“I was stuck in the bosque nuboso, the Ecuadorian cloud forest. I leaned against a gnarled tree and looked up into a tangle of green. Hidden birds called from the foliage, their shrill whistles piercing the mist. The air smelled of rotting leaves and metallic earth. For the first time since leaving home, I thought coming to Ecuador was a mistake. I was not the only one affected by my decision. I had come with my family. I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to sleep. I didn’t want to dream, for a dream had brought me here.”

After 9/11, I quit my job, rented out the house, sold the cars and moved with my husband and children to a remote part of the Amazon Basin of Ecuador to do medical volunteer work. I was seeking adventure, yes, but also meaningful work and a simpler life. I was challenged in ways I had not anticipated. This memoir-in-essays tells stories of perseverance, loss, acceptance and healing.

 The Andes of Ecuador.

The Andes of Ecuador.

Ecuador is the smallest Andean country, (about the size of Nevada) but has incredible biodiversity. Steamy jungle, windswept highlands, more than thirty volcanoes, and tropical beaches combine with rich and diverse cultures to present wonders around nearly every bend.

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