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Expat Life

The eagle and the condor: Part 5

By Louis Bourgeois

With two tries Catty became pregnant in May 2015. The reality and excitement of having our first baby, at 38 and 63, respectively, was intensified with the first ultrasound. We would be having a little girl.

Catty and I explored names, first using some Spanish choices, Alexandra, Catty’s second name, leading the way. But then someone suggested that since our daughter would have a partly French name we might consider giving her a French first name. I was delighted with this possibility and Catty agreed. We quickly chose the name from my favorite French film, Amelie. Later we would choose her second name to be English, honoring my best friend in the U.S. So the full name for our little girl would be Amelie Elizabeth Bourgeois Siguenza, with a due date some time in early February 2016.

Louis and Amelie

Catty had a very easy pregnancy, and she received the ample support of her family. It was especially lucky for us that Catty’s elder sister had two children, a girl first and then a boy, and it is the tradition here that one saves every piece of clothing, every toy, every baby gadget, to pass on to the next in the family.  And because this sister married well the wardrobe for Amelie would be extensive. This was especially good for us as it was never in my plan, with a very small pension, to bear the expense of raising a baby. As it was I would need to expand my creative output with my garden and greenhouse business.

One of my favorite expressions is “necessity is the mother of invention.” Where I could have languished if living alone on my pension, I was now called to actually work harder than I had ever worked earlier in my life. For me, this is a very good thing, as my vision for myself had never been to stop developing my dream of an intentional community.

Nothing could be an expression of the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor better than producing a baby. Amelie would get the very best of two cultures. I was in the fortunate position, with Amelie to receive the total devotion and care of Catty’s family, not to have do so much. We agreed that I would pay one half of the expense for the birth, which here would run about $1,500 in total for a private hospital C-section delivery. We had a suite with two rooms, so we could entertain family and friends, and a pull-out bed for me to spend the night.  Amelie was born at about 6:30 pm, and I experienced the singularly most amazing event in my life. Because Catty was busy being sown up after the surgery, I was the one asked to hold the new baby just after she was cleaned up and wrapped in warm blankets. Her eyes were wide open, staring into mine, and I could see in her eyes the clear reflection of the infinite. I knew in those precious few moments of her life that I was being given a gift beyond anything that I could have dreamed for my life.

I have written many books in my life, many memoirs, but always about the evolution of consciousness of our species. I knew that with my daughter there was a potential for a major leap forward in this evolution, and that I would be able to play a large role in her development. I also knew that one of the most important and satisfying books that I would one day write would be a very long love letter to Amelie.

8 thoughts on “The eagle and the condor: Part 5

  1. Louis, as I told you after the first issue of your story was published, I admire and feed on your candor. It is rare enough a quality in any culture, but nearly non-existent in Latin cultures. My wish for you, Catty and Amelie is that all of you appreciate the gift you have given them with this candor (which I hope is accompanied with honesty, for without that, it is empty) and that Amelie Elizabeth shares this quality as part of her own personality. Good on you, mate.

  2. I am not a reader, but this one I had to read from one to 5 nonstop! This is so interesting, and I wish to tree of you happy and long life.

    You did many things I do, like walking by Park Calderon, walking on escalinata, (hate when they chase those jewelry vendors away, making that escalinata dead! There is enough room for people to walk and for vendors to display and sell) I like to walk by river. I was also almost rented a house for just 300 on the hill of Rio Amarillo area with big fenced yard, but it was kind of cold coming from Cajas the day I was there, but it was beautiful big house. I did not take it.
    I have yet to check Ayampe beach never went there.

    But that is enough about me, good luck and we want more interesting stuff to read. You sure are good writer!

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