Thursday, May 26, 2011

the return trip

We've been back from the beach for several days.
Karen is already home in Canada.
And we both are sick.

Something we got at the beach?  Not sure.
She is definitely worse off than I am, poor thing.  I don't know if it is coincidence that we are both sick or if I just have a milder form of whatever it is (or, being that I am a near-perfect specimen of womanhood, I could just naturally fight off things better!  hahahaha).

In spite of the results, the trip was delightful.

Have you ever had someone come and visit you that you haven't seen for about 16 years?  Or pretty much not even talked to for at least 10?
Well, I must say, and I told her, I was a little nervous.  She was coming for almost three weeks.... how in the world do I manage my life and family and entertain someone for three stinking weeks?
Well, I needn't have worried - and she told me that.
First of all, when she came, it was like those 16 years melted away into 16 days.  Other than the natural catching up on each other's lives, we bounced right back into fun friendship.  What a blessing!
Second, she does not need entertaining.  Another blessing.  In fact, we almost had too little time together (part of that being my fault taking the first trip to the beach - but it was so good to go and she completely understood).  She was on the go from the first full day she was here.  I think she saw more of Ecuador than I will in several years!

The town, Same (Sah-may) was considerable more active than my previous visit.
It made for fun people watching and culture investigation.

But if we headed back to our hotel, it was still nice, quiet and relaxing.
A great combo.

While I have never been much of a seafood lover, I did enjoy the shrimp (camerones) here - fresh as can be!  Ceviche with popcorn (they use popcorn like we use crackers in soup):
Camerones en cocado (shrimp in coconut sauce) with rice and patecones (squashed and fried plantains):
Quite tasty - although I wouldn't choose to have it very often.... still awed by the fact that I had shrimp at all!
The crazy thing is that we almost had a celebrity encounter....   Look who has a Cevicheria, right on the beach!
I had no idea Chuck Norris had ever come to Ecuador, never mind opened a restaurant in humble little Same!  The place was complete empty.  Chuck probably gave a nasty customer a round-house kick to the face and no one ever came again - too afraid.

On friday we went for a nice, long beach walk.  We walked right to the "end" of the beach where there was a large resort looking place.  It ended up being condos.  And it looked like the place, quite large, was completely unpopulated.
There were three beautiful pools that were clean and unused, so, being the thoughtful folks we are, we decided to use them.  We are awfully nice, I know.
Here Karen is modeling the infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
And myself:
This whole place was gorgeous and well kept (a rare find in Ecuador).
This is the complex from a distance.
They probably would have been more grateful if we had broken in and used one of the condos as well, but we decided against it.  Swimming in their pool was blessing enough for them, I'm sure.

Some of the people observing we did involved someone make a sand sculpture of a woman.  To keep this PG, I gave the poor lady a bathing suit.
She was amply blessed.
There were also many, many hearts, love messages and names written in the sand.

One of our favorite parts of the trip, I think we would both agree, was watching a young boy playing in the water.  He played by himself for a long time, two mornings in a row.  And he had a blast.
He was playing one morning while I was having my quiet time with God.
I wrote in my journal "Pure, unadulterated, reckless abandon.  Thrill, sheer delight, uninhibited, carefree, anxiety free, no concern for the observations of others.  Playful, no worry of safety.
This describes a young boy - maybe 8 or 9 years old, playing at the beach - all by himself - having a great time."
This is how we are to be in Christ.
All those words to describe him?  We can be that way if we are in right relationship with Jesus.  All the time.  He says we are supposed to come as a child.
Help me Lord to live that way in You.

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