Friends,Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake in coastal region of Ecuador has put me in an introspective mood –as some of you are aware, I’m Ecuadorian. With a death toll over 570 people, 7,000 injured and 25,000 living in shelters, this is the worst disaster the country has seen in generations. The way the news broke in my household was surreal (a WhatsApp message to a guest whose family lives near the epicenter), so were the photos coming-in. A building where it appears a giant baby has whimsically smashed the top half onto the bottom, so it sits precariously perched at an odd angle with half of a crumbling middle floor missing. A crackled asphalt road with a five foot gash where a maroon car is impossibly lodged looks like something Salvador Dalí might have painted. A survivor being pulled through an impossibly small hole in the concrete and rebar. When relegated to remote corners of the world like Nepal, Turkey or Haiti, similar images struck me at an intellectual level –I empathized and felt bad for THEM. Now, even though my mountain hometown was spared, it feels personal. There’s a sense of helplessness mixed with the desire to be there in person to help (not just google “Ecuador disaster relief” and pick an NGO). There’s also a realization that life is short and disaster can strike anyone, anywhere at any time. Armed with that knowledge, you should grab a donut –courtesy of Ashley Button. Unfortunately, my week-long pilgrimage through Windstreamland precludes me from being there to partake of this bounty with you –which means there’s more for you.