We knew it was sometime soon, but we couldn't remember the exact date we arrived in Cuenca last year. Thankfully Cynthia kept our 2010 calendar, and from it we discovered that Tuesday, May 17, was actually our one year anniversary in Ecuador. Hooray for us!!
Someone recently mentioned to me that old adage about how "time flies when you're having fun." But thinking back over the past twelve months I have to disagree. We've had so much fun, and our lives have been so busy and eventful that it actually seems like forever ago that we left Vegas to come here. I tend to think that time flies when you're bored. If there are huge expanses of nothing between a few scattered little somethings like birthdays or Christmas, it seems like those somethings are coming around again before you know it.
It's been fun to take a little time to look back at my blog posts from when we first got here and remember what we were dealing with and thinking about compared to the way things are now. My first entry was about going to our grocery store, Supermaxi. I was flummoxed by having to pay $44 for an annual shopping card--since that entitles you to 10% off on most everything in the joint plus 20% discounts on selected daily categories of merchandise we have saved SO much money over the past year. I will gladly re-up for that one.
It used to take us forever to get out of that place because we didn't know where (or what) anything was. We spent way more time staring than shopping. Now we're in and out in no time. They run out of certain special things you want, so we've learned to grab 'em when you see 'em (I wasn't quite out of peanut butter, but I saw one jar of Jiff Reduced Fat Crunchy for the first time ever and scooped it up). When I spot California corn once in a blue moon at least one meal that week will definitely include California corn. The dark chocolate I enjoy has gone MIA and may not surface for months. Bummer.
Roosters? They used to be my pet peeve. Do we have them in our neighborhood now? Yep. Do I hear them anymore? They might as well be mimes.
Language problems? Are we now fluent in Spanish? I wish. We're certainly better than when we first arrived, but damn it's not as easy as I hoped. Interestingly we understand much more than we can say. Thank God for Google Translate. It's not perfect, but it's sure come in handy muchas veces (that means "many times"--see, I'm learning!)
Why not? I love that post; you might enjoy reading it from the archives. Those two words have become my motto here, and asking that question has opened so many doors and introduced us to so many wonderful friends and experiences.
A year later much of what was confusing, overwhelming, and downright frustrating has become routine. A lot of the sensory overload and culture shock has faded into the background. There is no longer the possibility that we've having a crazy dream or at least a "memorable" vacation.
No, this is now our life. And we love it.