Ferry, Plane, Bus, Cycle
Hospital Visit #1

August – September 2016

After traveling regularly since February of 2016, we decided to take on a two month house sit in a small community in Southern Ecuador caring for a beautiful home, 3 amazing dogs and 1 pretty cat.

What happened…

Amanda writes: Vilca (as it’s called by the locals) is a quaint village nestled in the Andes Mountains just South of Loja. Close enough for convenience yet far enough to be separate. There is a real sense of community in town and you can easily feel a sense of belongingness amongst its locals. At the same time if you’re lucky enough you can have a beautiful home nestled in the mountains surrounding the village to enjoy your privacy. We were lucky enough to be house sitting in the area called Yasanga where we had just that; privacy combined with the village at our fingertips just a short 40 minute walk along a nice pathway.

We chose this house sit over another offer we had in Costa Rica. The home in Costa Rica while less work (two cats and no land) would have been busy. It was a touristy beach surf community with I’m sure lots of people and action. We’ve been traveling now for two years and the last six months of that have been in Latin America where the population is over 179 million people in the Countries we’ve visited. Canada has a population of 35 million and it’s massive landscape makes it the second largest country on the planet. So needless to say seeing so many people all the time is still new for us. Over the last six months it’s been virtually impossible to go to the bathroom without an audience, so being in a community in which we have the option to be private is amazing. Combined with that we’re far enough from town that we don’t hear the roosters, the dogs and the sounds of other people. I would go out on a limb and say this home is absolutely perfect (except no oven)! The only weird part was knowing there was a strange neighbour that overlooked the house from above in binocular range, but not weird enough to be concerning or impact our enjoyment; just … weird.

So Andrew and I for two months got into an amazing groove and routine that was so good for us emotionally and physically. We were on the heals of our recharge in the Galapagos and were in such a good mindset for being here that our energy was wonderful. Being nestled in the Andes mountains surrounded by beauty was so enjoyable. I don’t even know that I can describe it in words. The energy in this home is so tranquil and we’re so lucky that the owners shared that with us.

Over the two months I’ve created bonds with the dogs and a stronger relationship with my inner self. I’ve learned to meditate and read two books on the power of chakras. Our daily routines are incredible and we are both enjoying the groove so much. While the town is beautiful and has the amenities you need to live, we have had no desire to go and mingle with the locals or meet people. We’ve mastered our shopping and only need to go into town for food every 7-10 days. Andrew plays his video games almost every day and you know what; I don’t care. Anyone who knows Andrew and I knows this is quite remarkable for me to say this, because one of the biggest challenges for Andrew and I is his gaming. Maybe it doesn’t impact me because I’ve learned so much about spiritual balance or maybe because I’m so busy!

Our day starts with the boys (we affectionally call the dogs this) going outside at 6am for their business. Then we enjoy coffee in bed and read our books and play with the cat. Then we walk the dogs and have breakfast. After breakfast Andrew will head upstairs to his cave to play on the computer. I go outside to do chores. Part of the house sit requirement is tending to some of the garden. They do have workers that come in and take care of the coffee plants, fruit trees and other things; but there are a few items I need to tend to like the vegetable garden. So I go out and do my watering and I really wish I knew more about gardens because it could be so rewarding. While I’m gardening I typically take 1-2 dogs out with me and they follow me around or just lay in the sun. After chores I will do my workout. I do arm weights and some simple lunges and squats to make sure I don’t lose lots of strength. The little terrier likes this part of the day and rests his head on my knees while I do my wall sits. Then I’ll practice yoga for about a half hour and do my core exercises. Then I head out to the yard and pick vegetables in the garden for lunch. We enjoy lunch together and almost always play cards. After lunch we take the boys out for their afternoon walk. After their walks Andrew will sometimes throw a frisbee or stick with one of the dogs so he can burn off more steam. After the walks Andrew retreats to his cave and I will read and meditate. The back side of the house is this absolutely stunning view with a nice afternoon breeze and has become the place I see when I close my eyes. It’s my tranquil place for breathing and meditating. The boys are so accustomed to the routine that the second that I open the door, they head in that direction. The only part they haven’t figured out yet is whose turn it is on any given day. Not all three go out at the same time, so I alternate who gets to meditate. They just lay on the grass in front of me and enjoy the time. After afternoon meditation it’s dinner time and then evening walks with the boys followed by bed time. For some it may sound so incredibly boring but my days are so fulfilling.

Add to the gratifying days just the beauty of the area. Some nights we enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the town or just star gazing at the amazing milky way that appears close enough to touch. Many days I practice guitar and Andrew and I will sing loudly (sorry boys). The beauty of the area is almost palpable. As I type this and we are getting closer to the end of our time here I know that we were meant to be here. Our choice to come to this community and meet this family and care for their home is part of our journey. It has centred our energy, taught us about balance and filled us with so much compassion and positive drive that we will be stronger from it for years to come.

Today’s Photographs

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Ferry, Plane, Bus, Cycle
Hospital Visit #1