Today, I made fresh squeezed orange juice for my family. These beautiful, green colored oranges make the perfect not-to sweet, not-to-sour, but tangy juice.As I was sitting on the front porch squeezing oranges, with my family engaged in various other activities…I was thinking about how much I have learned here. Things specifically related to being a stay at home Mom. Mostly small, idiocentric accomplishments that are certainly not culturally exclusive to Ecuador. In fact, any and all them could have been learned anywhere… had the need, interest, or desire been present.
But, the truth is that I have spent all 32 years of my life in America where everything is automated, accommodating, and convenience orientated. In other words, if it isn’t half-finished for us already…then it becomes a nuisance.
The problem with this, as I see it now, is that our brains don’t work this way. They don’t learn, advance, or evolve under these conditions. But, not only that… we lose many other equally important aspects of “living”. We lose our passion for investigative learning, our nostalgia, and even our heritage. We are so eager to jump ahead in life, that we are missing what has been left behind, and what is available right in front of us. Because it is old or outdated, does not mean that it is invaluable, worthless, or warranted for being forgotten.
I am so grateful to have been given and also to have taken this opportunity in life. This opportunity to slow down and take a deeper look. To allow myself to see the mundane in a new light, to appreciate the simple things for nothing more than their simplicity. To understand what life is and was before or without modern conveniences. To find it within myself, to choose the less convenient route. To be willing and interested in learning what I may not NEED to know, but that perhaps, what I SHOULD know.
And with these thoughts, I leave a list of all that pertains… what I have learned in the last 3 months of living in Ecuador. Things that I could have learned from my grandmothers, but that I chose not to.
How to make fresh squeezed Orange Juice
How to make skillet Popcorn
How to hand wash clothing
How to actually WASH dishes in the sink
How to COOK breakfast for my family every morning in preparation for a day away from home
How to cook beans and rice (not the quick cook kind)
How to ride a bike again.. and use it
How to bathe my toddlers in plastic bins
How to make several herbal teas
.. and most importantly,
How to love myself and the “duties” of motherhood and wife-hood.