Larry Jordan

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Travel: Ecuador "Through the Glass Darkly"

Jul 21, 2022 by Larry Jordan, in Travel
When we travel abroad, we see clean clothes, manicured lawns, and modern buildings, and we think, "Small world. Looks just like home." But, the clothes may be washed in the river, the lawns may be cut with machetes, and the buildings may be empty shells.

Ecuador is a beautiful country with friendly people. Our accommodations are clean, comfortable, and safe. Our hotel staff is engaging, kind, and solicitous.
But, the Center for Disease Control has issued a health advisory, and the State Department has issued a travel advisory. In bold letters, it says, "Do not travel to Guayaquil, due to crime."

There is a lot to see from our room, and we recognize the regulars -- the beggars, the scavengers, the streetwalkers, and the vendors.
On the corner, there is a garbage can where one man salvages a shirt and another man empties his bladder. The 'circle of life' on the streets. Now, we are hoarders, too. Not so different.

One night, there was a mob of noisy revelers, and I saw them reflected in the glass across the way. There was a police car on our corner and a police officer in our corridor.

Look at the photo of the noisy revelers below. We see "through the glass darkly" as Paul says. What are they doing? Why are they shouting? Will they get violent? What should we do?

I asked the officer what was happening. "Argentina is playing Ecuador in the World Cup, and Messi is staying at this hotel." Cool.

Tonight, I lay awake in our hotel room, taking in the strange sights and sounds of the city, thinking that we are really far from home.

To be continued...