We are leaving for Ecuador tomorrow and I am super excited and abit nervous! Excited because we are going to see and do many new and exciting things – explore colonial towns, active and non-active volcanoes, go white water rafting and horseback riding, stay with indigenous families and work their land with them, spend 5 days fairly deep in the Amazon rainforest swimming with pirahnas, interacting with wildlife, and visiting indigenous tribes who still live as they have for millenium, and stay in a remote cloud forest lodge which does not have electricity and is a two to three hour hike from the nearest road (they are sending a mule for our packs).
I am also nervous because… well, I am doing all of the above with 3 kids, the youngest of whom still loves to hear “No!” and do whatever it is I am telling her not to do (not so great if we happen upon a tarantula or an anaconda in the Amazon). I will have 8 days on my own traveling around Ecuador with the kids at which point my husband will join us. To be fair, I will also have another pair of hands as the nineteen-year old daughter of Jade’s teacher from Boston will be joining us. She is really nice and the kids love her so I am expecting her to be a huge help (and a fun traveling companion). A Colombian friend who has practiced medicine in the jungle has also given me a list of medicines and emergency treatments to bring (including a syringe to inject my kids in the event of a serious allergic reaction to whatever they may stumble into in the jungle). Who can say I am not prepared?
I might be nuts but, in the balance, I am way more excited than nervous! I have dreamed of taking my kids on these kind of adventures – to discover our world, to see how different people live, to experience nature in its purest form – since they were born. And now we are doing it!