It has been so nice reading about so many of your lives. Thanks to all who have shared your journeys. And another big thanks to those who have spent so many hours putting together our 50th reunion.
I guess I have been under the wire for quite a long time. I was not on FB until a little over a year ago, at which time I was railroaded into it. But here I am now. It is difficult to know where to start. So I will begin after graduation.
I went to Austin college after graduation. I didn’t graduate until ’72 as I took off before my senioryear to work as an aide in a migrant school in South Texas. I was studying religion and philosophy before, at the last moment , I decided to get my teaching degree (with lots of pressure from my father.) It was a great decision for me! My first job was in Odessa at St. John’s Episcopal school. Then I moved on to public education and taught special education.
I married an Odessa High School man. We were married for 17 years, at which time we divorced (’89). We have three beautiful children and 5 incredible grandchildren. My oldest daughter is a teacher in El Paso, Texas, and my youngest daughter is a therapeutic yoga teacher in Dallas, Tx. My son passed away at 26 of cancer. Life came to halt for me for awhile after that. It was difficult to move on, but life doesn't give us other options, I guess.
After my divorce I moved to Santa Fe, NM. I fell in love with my life there. Still teaching school. I was alternating between first and second grade. Nothing was a bigger thrill in my life than when a student had that “aha” moment of discovering that symbols have meaning. Then reading became a thrill for them. And teaching them was a thrill for me.
I taught on the Navajo reservation for awhile. That was quite an experience.
I retired when I was 62 and moved to Cotacachi, Ecuador 2 weeks later, with 1 suitcase and a carry on bag.
Rush hour in Cotacachi
I wanted to learn a new language, immerse myself in a new culture, and have a new experience. Most people think of Ecuador as being hot and humid. However, I live in a small village of 8000 people in the Andes at the altitude of 7800 feet. The temperature usually is 50 at night and 70 during the day. It is called the land of eternal spring.
I have chickens, a green house, worm beds for compost, and 3 large gardens. I am busier than I ever was when I worked. I volunteer with an organization that works with the many, many street dogs. We have been responsible for neutering hundreds of dogs. I have taken in 4 street dogs myself, and my renter has two street dogs. There are times when it is quite chaotic here. I help feed some of the street people.
Once a week I go to the hot springs an hour from here and soak for a few hours. I have worked on several projects here. I and two other people connected the indigenous water protectors here in Ecuador with the Water Protectors in North Dakota.
Near Lake Cuichcha
A film was made and sacred water passed on for a water ceremony. There are over 35 indigenous communities surrounding Cotacachi. Just tonight I participated (and helped organize) a drumming for peace which was synchronized around the world originating with the the Native American wisdom keepers. I sponsor a bi-monthly Vegan Challengelunch for new vegans. We share fun, food and recipes. Very few people have cars here. I walk miles every day. I do yoga in the mornings at home and spend lots of time gardening. My greatest joy is picking veggies early in the morning to put into a fruit smoothie for breakfast. As you can see, I love my life here in Ecuador.
There will probably never be so many of us all together at one time again. F
or future reference I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know we will have a wonderful get together!
Wishing all the best to each and everyone of you.