2012 I could barely pay my own bills, let along sponsor a child.
Yet, there I was sending that $30 to feed or clothe, or educate a child.
I thought that I was being a good person, a good christian woman, as I was raised to be. I had always grown up with the idea that it was always better to give, though they left out the part about starving yourself…
I didn’t know that my trip to Ecuador was out of a desire to be wanted by my own father. If I could fly across the ocean to see a stranger, a kid that I sponsored for years, my own father could do that for me. But he never did. To this day, I don’t mind it at all. I have already become accustomed to it, perhaps it would have been nice to see that your own dad wanted to see you enough to make it across the ocean, and even so – “c’est la vie”.
I stumbled into the airport, faded.
I was finally alone, with my backpack.
I called out to a taxi and he asked me a few questions, all I could say was “hola” and something like “taco” because I was wondering if they had any.
I got off the taxi and immediately heard the faintest whistle of an ecuadorian old man. What, you’ve never seen a slanted eye asian, an attractive one at that? My hostel was the cheapest one, it was less than $10 a night. I had a room of my own because it was off season and many people gawked at me. They have very few asians in Ecuador. The hostel manager had dreads down to his knees, he swayed in his fisherman pants. I said, “nice pants” and he replied with “only reggae people can wear this”. I nodded….staring at his hand pierced ears. Holy fuck that must have hurt.
I plopped my stuff down and determined that I had better make sure I carry my passport with me wherever I went. The hostel had a nice spanish rustic vibe. Everything was wooden, brown, Spaniard and colonial style mixed together. I cringed at the price of the water bottles. It was cheaper to drink fanta or coke, all of the sodas came in glass bottles. I wonder why they didn’t have cans.
I walked upstairs, holding onto an ancient but strong wood railing. They must have hand carved it. In his dreadlike existence, he introduced me to a spanish guy. He acted nonchalant as I stared out into the abyss, buildings after buildings, stacked on top of each other, expanding into the horizons until it reached the beautiful angel, maria or whatever it was. This must be ecuadorian heaven, this rooftop.
“Want some?” He held out a joint to me. As warned by my then boyfriend, I should not smoke anything from strangers because it may be threaded with strange chemical or alien forms. I decided to go for it; hey, I am backpacking in a strange country by myself, might as well. No one can tell me what to do, that is the best thing about being alone.
And alone I sloshed into my bedroom, with the ancient lock which you had to wiggle and pull. By then, my head was spinning a little, I think it’s called “being high” as I recall. I plopped myself down, and off I dreamt about flying to Ecuador.
The strangest thing is waking up in another country, all alone.
You look around you and forget, what the hell. Where am I? You have to question your existence, are you dreaming or are you in reality, plainly awake…