ECUADOR: Disaster or Opportunity?

Mothers and Children: Ecuador

Mothers and Children: Ecuador

Today the water went completely out in my city here in Ecuador! I am told that there won’t be any running water here for possibly two weeks. This means no showers, no running water to do dishes or flush toilets. I guess I could always run downstairs and fish out some swimming pool water if I had to.

The story I know so far is that the city Manta did not pay their water bill to Portoviejo and the water has been shut off. Also there are two water pumps down in Portoviejo so that could also be part of the problem.

It’s also Election Time here in Ecuador and I couldn’t help but think someone is trying to squeeze someone politically or trying to make some political point. But I’ll be darned if I know what that point is exactly.

So is this a disaster or could it become some sort of opportunity?

Disaster vs Opportunity

There’s  a great story about how we interpret events and how that determines the level of our stress response. It’s also a great story about stress reduction and stress management, which I think is a great idea for me today as I contemplate how to manage without water.

As the story goes, a very wealthy socialite, we’ll call her “Mrs Smith,” lived in the penthouse of a very famous hotel in Manhattan. All the staff of this hotel catered to “Mrs Smith’s” every need as she was a very good customer.

Late one night, at one in the morning, “Mrs Smith” came storming down to the front desk of the hotel in a fit of rage. She screamed, “Someone is playing the PIANO in the suite next door to me! I can’t sleep with all that NOISE going on!”

The Concierge of the hotel apologized and said, “I am so sorry “Mrs Smith!” But it is the famous pianist, Arthur Rubinstein who is staying the night in the suite next to you. He must be practicing. I am so sorry. Shall I go upstairs and ask him to stop?”

Well at this news, “Mrs Smith” apparently suddenly changed completely. She said, “Thank you. That won’t be necessary.” and went back upstairs to her suite.

The story went on to say that Mr Rubinstien had made a small mistake that evening in his concert at Carnegie Hall that no one but him would notice. But he felt he needed to come back to his suite play the entire concert again from start to finish, this time perfectly.

When “Mrs Smith” entered her apartment, she pulled up a chair next to the wall, sat back and joyfully listened to Arthur Rubinstein play. With her stress level completely down and her heart delighted now that she knew who it was playing next door, “Mrs Smith” didn’t miss another note of the entire piano concert and was as happy as she could be for the next three hours!

So think of “Mrs Smith” the next time something seems like a “disaster” to you. Depending on your perspective, it could feel like a horrible disaster or become a most extraordinary opportunity!

So what does this have to do with Ecuador?

So what does this have to do with Ecuador? Well nothing except that I try to remember this story whenever all the little things here in Ecuador seem to be going wrong.

I try to remember this story when I get into a longing funk where I wish I was back in the US – where I know how everything works, I know exactly where my most favorite coffee shop is, where I  know where all my friends live and I can just stop on by anytime, can get all the gourmet items I love like artisan bread and beer and I also know exactly where all my favorite restaurants are and where my favorite foods are on their menu’s.

I do my best to remember that there are lots of great things here in Ecuador that I have discovered that I love. And there are new things about Ecuador I have  yet to discover and adore here too.

Additional Links:

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  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at


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