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Some people do look at me like they would like to ask me that question when I tell them we are moving to Ecuador. Just like the guy who asked me “What are you going to do with that degree?” when I told him I was getting it in Latin American Studies. If you are asking yourself the same question, you probably won’t understand this post, or even this entire blog.
One of our main convictions regarding this slight change of venue is family. We have no family in the area, and while it may seem normal to many people to live only within the “nuclear” family and rarely see anyone beyond except for holidays and other special occasions, we don’t think this is normal at all. I think it is downright abnormal. To use the old cliche, It Takes A Village to Raise a Child, I think that’s exactly right. In Ecuador our kids will have the primos, tios, abuelos (cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents) around constantly, while here, their only regular contact will be their schoolmates, teachers, and the two of us. I think the presence of all these people around will definitely reinforce the values we want our kids to have, while growing up here they will have much more outside influence than we would like. And I think this is worth far more than some of the benefits naysayers like to point out to us (free public schooling of at least somewhat decent quality, a regular job with a steady income-ah, nothing like the pleasure of slow crucifixion by nine to five, cheap financing for all the wonderful things we don’t need, Bratz, GI Joe, …).
I’m not worried about my kids missing playgroups, playdates, or daycare either. We won’t need the last one since we will have plenty of help around.