Select Page

Slice of Life March Challenge. No. 6.

As I turned to take a step away from the counter, I felt as if my foot and the floor were not connecting. No, it was more like they could not connect. It was only for a second, but it was a strange and noticeable sensation. At first I wondered if I had imagined it, or perhaps I had turned too quickly and was a bit dizzy. I probably wouldn’t have given it another thought; however, my daughter-in-law said, “You felt that?” And then I knew. She continued from where she was sitting on the couch, “The couch just moved.”

A quick check on the internet confirmed what we thought: we’d just felt a tremor. It was 3.6 with its epicenter in Portoviejo, the city where we are.

I’m sure that experiencing an earthquake or even a tremor is not on my son’s *short list; however, to appreciate daily life among the people here, one must know of the earthquake that struck last April and of the enormous recovery that has and is still happening in this city. Underneath the surface there is a tension and a sadness, and there is resilience.


Less than a year ago, on April 16, 2016, a 7.8 earthquake violently convulsed the coast of Ecuador and ripped apart everyone’s life.

Portoviejo was one of several cities that suffered massive loss. Though I’ve heard (my son, his wife and kids lived through it) and have read much and have seen the before and after, it is impossible for me to comprehend the death and devastation that struck this city of 300,000 last year. In less than a minute, over a dozen blocks in the heart of the city were destroyed. In less than a minute, people lost homes and businesses. In less than a minute, loved ones died. In the days that stretched into weeks and into months, hundreds of “after shocks” — many registering over 6.5 — continued to rock the land. So a tremor is not a small thing to them.

  • Here is BBC news account on April 18, 2016.
  • Here is a link to my son’s ministry website with photos and accounts in the weeks immediately following the quake.
  • Here is a post I wrote for our church blog on August 22, one week after the quake.

* When we arrived last week, my son had jokingly told me that he had a short list of things to help us experience true Ecuadorian living during our visit. I wrote of one here (a passing moment)… although I don’t think this one was on his list. Another one here (“greenfrost”), and a third one here (running water).

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