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Love (#4, Ecuador, 2013)

Friday, February 15, 2013

View of Rio Intag from terraza outside our room at Tierra & Sol Lodge, Intag, Ecuador

Aimless Love

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door --
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor --
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

~ Billy Collins ~
emoticon all its guises and forms, the very force of life as we know it, yet manifesting in the smallest, most homely, most subtle ways. Travel definitely helps me keep in touch with the reality of This Love.

With this, I am beginning the 4th pictoral blog in Ecuador.

Amrita, my god daughter, is on vacation between trimesters at school, so we traveled to a rainforest zone called Intag for 4 days..."we" being German, Amrita's dad, Adelaida, her mom, Kenisha and Josh (young adults here on university study abroad projects -- Adelaida is hosting them in their holme).

We rented a room for six for $40 per night in Intag at Tierra & Sol, a lovely lodge, and $7 each for three lovely meals per day(I broke my "flesh" fast and had some of the delicious trout from Rio Intag who I thanked for sacrificing their lives for our wellbeing). We also ate platanos (a type of banana, cooked in various exquisite ways), yuca (a potato-like tuber, which is prepared in many ways) and many other delicious delicacies.

More photos in Intag:

If you look at the first photo with the huge prominent rock on the other side of Rio Intag, this is the same rock Adelaida and German are waving from, taking in some sun. To get there, they crossed the bridge that you see further down among the photos.

Path from our room.

Kenisha at the gate to Tierra & Sol (you can see the "Sol" part of the sign)

The six of us at breakfast in the lodge -- from the left Joshua, Kenisha, Adelaida, German, Amrita, me

Kenisha and Adelaida

Kenisha and I heading up to a garden owned by Tierra & Sol of bananas, pineapples, coffee (Intag is known for their delicious beans), yuca, corn, etc.

Amrita heading up to the garden

Me, Joshua, Adelaida on a hike

Hanging out in the thermal pools

More hiking, crossing the Rio Intag

Amrita, Adelaida, German and I also went to another beautiful pueblo and area called Zuleta, where the indigenous women are known for their beautiful embroidery.

German is enjoying the wood furniture of an "artesano" in Zuleta

Adelaida and I

An imprompteau picnic in the country surrounding Zuleta (German took the photo)

Barriga llena, corazon contento (full stomach, happy heart).

A few miscellaneous photos:

Amrita and I heading out (watch out world!) The front house is owned by an American couple, Cassandra and Julian, who have started the first micro-brewery in Imbabura province in their B & B, Rio Blanco Bed & Brew. Ours is the back house.

Amrtia taking a juice break from helping mow the front yard

A nice fire going in the front room

Fanicita, a dear friend and very special woman, with a deep sense of service to others, modeling a hand-made hat

Kenisha, Amrita and me in the kitchen at home

Amrita and Joshua

Amrita's amazing hair, in a dressy style (Josh and Adelaida in the background)

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GIANTPANDA 3/28/2013 7:14PM

    Wonderful! Namaste!

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_VALEO_ 3/28/2013 6:28PM

    I discern in your blogs, small pauses from your exhilarating adventures, small breaks allowing reflections while sharing with us.
Now and then, it is important to pause in our pursuit of happiness, and just be happy.
I can feel this happiness as if I was touching it. Like a small rock bouncing on water, joy, kindness and happiness bounce back on us, happy readers.

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FLORIDASUN 3/24/2013 9:42AM

    Such joy in simplicity...ahhhh! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSANNAH31 2/22/2013 1:31PM

    You look wonderful in these photos! You must be feeling the beauty of the area and the love of your friends. I am happy for you.

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HIPPICHICK1 2/18/2013 12:09PM


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    I love that poem too!
Looks like a wonderful time. The country is beautiful, la familia tambien!

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PEACEFULONE 2/17/2013 2:47AM

    Lovely to see what you are up to and to know that you are having such a great trip. Delightful poem. Thank you for sharing!

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GOANNA2 2/16/2013 7:47PM

    Dear Maha, I have missed you and always love
to hear from you. The countryside is so beautiful.
Good friends, good food - healthy life. I also love
the poem. Hugs to you my friend. emoticon

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2BMYOWN 2/16/2013 5:53PM

    Love it, Maha, happy travels!

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VEEJAY3 2/16/2013 2:18PM

    Well, you got me back over here with Billy Collins. I've missed you! And am so happy to see your happy face, and your traveling miracles.
Blessings on the road that unwinds before you!

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ABURRIS2 2/16/2013 11:41AM

    What beautiful country and beautiful friends! There is such a sense of ease and happiness emanating from these that is wonderful. I am glad for you! Thanks so much for sharing more of your life.

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JESPAH 2/16/2013 10:26AM

    Oh, I adored that poem!

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BILL60 2/16/2013 7:51AM

    Very nice!!

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DDOORN 2/15/2013 11:41PM

    So lovely to see how you have immersed yourself so thoroughly into the lives and world of the people of Ecuador!

Savor, savor, savor!


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CARRAND 2/15/2013 8:40PM

    Wonderful poem! I love Billy Collins.

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MTRACHEL 2/15/2013 8:33PM

    The world is all the more welcoming with you and Amrita walking into it.

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ME_HERE_NOW 2/15/2013 6:52PM

    keep enjoying your friends, nature, and good food! :)

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2WHEELEDSHARON 2/15/2013 5:05PM

    That poem and those pictures are blissful! Thank you for an amazing blog, Maha.

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GENKI_WARRIOR 2/15/2013 4:35PM

    OH that poem!! I dig it! It hits me right here!
Lovely photos; looking forward to more! so glad you're having a BLISSFUL time!!! Keep following THAT!

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/15/2013 4:23PM

    Oh how I love that poem...y tu mi amiga Hermosa. La vida es buenisima!

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    What a beautiful blog and photos. I love the poem too - thank you for sharing that. I was lucky enough to go to Quito and then to the Galapogos Islands. What an incredible part of the world you are in. We are enjoying it through you!

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SLASALLE 2/15/2013 12:30PM

    What beauty. I hope to someday see this piece of the world, when the time is right. In the meantime, your pictorials continue to keep that journey still in my mind, and as we know, "where attention goes, energy flows" ...


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CRYSTALJEM 2/15/2013 12:01PM


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KALIGIRL 2/15/2013 11:59AM

    Fabulous emoticon

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CHRISBEM 2/15/2013 11:57AM

    those pictures are beautiful

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