Hello from my casita in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz. I am quite lucky to have found such a place on this island. Out on my patio, lava lizards do push-ups on the volcanic rocks, and Darwin’s finches peck at seeds beneath an acacia tree with blossoms the color of fire. Up on my terrace (it’s just a flat roof, really), I can sit and watch enormous frigatebirds float on the equatorial breeze, searching the bay for sardines.
My house is cozy and quaint. Most of the living room has beautiful hardwood windows, some shaped like ovals, and the floors are made of tile. I have cable TV, which is a good way to learn conversational Spanish. Yesterday, I bought a bicycle to get around town. Bikes here don’t have kickstands. You ride up to a store, balance the bike by positioning a petal on the curb, and go shopping — without locking it.
Ivonne, the naturalist guide who has been helping me get settled, is an angel. She has a very sweet husband, two beautiful daughters who I watched in a school Christmas play the other night, and a female yellow lab! I’m planning to dog sit for her sometime soon. Dogs here are considered an invasive species, so they must be fenced in or kept on a leash at all times. They’re not allowed in the ocean either, which is a pain for Ivonne’s perrita: She loves to swim with the sea lions! It’s a lab thing, sabes?
I’m truly happy here. Except for the mosquitos, I feel like part of a grand perfection. But as they say, “There’s always a fly in paradise.”