“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” -Paulo Coelho
Manabi Province, Ecuador – Years ago when making the commuter flight from Quito in the Andes to Portoviejo on the Pacific coast, I often studied the landscape below. After marveling at the beauty of Chimborazo poking through the clouds, I wondered about the lower elevations as the plane prepared to land. A large body of water always intrigued me, and I assumed it was ‘never-never land’ – perhaps like the Darien Gap swamp between Panama and Colombia.
“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Several months ago, my friend Xiomara helped rekindled that interest when she mentioned she’d be working upriver from Portoviejo. Deciding to close the chapter of ‘Casa Loca,’ it was time to move forward, and many places held my interest. I had been combing the Province via Google maps in search of a quiet area with a good source of pure water – away from pollution and surrounded by natural forests. I did not want to make a temporary move, and I suspected that patience would be rewarded.
Scouting via Google Maps, I was disenchanted – and shocked – at the continued deforestation. Out of curiosity, I zoomed to the little hamlets where Xio would be working and was delighted to see that large body of water! We coordinated meeting when she traveled to the area, and while she was working, I scouted around, loved the extremely-peaceful vibe, and returned for a second day of exploring the area. The locals pointed me to the ‘Swiss cabanas’ which turned out to be so much more than simple structures! Continue reading