Here we are, back in Ecuador after a visit with family in the States. Back there they are celebrating the start of summer, but of course for those of us south of the equator, yesterday was the first day of winter. The picture above shows the sun going down last night, as far to the north as we ever see it.
This solstice is the longest day back in West Virginia, but here it is our shortest day – 11 hours and 59 minutes. Of course our longest day at this latitude six months from now is only 12 hours and 14 minutes, so big whoop.
The difference in sunlight hours was really messing with us during our visit. We’ve become accustomed to it getting dark around 6:30 or so, full night by 7pm. We usually are in bed two or three hours later. So in the US this time of year, which is getting days almost 15 hours long, that habit was getting us to bed at 11pm or later. Since we were still getting up at sunrise, we did not get an awful lot of sleep.
That wasn’t the only difference we noticed after a 10 month absence from the States. Just some of the things that we noticed on our visit:
- People are bigger. So many tall and/or overweight people. I’m not slamming anyone, I’m a big fat pig myself, just sayin’.
- Everyone is in a hurry. Lots of rushing around.
- Weather! It rained, it thundered, we had a day hotter than our hottest day ever in Salinas, and a night cooler than our coldest winter night – all in the same twenty-four hours.
- Fear and tension. Maybe it’s partly the rushing around, but it seemed like everyone was on edge.
- Loud. We thought Salinas was loud (well, it is, actually), but we had forgotten how loud American restaurants can be.
- Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. One of our first stops was at the Great Teat of America (WalMart) to get a sim card, and we were just blown away by the variety and quantity of stuff for sale. We’re used to choosing from either Colgate or Colgate when it comes to toothpaste, for example. I counted 14 brands of toothpaste on the shelves.
So we enjoyed visiting with family, but it really does feel good to be back home in Ecuador. We missed the food, the sound of the ocean, and mostly the serenity we feel here. Now, time to get caught up on writing the stuff I get paid for, then hopefully back to some serious blogging.
I feel a new Facebook rant coming on ….