Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Every day that goes by, Ecuador feels more and more like home. Captain and I had really been enjoying ourselves; exploring the culture deeper and strengthening the bonds with our friends. I was doing my best to feel good but a bit of anxiety lingered as our main objectives still remained. First, we needed to find a place to rent near our property for our next return to Ecuador. Second, we had to find a place to store our ride, Old Yeller.
When woman is not in touch inwardly, fear grips her. The Universe becomes a frightening place. The beauty of being a woman is that she holds all the answers within. When she is in tune with her inner guidance, she is able to relax in this world and trust the Universe will provide. In our masculine-dominated culture, being still is often viewed as doing nothing-woman must embrace this stillness and recognize it is in this still point where the magic happens. Tuning within to her divine feminine allows for miracles to occur.
One of the many masculine qualities I appreciate in Captain is his attention to our main objective. “We need to find a place to rent so we can be close during construction.” Our next trip back, we will begin building our Paradise on the Pacific. Being nearby would be really convenient, and as far as Captain is concerned, necessary. I began worrying, feeling a sense of urgency in Captain’s words. How will we ever find a place to rent for 6 months? We are out in the middle of nowhere. What if we don’t?
Slowing my mind and tuning into the wise woman deep within, I heard, “Patience, my dear.”
We planned a day to visit our property to take measurements of our structure and explore our property further. Armed with a large tape measure and our rubber boots we made the drive to our property. As each day passes, my vision of the future becomes stronger. Our driveway is quite lengthy and surrounded by thick jungle. Driving along I imagine how our guests will feel making this journey to our paradise. The jungle opens up and our beautiful space is waiting for us. I can see the gardens so vividly as if they have been growing for years…
Measurements of our structure were taken and we shared our ideas for layouts and floor plans. There are a few things Captain and I don’t see eye to eye on like garden tubs in each of the bathrooms and where the pool should be but one thing we don’t argue about is every room having an epic view!
We were so anxious on our previous visit, and not wanting to jinx ourselves buying the property, we hadn’t taken any pictures. When we came home and told our family that we had bought 5 acres on the Pacific Ocean, the first thing they said was, ” we want to see the pictures!” We didn’t have much to show so we made sure to take more photos this time!
We hiked around taking lots of pictures and video to share with our family. Captain was getting a shot of the coastline from the cliff’s edge when something caught our eye. Down the coast, there was a big beautiful house nestled in between the trees. I wondered who lived there? Captain, still on task, “I wonder if it’s for rent?” A conscious effort was made not to worry about the house because I only kicked up anxieties wasting vital energy.
Our day had been productive enough, we decided to spend the rest listening to the waves of the Pacific. We made a pit stop at our apartment in Atacames and then headed to the beach to soak up the hot sun. It is so very simple to find my still point with the sounds of the sea filling my thoughts. I visualized myself, laying in my zen garden and imagined the ocean waves crashing against our beach below. I am at peace.
“Yellow! YEELLLLOOWWWW!” So much for serenity now. Captain had drifted off as well and awakened just as quickly as me. “Huh!?! What’s happening? Who’s yelling?” Yellow, the wildest of all domesticated dogs in Atacames, ran right overtop me and Captain, kicking sand all over us. He started running circles around us, tossing his head all around. He was wearing a cone that made his even more spastic! What now?!?
Yellow’s equally wild owner Caffeine was chasing him down but was no match for his puppy speeds. “Do you two want adopt a dog? He has a sore tail that he kept chewing on. Yellow hates the cone. I don’t know what to do about him!?! Do you two surf? We should have lunch sometime! We wanna see your property. Come over in the morning and we will go there for lunch!” Seconds later, she was running down the beach towards Yellow who was taunting a young, terrified Ecuadorian family.
“She didn’t give us much time to check our schedule!” I said. Caffeined again.
Arriving at our friends gate in the morning, Mellow greeted us with a smile. He reminds me of Crush, the carefree sea turtle in Finding Nemo. “Heeeeyyyy guuuuys. Coooome on innnn.” I guessed he’d already spent an hour in peaceful meditation. We followed Mellow inside where Caffeine was buzzing around. “Where is Yellow’s leash? I took him on a walk this morning. Get his bowl for water. Hey you two! Did I put gas in the car yesterday? I was running around all day so I just came home!”
Opposites really do attract. I suppose that is what makes a good team…
Caffeine suggested she drive but Captain firmly stated we would be driving ourselves. I can imagine Captain riding along in the backseat with Caffeine driving. If she drives as fast as she thinks we would be in for a really wild ride! Yellow in the backseat would take the experience to a whole new level…
As we were pulling away, Caffeine leaned out her window and yelled, “We are going to get gas first! See you there!” Mellow was sitting in the front seat, eyes closed with the permanent smile of his face. Yellow was in the back, chasing his tail. Caffeine sped away and we were left in her fumes. Captain laughed out loud, “THAT is why we’re driving separately!”
It looked like it may turn to rain so we headed back to our place and got our rain coats. We weren’t in a hurry. One: this is South America. There is never a hurry. Two: our friends were heading in the opposite direction for gas so we knew we had a little time to spare.
We made the drive from Atacames and talked together about what we see for our future. Captain is much more focused. “We need to find a place to rent.” I, on the other hand, think about things that are much less relevant to the moment. “We should probably buy really nice pillow protectors in the U.S. so our pillows don’t get moldy. Comfy pillows and a good night’s rest is very important in hospitality.” Captain keeps me on track. “Let’s just think about where we are going to store our car while we are out of the country before we worry about pillow covers…”
As we approached our village, a familiar car passed us by on the other side of the road. “Was that them?” we said simultaneously. Why were they heading the other way? I turned around and watched as Caffeine whipped a U-turn in the middle of the road and sped right up to us. We had barely got out of the car before Caffeine popped up and said, “we didn’t see you down here so we left!”
I was confused. First of all, did they think we bailed on them? But secondly, how did they get here before us? I didn’t ask…
It was nearing lunch time but the guys wanted to get in the water. The surf was great but the sun wasn’t out so Captain went on without me-I’m a fair-weather surfer. When I was scoping out the scene, I noticed a glowing white man amidst a crowd of locals. Gringos are so easy to spot…I was compelled to talk with this young man. What was his story?
Guy was on an internship through his university, working with an international foundation. Empowering the people was this foundation’s main goal. One of the projects that had been started in the community was the “Women’s Co-op”. He invited us to have lunch and support the ladies. As Caffeine and Yellow ran off their energy mingling with the locals, I sat down with Guy and visited. I grilled him with questions about what the community needs most, how I could join the efforts and the greatest challenges he had faced. Their ultimate goal was to educate the locals on self sustainability through tourism but the interns realized there were many steps to be taken first. He talked about the cultural norm of living day-to-day and how the lack of insight for the future was a challenge in taking action on any projects.
From the start, I knew empowering locals, women in particular, would be how I would serve this country. What would be my role? Would I inspire women to find their passion? Maybe I could promote and sell their goods and services? Who was I up against? Of course, I spent (too much) time worrying about how it would all work out.
Mellow showed up for lunch and I saw Captain, white-faced, in the distance running to catch up. “You left me out in the deep water all alone man! I swear I saw a dark shadow swimming under me and psyched myself out. I was all paranoid and then a head popped out of the water! It was just a curious seal but it scared the shit out of me and couldn’t get to shore quick enough!” Mellow laughed in slow motion.
As the men were introducing themselves, I drifted away in thought…
The foundation works in six communities around the world, one of those ours. It’s not only me who sees the potential in this beautiful ocean side town. All this time and energy spent worrying and then the Universe presents me this incredible opportunity of an established organization to support the locals. I should have known…
In the back of my mind, I could here all the questions Captain was asking Guy. They were so very different from the ones I had asked. “Is there internet here? Where do people get their water? Do you know of any places to rent locally?” Caffeine jumped and startled us all; Yellow had been resting quietly on the ground but now on his mark, ready and set. “My friends have a home here. They are wonderful. You will have to talk with them!”
Go! She took off running and Yellow took off too! But he was tied to the Women’s Co-op tent and almost took the whole thing with him! Mellow jumped to his feet grabbing Yellow before the tent came tumbling down. That was the fastest I had ever seen Mellow move!
Before I could process what was happening, Caffeine returned with a young Ecuadorian woman. “This is Concha. She takes care of the house for our friends and will give us a tour right now. Is everyone done eating? Good. Let’s go!”
Following Concha up through the thick jungle, we eventually arrived at the house. It was perfect. Every room in the house was explored; I saw myself making dinner in the kitchen, soaking in the tub and sitting on the porch watching the sunset over the Pacific. I had already decided what room we would be sleeping in. I was sure we had discovered the home we would be renting on our return to Ecuador.
Captain reminded me, “this is the house we saw from our property yesterday. How about that for manifesting?”
“What do you two think? This would be perfect for you. I’ll talk with my friend tonight. When will she be in town? I will find out right away.” Caffeine couldn’t wait to get home to contact her friend. Mellow and Yellow had both exhausted their energies so they all headed home. They were thanked for their kindness and support and we told them we’d be in touch.
We made our way back to the beach to decompress from the day.
Beach combing is one of our favorite things to do. You never know what you will find washed up from the ocean tides. Some days, you find treasures making their way back to the sea. We were walking along our beach when I noticed some type of critter in the distance. As we made our way closer, I realized what I was witnessing. Six baby turtles were making their way to the ocean. Sure and steady, inch by inch, heading straight for the sea, patiently waiting for the wave that would take them away. The Universe was reminding me to have my future in mind but to be patient as it is all about the journey. Every inch is a part of it. Tears fell from my eyes as I witnessed this miracle.
Further down the beach, I found yet another gracious reminder of life’s beautiful ride. Washed up on the beach was an enormous turtle’s shell. From start to finish, on this long stretch of beach, I had witnessed the whole race. Life is a very long time; there is no need to race through it.
After discovering the giant shell, I looked at Captain and he was shaking his head back and forth. “We’re not bringing that back home with us!” He knew exactly what I was thinking…
There were two messages waiting for us when we got home that evening. The first was a Skype message from the home owner contacting us about renting her house. The other was an email from the Governor and First Lady offering to look after Old Yeller while we are away.