• Marilyn Saltzman

Opening to trust

Yesterday we spent a wonderful day touring in Quito with a young guide named David. It was a great opportunity to practice my Spanish as his English was quite limited. We road a cable car to the top of an (inactive) volcano at 13,000 feet and had spectacular views of the city and six other volcanoes, one of which erupted only few years ago. Talk about trust – millions of people living under half a dozen potential lava flows. Selam and I got our picture taken with a mama llama named Linda and her one- month-old baby named Mickey.

We stopped at a magnificent basilica, turned tourist attraction, and treated David to saltipapas, French fries, while we ate mediocre tamales. Our last stop was La Ronda, the old city, where no vehicles are allowed on the narrow, cobblestone streets. When we got back to David’s car, the alarm went off as he tried to turn the key in the ignition. We had one hour to get back to our hotel, pick up our bags and head to the airport for our trip to Manta, and we were 45 minutes away. After several failed attempts to start the car, David took apart the key and tried to replace the battery. I felt myself getting tense and fearful.

”Tienes otra llave?” I asked. (Do you have another key?”)

”Si en mi casa,” David said. (In my house.)

After a few more unsuccessful interventions, David walked us to the corner and hailed a cab. The first driver refused to drive that far. The second agreed. By that time we were down to 45 minutes. The driver had no idea where our hotel was but was incredibly serene and confident. I calmed down just sitting next to him. He got us back to the hotel at exactly 4:30 and I went online to learn our flight was delayed one hour. We waited a half hour for the airport shuttle, which they had told us was ready. Again my anxieties and worries took over. When the shuttle driver finally arrived, packed up our bags and opened the gate to exit the hotel, David was standing there, next to his running car, smiling and waving goodbye.  We got to the airport with enough time for a sit down dinner.

A lesson in suspending fear and opening to trust.

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