I realized that I had not shared much with you about the kindness of the Ecuadorian people. For me it all got started with the guard at the warehouse where I had to stay the night and day in Quito. He was a special man and had a lot of compassion for my mom and dad as well as for me. I will never forget him.
But one experiences kindness all around here. The people of Cuenca are mountain people which means that they are much more reserved than people from the coast, like for example those people from Guayaquil. Reserved, however, does not mean rude; these people are very kind and well mannered (unless they are at the wheel of a car -- but more about that in another post). They are reserved with strangers yet, once they get to know you, they are friendly and outgoing. They are always warm and present.
Many people are afraid of me because I am a dog, and they either had bad experiences with dogs or were taught to be afraid of dogs...so I don't take it personally. Mom reassures them that I won't do anything to them other than perhaps kiss them. But they feel uncomfortable so mom just smiles at them and makes sure I'm as far away from them as possible. They invariably smile back as if taken by surprise by her understanding.
The people of Cuenca are relaxed; they move at a different pace than mom and dad. I like that. When they talk with you they really pay attention. They are truly there.
The other day mom and I were walking when this beast came walking towards us. Mom called it a Saint Bernard. I had never seen a dog that big, ever! And, he was loose and it was coming towards me in a very busy street and we had no where to go. Take a look at this thing... here he is in his house... look at those paws, they are the size of my head!
He looks small here, but trust me, he didn't look small when he was approaching us in the street. Mom loves all dogs which is a problem for me sometimes. Yet this time she got very nervous and, because you can tell everything about mom by just looking at her face, a couple of young men who were walking towards us realized what was happening and immediately made a protective wall between the St. Bernard and us until we were safe. That was so kind and so unexpected, both mom and I were very touched.
You find goodness everywhere in the world. It is all around us, being a dog gives me this special ability to detect it... yet when you are new in a place and are trying to find your way around, these little acts of kindness mean so much. The Ecuadorians are beautiful people and we are honored to be in their land.
Spring Rain, Montmartre, Paris, France
4 days ago