayaquil. Uh, oh—there had been a gate change. So back we went on the train to return almost to the identical gate we came from. This was beginning to feel a bit like home.
Now it was time to get on the plane, but all the computers stopped working in the entire airport. We finally boarded. A coffee machine on the plane promptly broke so we sat there forever while the mess was cleaned up. I could hear Ecuador calling to us loud and clear.
When we arrived in Guayaquil almost two hours late the van service we had hired in advance to drive us to Cuenca of course wasn’t there to meet us, so we had to pay “gringo prices” to have a taxi bring us home in the middle of the night. I tried to sleep in the car, but the first time I opened my eyes we were dodging a boulder in the middle of the road, and the next time it was raining, very foggy, and we were almost hitting another boulder. I stayed awake the rest of the trip!
We got to our apartment just before dawn. The neighborhood roosters said “hello.” I awoke around noon. The birds, traffic, buses, car alarms, and horns formed a chorus singing “Welcome back!”
On our return trip many things went wrong; people didn’t show up; it took longer and cost more than anticipated. Yet this is the magic of Ecuador, is it not? Life is far from perfect here, but somehow it all seems to work out and everyone is happy.
We missed Cuenca very much and are so glad to be home!!