there is no room for shame around the topic of “poo” in this country. in the states it’s often considered a faux-pas to bring up bowel movements in front of friends, especially while eating, especially when men are around (if it’s women talking), especially to someone you’ve just met. but here, all of those rules go right out the window. poo can be (and is) talked about whenever necessary. of course, it has its pluses…you get right over that awkward stage and everyone is immediately closer, sharing such intimate details and toilet-stories…and if you’re truly lucky (like i was today) you get to have a digestive adventure in the presence of not only friends, but people you’ve just met, and in a public place.
i’m still feeling like i’ve been gutted by a steel claw and then dragged through a rock quarry, of course…but, this has been a four day ordeal and today took the cake and all i can say was i’m glad we got a ride back from the beach or i surely would have encountered some real bathroom troubles on that bus we had been on. we de-bussed in montañita, having received a phone call form a friend who told us he could drive us back to guayaquil. almost immediately after stepping down, i felt as if my entire gut dropped into the bottom of my abdomen. i’ve never had to suck in my stomach like i did today, and with the combination of desperation, fear, and physical effort to keep EVERYTHING in, i began to sweat profusely. i informed my friends of the emergency, which lead to me spending the better part of the afternoon guzzling down water, fresh-squeezed lemonade and chomping on ritz crackers, all the while of course, claiming ownership of the broom closet-sized bathroom at el surfista restaurant in my least favorite coastal town.
aside from the rather traumatic digestive experiences, and the joys of sharing/experiencing them with my friends as well as near-strangers, i had a lovely holiday weekend. we spent two-and-a-half days in ayampe, a lovely and tranquil beach town at the most southern point of manabí, along the coast. we didn’t do much, other than swim, sun-ourselves (always brilliantly at mid-day of course, on the equator, surely to acquire some burn someplace where we’d skimped on cream), and eat plenty of delicious seafood and both your traditional ecua-meals and also pancakes and ham and garlic pizza. i just nearly spelled “ham” with a “j”. the waves were ferocious on day one, so we explored the lagoon and ambled up the road in search of the place famous for its corviches. the afternoon light was persistently silver, and everything glistened, illuminated further by the sea spray that gathered itself into a gentle mist hovering just off-shore.
pictures are film so they’re not ready yet, but will be soon…this friday. until then you may enjoy the photo above, which was taken in canoa, probably still my favorite beach in ecuador, but i’m afraid to return because of all the obnoxious boys who botherbotherbother any lone lady they see…