Going with the Flow in and around Cotacachi

Cleaning overgrown senderos and planting trees in the rural towns surrounding Cotacachi has been the work that Naomi Klassen and I have started on service. Oftentimes at the beginning of a work day, we know very little of what the day’s tasks will be. One day, upon arriving at the community of Morochos we were led by a representative to the small area that we would be transforming into a bikeable and walkable trail. The two days that we spent here were not spent planting— which we thought we would be doing— but cleaning the trail of crumbling roof tiles and the dense underbrush which obscured the path. Through my fluctuating work schedule, I’ve become used to going with the flow. I’ve found each day of Service term to be like a sendero (trail) in that when you begin, you never quite know where you will end up.


What we thought was going to be a community workday with 40+ workers at Hacienda la Joya this past Tuesday and Wednesday, turned out to be a private stay with the owners of the property who farmed cows for milk and beef. At 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the herd of 140 cattle made their way up, past our encampment, mooing and eating the entire way, to the milking barn. Like the herd, who simply follow the cows in their field of vision, Naomi and I follow our work leader and our respective families to events, reunions, and other happenings. I’ve learned to have patience with not always knowing what’s on the agenda and to find joy in the uncertainty.