The other morning we were coming back from Yunguilla quite early; we had three dogs to bring to the vet. Two to be spayed and one because we couldn’t keep her out of our sight … she was in heat (and still is)! Anyway, because the two getting fixed had early surgery, we were up and out at the crack of dawn and heading through Giron and Portete around 8 in the morning.
What a treat we had on this trip! Codie and I were both amazed with how beautiful the scenery was in the early morning. The overnight clouds had started lifting off of the mountains, and the early morning sunshine was highlighting the hillsides. The colors were eye-popping!
I mean that the greens were GREEN! The kind of green that your mind thinks of as the most beautiful, sharp and crisp and bright, with different tones of light green, dark green and everything in between.
We almost always go to Yunguilla in the late afternoon and come back to Cuenca at the same time. We never really get to see how beautiful it is when the valley is just waking up each day.
The afternoon drive is usually traffic-filled and boring and by then the clouds have rolled in and the grayness overtakes the colors. Other than the comforting peace of the cows in all the fields, it doesn’t seem to be anything special.
But in the morning, the landscape sheds all that grayness and really takes your breath away. I told Codie that it was inspiring me to have a good day. Just looking at all that beauty left me feeling like I could do anything that day with a smile on my face.
It really is the little things that can have a profound effect on us. Things that can make us look at something different, or change our mood or even give us the power to inspire and light up other people’s lives.
This brings to mind our cover story in this week’s Cuenca Dispatch. When that came in from Ashley Rogers (one of Cuenca’s most trusted Realtors), there wasn’t even a question we would print it. The story of what Shell and Marsha Spivey have done is truly inspiring, no less so than the way those greens hillside made me feel.
Imagine, they have taken an entire town under their wing and helped it change. They have brought it alive with color, with worship and with community. The article Ashley wrote gives you a glimpse into what they have accomplished. The video really will blow you away. Watch it so that you can feel how inspiring it all is.
La Entrada is now a town that can help support its residents. The town will actually uplift the people who have now uplifted it. The ripple effect from the new church, the new businesses and the new community spirit can become a model for the entire coast. Who knows what Ecuador’s beach towns will look like in five or 10 years?
This story shows us what two expatriates were able to do when they made this Ecuadorian town a part of their lives.
While we are on this subject, I’ll mention another person doing something like this. You’ll learn about Nicholas Barringer next week in an article that Karla is writing. But I’ll give you a peek today and let you know that he founded Chimbora (one of our advertisers), a company that is selling Alpaca wool hats in the U.S., straight from Gualaceo, Ecuador! The company is having its hats made by a group of 89 indigenous women in the town. And 40% of the proceeds are going straight to this cooperative!
That’s three expatriates making a big difference in this country. I know there are hundreds, maybe thousands more of you making a difference in the lives of Ecuadorians.
And that, like the green grasses of Giron, the pastel pink houses of La Entrada and the red, black, gray and beige hats of Chimbora, is the most inspiring thing of all.