Sometimes you will see homes that stretch an entire block or "compounds" with separate homes for each of the family members. So when I’m asked how could I leave my family to come to Ecuador, I’m very careful how I answer that question because I don’t want them to think that I don’t care!
Today I answered that question with eyes brimming full of tears! I’m sure the taxi driver wasn’t expecting me to blubber on and on about how much I missed my family; he was just asking a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. In fact, when I started pulling out pictures of our boys, my son and his wife, and my family in California, I’m sure he was thinking to himself, This poor señora needs to get a grip!
When I try to explain that concept to our Ecuadorian friends, they just shake their heads! That’s because it’s inconceivable to them that family doesn’t take care of family—especially when it comes to medical care. In fact, one of the things you will see missing in Cuenca is a lot of rest homes—“asilo de ancianos.” That’s because in Ecuador, the family is the single strongest unit—they take care of one another.
In Ecuador, it’s that great respect for the elderly—passed on from generation to generation—that keeps them all living under one roof.
We have many expat friends who are caretaking from a distance and some who have chosen to bring their parents with them. There are no easy answers and no simple solutions. If you’re planning a move to Cuenca, remember that you will have days -- like I had today -- wondering, What must they think?
Until next time…hasta luego!
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