It’s official. Next March, Stella and I are going to Ecuador.
It all began when my girlfriend Stella told me about a group tour she had seen online. Her church works with an organization that helps children in other countries. For two years now, she has sponsored a little girl in Ecuador, and periodically this organization puts together trips so that you can meet the child you sponsor.
Stella explained all this to me, told me about next year’s trip and invited me to come. After jumping ten feet in the air and floating happily back to earth, I said yes.
We don’t know much about the country. Stella used to know an exchange student from there, and can even now rattle off her multi-part name with an authentic Spanish accent. I know it’s near the Equator, and that they drill for oil there. That’s about it. But with six months to go, we plan on getting ourselves informed.
So far Stella has bought a book, and I’m thinking of getting an Andean Flutes CD. Here’s what the trip literature says to expect:
From Miami our group will fly to the capital city of Quito, then head for the nearby jungle. There will be river rafting, hiking, ziplining and horseback riding, in addition to meeting the children and their families. We may also engage in a service project as a way of giving back and fighting poverty.
I look forward to all of it. Especially the ziplining. Stella and I have zipped down a tall mountain serving as a ski area, but it will be much better in the jungle, perhaps over a simmering volcano or treacherous river rapids. And the hiking sounds fun, as long as poisonous snakes don’t drop on our heads.
Looking for adventure, as the song says, or whatever comes our way.
I already have a new carry-on bag and my passport, complete with unsmiling mugshot.
We are going to have a blast. I cannot wait.