In this paper, I explore the anthropologist, in my case a single, white North American "girl," often referred to as niña in Spanish, as an imagined orphan in the indigenous community of Lumbisí, Ecuador. Lumbiseños' understanding of being "alone" propelled a long process of incorporation that slowly developed my social connections to the community through friendships, alternative fictive kin constructions, and reciprocity. This reflective piece draws on the work of Bruce Grindal, whose profound influence on humanistic anthropology shaped my approach to ethnographic research. His vision of an anthropology based on real human connections, the long-term responsibility of research, self-reflection, a critical eye, and the effective communication of human experiences we share with everyone, not just academics, inspired several generations of scholars, who carry on this tradition in his name. Using three vignettes experienced in crucial phases of this ongoing collaborative research, I attempt to illuminate the process of relationship building, the conflicts experienced, and the resolution we obtained in the spirit of Grindal's (2011) final publication, "Confrontation, Understanding, and Friendship in a Redneck Culture."