After weeks of suffering through giardia (a parasite), I am finally beginning to feel a bit better. Thank goodness, because I can’t imagine getting on a plane in this condition!
Now that I’m beginning to come out of the fog, the nostalgia has set in. We were in a taxi last night and the driver asked if we live in Cuenca. This time we had to say, yes, but only for another week. That hurt.
Suddenly, even the walk to the Latino Clinica for medical tests for the giardia brings back memories. It is right near the Tomebomba River, which always reminds me of fairy tales.
It is a rocky river with a lush green lawn. I am forever imagining how this river that flows through the middle of Cuenca was used by the indigenous people. Today, some even still use it to wash clothes. Most just sit on the banks and admire the flowing water and the beautiful flora.
I get nostalgic thinking about our first few days here. We pass by Maria, who works in the “tienda” at the base of our building and I quickly recall our first chat with her and how Tony couldn’t say more than “gracias”…and how they are able to have a basic conversation in Spanish now. Time flies.
The city still charms the socks off of me. It is a beautiful combination of historic architecture, modern growth (primarily across the river to the south), and a bundle of churches – twenty seven in
total in one city. I find myself photographing things that I’ve seen a million times. The light changes and it takes on a new beauty. It is more than the eyes can hold at times.
The people we’ve met have truly made our experience here in Cuenca. From our language exchange partner, Jorge, to the kind family at the leather shop (where we had a belt and bag made at a fraction of the cost in the US), I am speechless in either language to share how deeply they have touched my heart. Additionally, there aren’t words for the beautiful children that I met at my volunteer experience. There is a whole blog post coming
about them. I tear up thinking about how much I learned about the art of volunteering from them.
What else will I miss about Cuenca? Perhaps the best way to share them is through photos. With each comes a story, a memory, a lesson, a chance to know more. Re-entry is officially here and I’m in the nostalgic phase, so before the tears flow, here come the photos:
Nostaglia. It is definitely part of the re-entry rollercoaster.
Note: I hope to soon write about my experience with our exercises from Beyond Abroad- Innovative Re-Entry Exercises. They have been very helpful in processing this part of the journey…and will continue to be once home too.
About the Author: Missy Gluckmann is the founder of Melibee Global. She and her husband Tony are living in Ecuador for 2 months so that they can both learn Spanish. They also intend to try every variation of gluten free empanadas de verde that they can get their hands on! You can learn more about why she built Melibee Global and her background here.