By: CAITLIN SALVINO
Saturday, July 20, 2013
As I sat on the plane waiting for our flight to take off, beginning the more than 20 hour journey back home, I looked out my window and caught my last glimpse of Ecuador. We flew over the volcanoes, oceans, and golden river of Peru on the way back home. I wasn’t sad to be leaving, even though I wished I could have stayed much longer.
Thinking back to everything I saw and experienced in the past two weeks, home in Canada seems so far away now. If I could describe my trip in a few words it would be the Ecuadorian country slogan “Ama la Vida” that can be loosely translated to “love life.”
To me “love life” doesn’t only mean to be grateful for what you have, but to find happiness in the little things in life. The children of Shuid taught me this. Despite having so little, they were so happy. They found happiness in little things like friendships, their improvised games, soccer, and school. Out of everything I saw and experienced in Ecuador this is the greatest lesson I’ll take home; that in Canada we tend to over complicate our lives. Sometimes it’s important to put down your cell phone, turn off the TV and appreciate everything in your life; your friends and family, your food, your house, your warm bed, and all the other things in our lives that we forget that millions of people around the world don’t have. This is a lesson I hope to keep with me for the rest of my life.