Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I was thinking about our arrival in Guayaquil last October and the way the Ecuadorians exuded their "amor familiar". We gringos go through the motions and just accept our missions, when we have family or friends arriving at an airport and feel it is more an obligation than a privilege, as the Ecuadorians do. And we certainly do not make it a celebration, as was displayed upon our arrival at the airport.

That is because, it has become so common place, to jump on an airplane and venture across the country or the world. We don't realize how lucky we are to have been born in the good old old USA and how fortunate we are to afford this luxury. Most of the world, more than likely, has never even been on an an airplane. Stop and think about that and how we take flying for granted. 

How many times have you resorted to begging a relative or friend, to either drop you off, or pick you up at the airport, when taking a trip? We consider it more or less a day at the zoo. It is a practice that drives us up the wall, as we fight the crowds, pay the enormous fees and face the obligatory wait! We gripe and moan and never once understand how much better off we are than the average citizen of the planet. Next time, promise to make it a less harsh session!

As we left customs and walked solo down a long corridor, I turned the last corner and saw an amazing sight. I felt literally like I was on the "Red Carpet" at the Oscars. People were lined up five and six deep at the front of the reception area, forming a guantlet that you were required to wade through. Families of ten to twelve, (guessing they arrived early), individuals (guessing they were the late arrivals) that were placed at strategic points, so as to identify their relative and a human mass that was almost scary, if not for the cherubic smiles and anticipated glee.

It was by far the largest and friendliest reception line, I have ever experienced. I was simply amazed at the process. As families found their loved one or ones, the pre-requisite series of photos were taken, one at a time, sometimes directly in the middle of the exiting people. This caused a brief halt to our exit and back up of the travelers. Mothers were squeezing grown children and family/group hugs were the order of the day or night in this case.

Overall it was a display of passion and love that we rarely see at airports in our country. Tears of joy flowed freely from Mothers and other family members. I was blown away and all the long, flight weariness left my body. It actually cheered me up, as I absorbed the encounters and greetings in my path. The scene in the arrival area was one I will never forget and it makes you stop and think how forunate we are in the USA. It makes me realize, that we take entirely too much for granted.

The smiles, tears and hugs of the Ecuadorians were absolutely genuine and their enthusiasm over such a simple act, made me realize how valuable each and every moment of our lives are. Muchas Gracias Ecuador until I return!