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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

With a Lot of Love

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

One of the main attractions of Ecuador is the Galapagos Islands.

I won a trip there when I was in Ecuador in 1991.  I had the best Hallowe’en Costume at an AFS party and I got flight, 3 nights and 4 days aboard a small touring vessel.

It was a bit of a bittersweet win, because I remember a friend being upset that I won, because he thought that he should have won.

But in my defence - look at my outfit. Seriously.

I spent MONTHS putting this together.  I sewed that entire thing together. I MADE the hair. I did my makeup. Everything.

I have decided that I will not be returning to the Galapagos on this trip.  I do have the time, but it is quite expensive and taking month off work is already going to take it’s financial toll.

BUT… I opened up my facebook messenger and this is the message awaiting me from my host cousin, Hjalmar.

Hjalmar - "vas a visitar el oriente o galápagos?" (translation - "Are you going to visit the jungle or the Galapagos?")

Me - "No to the Galapagos... not much time."

Hjalmar - "my gift"

Me - ?

How is one supposed to take that? MY GIFT?  Is the gift a trip to the Galapagos Islands?

Hjalmar - "for Christmas"

Me - "Que?"

WHAT is for Christmas??? Again... not sure how to take this.

Me - "You confuse me."

I'm really trying not to look a gift horse in the mouth right now.

Hjalmar - "jajajaa"

Is this implied laughter?  Does he know that he is literally bread crumbing me with thoughts of the Galapagos Islands?

OUT of control... I'm actually starting to really get excited!  

Me - "What are you getting me for Christmas?"

Now he's killing me.

Hjalmar - "remember I'm your best friend in Ecuador."

The kind of friend that would take me to the Galapagos?

Me - "Si"

Me - "You're still confusing me."

Now the truth comes out...

Hjalmar - "Cuando vengas te tengo un rico ceviche de camarón y mucho love" (translation - "when you come I have a delicious shrimp ceviche and a lot of love:)


I'm getting a shrimp and rice dish... 

I'm a lucky girl.

Basically, I have NO idea how to respond... so I did the best I could.

Me - "Sin cilantro por favor" (translation - "without cilantro please")

That's all I could come up with.

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