It is not like I have traveled as much as I would like to. I feel as I have gotten older, the need to go and see other places in the world seems to grow. It would also makes sense to do it now while I still can. I have considered myself to be just Puerto Rican for such a long time because my mother’s side of the family seemed to dominate the amount of time spent around me. So, it was easy to forget or ignore the part of my family that is from Ecuador.
My dad is half Ecuadorian and since my grandfather is not viewed in a positive light, there haven’t many opportunities for me to celebrate that side of my heritage. So it really wasn’t until my father started dating my step mother that I really began to see anything to do with Ecuador. My step mother is Ecuadorian and I have learned so much from her about this country. I have heard the music and at first I was like…”what the hell is this?” But, as I kept hearing it, it began to grow on me. Of course, she only played it when she was cleaning but that is not the point. The food…well, I love food and she makes this ceviche that would make crack seem like a small piece of chocolate.
I will admit that I had no desire to go there when I was a teenager but as I have grown older, I have felt a slight pull to Ecuador. I am very curious about that part of my ancestry and would love to see where this leads. The last time I was in NYC to visit my aunt, she pulled out this picture of my great grandfather and he looked so much like my dad! So this lead to a very long and deep discussion on a possible family tree. But, I feel, in order for me to start that, I need to plan a trip to Ecuador.
I have a few friends who are from Ecuador and they tell me that is a gorgeous place. The only problem for me is that I do not even know where to start. My step mother hasn’t been there in quite a while (other wise I would have to sneak on the plane with her) so I need to figure out where the best place is to visit.
Of course, I could start with Quito (the capital), but something tells me that I will get so lost in the shuffle. I should probably mention that I need to go with someone. No way am I going to Ecuador alone! Let me not mention that my Spanish is purely for food, medical, and bathrooms. Needless to say I will need to make sure that I can navigate this place with someone.
I have seen pictures and I heard stories from people who have been and I hoping that I get the same feeling I get when I went to Puerto Rico, which was a feeling that I belonged. Clearly, I am an American, but I felt so different because it was like everyone was close to my complexion so it felt great to me! So, I am not sure what to expect in Ecuador but I am hoping that this will be like a second homecoming.