Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cribbage in the Wind - Part 2

March 27, 2016

This week is “Semana Santa” and we’re entering into the end-zone of season finale during “high time” along the Ecuador beaches.
It’s been sort of a weird season this year; slower than usual. The potential “El Niño Phenomenon” that scared many otherwise out-of-country tourists has yet to have any considerable effect around the Olón area.
That is not to say its impact hasn’t been felt elsewhere in the world.
The Canadians’ currency situation diminished the usual number of visitors from there, and all the main-stream media stories about the “Zika” and other mosquito borne illnesses has frightened others.

However, many friends have been sick here recently with a virus (and in some cases, an underlying bacterial thing).  These folks have been horribly and miserably sick for about 10-days to two-weeks (high fever, headaches, aching, bronchial and sinus issues - and some report vomiting and diarrhea). 
It does not appear to be caused by mosquitoes…rather a flu going around the world, since we’re hearing from people in other countries that have it too.

The Olón beach packed with
Easter crowds.
Yet life goes on here in Olón.
Same wonderful town as always.
I love that the local people here live in the present.
They have taught me so much about being in the “now”.
The Olón beach is packed at the moment for Easter weekend with in-land Ecuadorian tourists.
Business is booming, and in Olón, our other big town party of the year is coming up next (first week or so in April).

One of the great things about living here is all the interesting people we get to meet -- from all over the world.
Olón has made many improvements to the town over the last year. 

Our new wide sidewalk along the Ruta.

New and improved soccer field
and sports complex

Bathrooms soon to be available in our
town park.

On the gringo front, a number of expats are now here permanently. 
Cyndy Wergin and her husband Roger Thomte have been a wonderful addition to our expat community.
They have organized volleyball games and also recently started a Cribbage tournament, which many of us are enjoying.

The current Cribbage Tournament is being held on Tuesdays, 1PM at the restaurant "360" atop Rincón de Olón.

Great snacks and fun during the
Tuesday Cribbage Matches.

A couple of weeks ago, Annette (and Dee) managed to put together a fun, last-minute surprise birthday party for Deb Anderson (tricky to pull off, since it was held at Deb and Cy’s place, for some pool time).
A “girls’” day with lots of laughs, good food and companionship.

Sneaking in to surprise Deb.

"Help!  Help!
I can't get up"

And then, I guess last but not least…the cat is out of the bag.
I sold my lot in Olón a few weeks ago, and am making plans to return to the States.
This is not a last minute decision, but one I have been gearing up to do for some time.
I am so grateful for the time I have had on this adventure here, but after six years, I am ready to come home.
I miss my family – probably the biggest factor that lures expats back.

It was not an easy decision, but the right one for me.  And I never thought that Ecuador would be my final “landing spot” anyway.  I figured 5-7 years here, and I’ve lived in Olón six (out of eight years).

But as the time moves closer to my departure, coming to terms with leaving this place I love so much, and saying “good-bye” to the wonderful friends I have made (locals and expats)…I find myself alternately veering from excitement to melancholy.
And scared. I don’t kid myself that the transition back to the States is going to be difficult, and probably more of a culture shock than the adjustments made when I moved here.

One of the first posts I ever wrote on this blog was called “Cribbage in the Wind” about the preparation of moving to Ecuador.  It was tough!
But I'm finding it tougher to leave here than I expected.

I will still be sharing some journal notes and posts here, as I make this transition.