I woke up the first morning to noise. The rooster´s shrieks were the first to catch my attention. Then the dogs began to compete with the roosters to see who could be louder. Next began, what sounded like, nonsense words yelled by an adult followed by a chanting response from a crowd of kids. Motorcycles roared by and street vendors yelled promoting their products. All of these noises sounded like they were happening right beside my bed due to the lack of a windowpane in the window.
I laid their in my bed, wide awake, wondering what I had gotten myself into. Where was my quiet and peaceful room? There are no roosters or street vendors in my middle-class American neighborhood, and my room has windows to keep out any noises on the street.
But, as I spent more time here in Ecuador I began to understand more. Those rosters are a source of food and nutrients; those dogs are the people´s pets; the kids are students learning their syllables through repetition; those vendors are working hard to provide for their families. As I learned more about the life here, the noises just became sounds, and after awhile the sounds became somewhat musical.
The sounds don´t wake me up any more – they don’t bother me at all; it actually feels strange to hear the sound of silence.
Written by current Starfish Volunteer in Ecuador, Patrick Lydon