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Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 2.
Day Two in Ecuador.

The highway is two-way, from Guayaquil to Portoviejo, about a 3.5-hour drive. Traffic is heavy–trucks, buses, slow-moving vehicles, and cars like us. Small towns dot the way, with speed bumps to slow vehicles and hawkers who sell beverages, snacks, and trinkets lining those spots. The countryside is exceptionally green, overgrown in this rainy season.

We are casually chatting as we climb a hill; beyond us is a beautiful, peaceful view. Suddenly I feel a tension causing me to glance out the front windshield. We are coming up on a car that is directly behind a slow-moving truck. We move toward the middle of the road for a quick view of oncoming vehicles–a maneuver that always precedes passing. Oncoming vehicles are too close, so we slip back into our lane, slowing behind the car ahead.

That’s when I feel the sound of a truck, coming up from behind, too fast to remain behind us.

In a flash, the truck is beside us. Passing us. In the middle of the two-lane road. Passing not only us but the car and slow-moving truck ahead of us. And behind that truck is a public bus, tailgating it unreasonably close — no, dangerously close! It is as if a single, long vehicle is passing us. I feel their wind against our car. I hold my breath; the only sound is the shifting of gears and engines belching diesel exhaust. Both the truck and bus pass, and out the side window, I see several vehicles dangerously driving along the edge of the very narrow shoulder on the opposite side of the two-lane highway. Ahead, truck and bus pull back into our lane.

Only seconds had passed. Tension relaxed. Conversation flowed again. I closed my eyes, exhaled slowly, thankful that my son has much driving experience on these highways.

Along the shoulder of the highway

Homes along the highway

A farm along the highway

A country school, closed for summer break.

We pulled onto the shoulder of the highway where there were lots of vendors with small ovens, selling fresh-baked tortilla de maiz. We stopped  in front of one of the roadside vendors; she came to the car window; we ordered, and she handed us a small brown sack with four tortilla de maiz. A baked cornbread filled with a tangy cheese. Yummy when you are hungry. Here’s the recipe.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for hosting
2017 Slice of Life Story Challenge