Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reposted w/ permission of Margarita Goodhart

Reposted w/ permission of Margarita Goodhart - Otavalo, ECUADOR Resident for 35 yrs - 10 APR 2013:
This is something that I have posted about 10 times, but I see there are new members and readers here all the time....I shall post it again....the truth rings here....please try to understand it!

There are certain things about Ecuador that have gone on for decades and perhaps centuries. We gringos cannot change these things, they will always exist. Noise, Trash, Corruption, bad biz ethics, lack of being on time, and many other things. 

This is Ecuador, South America. Do not think that any one of you can come here and make changes, the country will resent it. And once again, I will reprint an important passage from an important book.

This very poignant quote, that Nicholas Crowder has used in the introduction of his book, Culture Shock, is taken from Walker Lowry's "Tumult At Dusk: Being an Account of Ecuador," written in the early '70s and is unfortunately out of print at this time.

..I shall copy it here for all to read, as I believe it is good 'food for thought.'

"During his visit to Ecuador, he and his companions became aware of a murder at a ranch named Ila. They were concerned, as many North Americans would have been, and thought something had to be done.

 But a Colonel offered this advice:
"That is right, Senores. Whatever you do you will only make things worse. Forgive me for saying it but you do not understand this country. You do not understand its people. You think that because we have houses, cars and clothes like yours, because we talk of democracy and freedom, because we read your books, borrow your money, buy your goods, we are like you.

 "But we are not. We look like you, sometimes we talk like you, but we do not think like you. The difference, Senores, is not great but it is important. If you do not see it, the things you do in this country will be wrong. 

You will only make trouble. Your motives will be good but you will always be misunderstood. You will try to make friends and find only enemies. You will be disappointed. You will condemn this country. Or you will make fun of it. You will go home and say this country is ridiculous, that everything is hopeless.

"But who are you to say, you who have never understood us? Senores, try to understand. Look at this country with open eyes believing only what you see. Look at our people. Look at our history. Look at our land. Do this, Senores. Do not worry about Ila. Ila is not your affair. Adios, Senores." 
(Reprinted from "Culture Shock! Ecuador", Nicholas Crowder). 
 If you are going to Ecuador and you want an insight into the hearts and mind of the Ecuadorian culture be sure to get a copy of Nicholas Crowder’s book (Culture Shock Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) ..also, be sure to visit with the owners of Ali Shungu Mountain Lodge, Frank and Margarita.

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