While Ecuador and Thailand are two very different cultures in two completely different regions of the world, my previous experiences in the developing countries of Southeast Asia are often brought up in my memory, instigated by sights and experiences here in Ecuador. They are often little triggers: people standing on the roadways selling bags of edibles to you through a car/bus window, banana tree leaves blowing in a breeze, emaciated dogs digging through piles of garbage. But through the countless differences between the two regions, there lies one blatant - and tragic - difference: here in Ecuador, I cannot walk down the street and pay a little Thai woman $5 to give me a one-hour massage! And this, my friends, is a reality I struggle to come to terms with.
Yesterday, my colleague Robbie and I went rock-climbing at a great location about 30-40 minutes from our house. We don't currently have rope or other equipment for climbing, but we bouldered around low to the ground for a few hours. It was great fun, and a good workout for the arms and shoulders. But as it's been months since I've done any climbing, I woke up this morning with a million knots in my back and shoulders. All I want in the world is to be able to plop down on a mat and have a pint-sized Thai woman dig into my muscles with truck-sized strength!
But alas, I guess we just can't have everything in this world... at the same time.