Well, here I am. Back in New York, back in my apartment, back at work.
I got really lazy decided to give myself a week or two of reflection before bringing the blog to a close, and now, well, (as I place my hand gently on top of your hand, all six people reading out there), I think it’s time.
So, what to do? What to write? Well first, let’s do a little catchup. Since my last post with the Mamacitas, I left the Jungle, went to Quito for a week, and then Dave and I flew back to the states on June 3rd. At around 5:30am on June 3rd, I found out I had been in Ecuador illegally by ten days. Apparently my 90 day stay had started in November during my first trip to Quito, and not on January 1st 2010. Yikes. So usually what happens next is this: you wait for the banks to open, you leave the airport, go to a bank, pay a hefty fine through the bank, get a stamp in your passport, and then beg the airline to put you on the next available flight, having missed your flight completely. When the customs agent informed me of my expiration, I got a little dizzy and super nauseous- I wasn’t going home. And aside from being mentally prepared to leave, having an excellent flight partner, and just generally not liking getting stuck, this was going to throw a huge wrench in our calendar of events. I was panicked, but somehow still fairly quiet and super polite (I’ll say it was the 5:30am energy levels that were my saving grace).
So I don’t really know how or why she did it, but the customs agent then said to me “I’m going to go away for about ten minutes. I’m going to come back and put a manual stamp on your passport so you can leave. Normally you’d have to wait and pay $250, but I’m going to do this for you. I’m going to help you.” And she did. Several xeroxes and an aggressive STAMP later, I was on my way, indebted to this customs agent who wielded an amazing amount of power. I thanked her, I wanted to hug her, I wanted to do something to show my gratitude- so I offered her some banana bread I had baked the night before for the plane ride. And she paused, shrugged her shoulders, and said “…yeah, okay!” So, I cut her a slice of banana bread, took my manually stamped passport through security, and flew home.
flash forward to the weekend: Jamie and Elon’s wedding. The reason Dave was flying back with me in the first place was to go to one of his best friend’s weddings. The weekend was a lot of fun and was the perfect transition back into the states: pieces of newness here and there (ie potable tap water, bagels), but against the backdrop of unbelievably nice and kind people who immediately made you feel welcome (something I will really miss about life in Archidona). And I’ll say this: I think one of the coolest things about the wedding was the happiness that was everywhere. Literally everywhere. It was like everyone was walking around with a twinkle in their eye, as if they wanted to whisper to each other “pssssst…. this marriage is a really really good idea.” It was great to watch, and even better to be a part of. Oh, and we all danced. A lot.
And now, for some self-imposed Q&A!!!