Enjoying the Theatre of Life in Ecuador, Part I

by Manya on April 23, 2014

One of the gifts of being in your 60’s – if you haven’t attained it earlier in life – is being able to see your personality and laugh at it.  Perhaps it’s that we finally stop pretending to be who we’re not and at the same time we have finally learned the ways in which we create our own misery.

Really, when you think about it, life is a game.  We’ve each been given genetically determined and have also chosen on some level  (either the soul level or the embodied level) certain archetypes or roles through which we experience our personality.

StuffedDoll2-There is so much drama, and if only we could see it for what it is, many of us would have a darn better time enjoying this precious short life we are given on this beautiful planet.

However, there’s drama worth enjoying, and then, there’s the kind you don’t want to have, the kind that feels burdensome.

For example, recently I was invited to a Chordeleg family-friends barbecue to be held on a Tuesday afternoon.  Our Chordeleg friends, Joel and Vilma, were cooking cuy, (and more to my delight, fresh empanadas later in the afternoon).  Cuy is considered a delicacy here in Ecuador.  It was to be an intimate gathering of Joel and Vilma, their son and daughter-in-law, daughter and grand-daughter, and six of us gringos.

I was savoring the anticipation of this on Monday morning and decided I would have time to drive to Gualaceo beforehand – three miles down the mountain – to buy a box of juice and household cleaner….for some reason, these seemed critical to get then.  Task accomplished, I jumped back in the car ready to drive the 8-minute ride home, pick up the avocado brownies I had made, and zip up to Joel and Vilma’s “country house”, next to my favorite little local park, Pungohuayco.


Just as a I pull up to the “Bienvenidos a Chordeleg” sign at the half-way mark, traffic comes to a dead halt and I can see the cars and buses winding up the mountain road ahead also at a dead stop.

I immediately look for a way out of this humongous traffic jam, knowing intuitively there must be an accident up ahead.  My first escape route undertaken in the delusional hope that there must be a dirt road up the mountain to Chordeleg  was to turn left on such a dirt road, asking a truck driver passing me in the opposite lane if the road did indeed go to Chordeleg.  After all, there couldn’t be only ONE way in and out of Chordeleg.

Of course – in what I know now to be the Ecuadorian way of telling me what I wanted to hear – he said “Si!”

Needless to say, it didn’t.

By the time I had finished bouncing up and down along this windy pot-holed dirt road in Sparky (my tin-can car) ending up at a construction site where I could view the church of Chordeleg beaming at me from a 90-degree turn, turning my little bruised car around, spending time sitting in Sparky watching the rain come down for an hour, intermittently getting out to ask someone “que paso” [what happened?], and finally walking up the mountain with a parade of other local folks to see the overturned bus in the middle of the road – I was able to appreciate the drama unfolding before me, the story I would have to tell, and acceptance of the fact that I would be at least two hours late to the barbecue.


Now this is the drama of life worth enjoying.  After all, never before had I seen an overturned bus obviously driving too fast down the wet mountain road, knowing that I had ridden that very same bus for seven months,prior to getting our car.  One of those “there but for the grace of God go I” moments.

It’s hard to enjoy life as theatre if we’re attached to particular outcomes, our sense of humor has gone missing, we take ourselves too seriously or others (caught up in their own human condition) too personally.

It’s also impossible to be in flow and optimize one’s sense of ease, enjoyment, and fulfillment without knowing our unique human design.  Lacking this self-knowledge (some of which can be elusive) is what leads to the icky kind of drama.  I’ll be sharing some tools and insights on how to get more of a handle on your unique design in upcoming posts.  So stay tuned!

As the great bard, Shakespeare, wrote so eloquently:

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…”




Dennis Fahey November 11, 2014 at 12:23 am

Well told tale! Looking forward to reading more of your experiences.

Manya November 11, 2014 at 1:12 am

Thanks, Dennis. Appreciate your feedback.

Previous post:

Next post: