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Expat Life

Where’s my white chocolate bunny rabbit?

Well, as some of you know, CuencaHighLife.com was down for a few days last week.  We had a big problem with our hosting company.  They said we had a code problem that was causing the issue.  We called BS on that because we hadn’t changed it from the day before when it was running great.

So, after much back and forth over a few days, we found a new host company.  They looked everything over and said, “No, your host was containering your site.”  Now, I never even knew there was such a term such as “containering.”  And maybe they just made it up to impress us.

Either way, we agreed to switch to them and the next day they had us up and running — not perfectly, but close — and had all of our problems solved within two days.  They are now going through all of our code to optimize it for us for faster response.  All in all, our crash ended up helping us.

But here’s this thing about this.  Our first host was a U.S. company.  Our new host is Australian.  So, this was not a “well, it’s Ecuador” kind of thing.

On a different not, this week’s paper almost didn’t make it out on time.  And it was a “well, it’s Ecuador” kind of thing.  But, saying that implies that we had no fault in the matter.  We did.  For the strangest of reasons.  What happened is that our printer called us on Monday to “remind” us that they would be closed on Friday and Saturday (now, generally a “reminder” means you’ve already mentioned it once before.  Not the case here!) for the holiday.

That meant they needed our final production ready file on Tuesday!  Now, for any of you who may be familiar with the publishing process, that just isn’t reality.  The steps involved in putting the newspaper together are a lot more complex than just writing up some stuff, jamming it into a publishing layout and sending it along.  It really is about a three-day process from the time that we get our author’s final copy.

Regardless, this was the situation we were faced with because our printer was closing early this week for the Easter holiday.  And this is where “pretty much our fault, not his” comes into play.  Because none of us thought about this last week. None of us thought, “Hey, isn’t Easter coming up?  Won’t the printer close for Good Friday?”

Now I’ll tell you this, even though I was raised Catholic (and my aunt is a nun), unless someone is leaving me a giant white chocolate bunny rabbit on my desk with a few Peeps littered at his feet, I really couldn’t care less about Easter.  No offense intended to those of you who still celebrate this as a religious holiday.  I respect that.  But for me, it NEVER meant more than getting free candy that could last me well though to the end of April, some times even early May.

So, obviously I wasn’t taking it in to mind last week.  I should have, because I do know it is still important here in Ecuador.  In fact, I would guess that for most Ecuadorians it still does have more of a religious meaning than a “candy for the kids” meaning.

What that means is that I (and a few other of us here) dropped the ball.  And that’s pretty sad because I am always pushing the idea that we need to fit in here.  That we need to accept this different culture.That we are living in the Ecuadorian’s country, not the other way around.  And yet, I forgot one of the most important holidays of the year for them.

Which only goes to show you that I haven’t assimilated to this country as much as I tend to think at times.

It’s kind of good to be reminded of that every once in a while.  Because this letting go of being an “American living in America,” to be an “American living in Ecuador,” is a long, slow process for most of us. And it’s not easy.  Obviously.

But this I will promise you, I won’t forget Easter next year.  And I’m going to make sure I know the rest of the major holidays coming up for Ecuador this year!

With all that said, I wish all of you who spent time in the Cathedral(s) Sunday, a blessed and fulfilling day.  And for all of those of you not, I hope that you find a big white chocolate (or traditional milk chocolate) bunny somewhere in your home today!

Happy Easter!

P.S.  We obviously did get the paper out on time this week.  That’s because our staff is great and our printer gave us until Wednesday morning to get him our files.  Thanks to all!