The Foreign Service Journal, May 2011
32 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A Y 2 0 1 1 The Argentines dig deep, but Ecuador can’t be stopped. Another shot from the edge of the box, and Ecuador seals the victory, 2-0. The celebration in Quito lasts all night. Day Three. I drive down death- defying spiral roads into the Cum- baya Valley, passing majestic colon- ial churches and buildings. My realtor and I chat about the soccer game and her joy that the foreigners who adopted Ecuador as their home were so enthusiastic while being interviewed on TV the night before. She cackles as she mimics their English-accented Spanish, “EcwadoRRRR! Si say puay- day!” “‘Si se puede (Yes, we can)’ is our national motto, you know,” she informs me. Hmmm, I’ve heard that expres- sion used somewhere else recently. I return to the hotel. The lobby is empty. I ask a top- hatted porter if the Argentines have left. “Yes, ma’am, they’ve gone. They went out the back doors.” “Too embarrassed to face the local press?” I counter, jokingly fanning the anti-Argentine flame that burns brightly throughout Latin America. “It appears so!” he says, winking at me. Missions completed, we all head home to Argentina. Argentina lost its match, but I’ve found a place to live, a school for my children, and have leads for nannies and possible work. Anxiety levels have shifted, but major ob- stacles remain in our way. For Argentina, a game against five-time World Cup–champion Brazil; for me, another move with my husband and two small children. Nothing has turned out as I predicted, least of all little Ecuador, emerging triumphant. I smile to myself as my plane lifts off, “Ecuador. Si, se puede.” F O C U S Nothing has turned out as I predicted, least of all little Ecuador, emerging triumphant.
Made with FlippingBook