We moved into our new house last week. The house is deep in the mountains in southern Ecuador in a beautiful setting far from the tourist track. In fact, we are the very first ex-pats to move to this area. People in the little village are very curious about who we are and why we are living in such a remote place. Some are very friendly and others seem a bit suspicious of our intentions. That’s understandable. This area has had been conquered by foreign invaders many times in the past.
Yesterday I was sitting out on the front porch when two elderly ladies walked up the dirt road, carrying huge loads of grass on their backs. They were almost bent double under the weight of their loads. I recognized one of them as Maria, who lives up the hill from us.
Maria and her companion, Sofia, sat down on our rock wall to rest before trudging up the steep hill. They looked at me quizzically; like I might be angry they were on our property and chase them away. I smiled and waved.
Something inspired me. I went into the house, got two glasses of water and a small plate of homemade cookies and took them out to the women. We sat together in the sun while they drank the water, ate the cookies, and we chatted about the weather and the lovely view.
Our conversation was not deep. It was hampered by my limited Spanish vocabulary and the differences between our ages, cultures, and experiences. Yet, we had a lovely time connecting heart-to-heart over a simple glass of water and a snack.
That’s what spirited women do. We tend, nurture, and connect over simple things like a cup of coffee, lunch, or conversation around the water cooler. We find common ground with other women and then start to form friendships. Even if we are different on the outside, we share the experiences of being women, mothers, homemakers, and caretakers.
I’m so glad I listened to my intuition and got those glasses of water. It may take a while to form a friendship with Maria and Sofia, but the seeds of it have been planted.