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“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~Winston Churchill


Always Be Ready for Anything

Always be Ready for Anything

Steve (left) and Myra (Right) pose in front of a canal in Amsterdam.It was going to be an epic adventure.  We were taking a small ship cruise from New Caledonia across northern Australia up to Indonesia and finally to Singapore.  Another week in Singapore would top it all off before we came home.  In the middle of the trip was my husband, Steve’s birthday.

 

That was the plan.

 

We sailed from New Caledonia to Cairns Australia with no issue.  Two days after leaving Cairns we were told that we were headed back, the cruise was over and we needed to find our way home as we would not be allowed to stay in Australia.  That was March 13.

 

We flew from Australia to Singapore, over-nighted in the airport and then attempted to catch our flight's home. Singapore to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Guayaquil Ecuador.  As we checked in for our flights we were told that Ecuador had closed its borders.  We asked if we could  make it as far as Amsterdam and then figure it out from there, especially since Singapore had made it clear we could not stay there.  We arrived in Amsterdam and were welcomed.  While we do live in Ecuador, we are US citizens and considered trying to get back there but that would put us at risk on yet another plane ride and when we got there we would just be in the same situation we are in here.  

 

Amsterdam had already closed all non essential businesses until June 1, that is all museums and shopping and churches, pretty much everything except grocery stores and restaurants that are allowed to do delivery or take out.  Hotel restaurants are also closed but are allowed to deliver room service to guests.  It became apparent quickly that we would need a place with a kitchen.  We found a vacation rental and made a reservation until April 6, when Ecuador was supposed to reopen its borders.  The criteria was kitchen and washer/dryer.  We were near the end of our stay in this rental and it did not look like we were going home anytime soon, so we found another more comfortable place. We moved there on April 6. There is a beautiful park nearby that I anticipate many walks in.  We initially packed for a tropical vacation, not March in the Netherlands, so we picked up some warm souvenirs rather quickly.

 

Our days are a mixture of watching the news, I have always been a news watcher and this crisis is not something I can turn away from, and focused distraction.  We started walking around to Amsterdam's attractions and taking photos outside them.  It is a beautiful city and the citizens are taking social distancing very seriously, we do as well, and are doing all we can to keep ourselves and others around us safe.  Facetime has been a great way to stay in touch with our loved ones during this time, technology is fantastic.

 

As I said, groceries are open, but they only allow a certain amount of people at a time inside.  The stores have the allowed number of baskets at the front door, when you go inside you pick up a basket, if there are no baskets, you wait until there is one.  Once someone pays for their purchases, the basket is cleaned and placed back at the door.  If you need to wait outside you stand in a 1.5 meter apart queue.

 

A trio of photos from Amsterdam: A canal, lots of parked bicycles and a row of buildings.One of the best things for me personally throughout this situation has been projects I am  working on with Learning Ally.  I can DO something and feel good about doing it.  I feel that it is something that helps me maintain my sanity, so thank you all for that!  I attended the recent webinar (It was 10:00 pm here) and that was wonderful for me to feel connected.  Bonus, I now know how to green screen my Zoom background, thanks Russell.

 

I am currently acting as listener for a few literature books.  

 

“The Poet X” which is being narrated by Krysta Gonzalez is a true joy!  Krysta is absolutely lighting up this performance and I want every young woman in the world to hear it, especially latinas!

“Lu” is being narrated by Gregory Jacques and is the third in the track series that I have worked on.  Just started, but I have high hopes!

“The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl” narrated by Rebecca Carter is an awesome and fun YA syfy type book that is going to give a lot of readers fantastic distraction.

“The Big Game” narrated by Jacob Lindsey is a coming of age, while playing football and trying to step out of your fathers shadow story.  Jacob is hitting all parts gloriously.

“Cilla Lee-Jenkins Future Author Extraordinaire” narrated by Victoria Rivera is such a fun book, it has made me laugh out loud a couple of times and I have made Steve listen to passages just because it is so cute.  A lot of that is thanks to Victoria really making this character pop!

“Five Feet Apart” narrated by Holly Russo and William Wright is a love story between two teens with cystic fibrosis.  I don’t think I will make it through this one dry eyed, especially because Holly and William are really bringing it with their performances.  

 

I don’t know how much longer we will be here, but I do know that I am so fortunate to have my Learning Ally projects to keep my mind active and give me a sense of contribution.  

Did I mention we wanted an epic adventure?  

 

Myra Parker









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