Ecuador

Sorry about the delay in new posts, but Rita and I just spent 10 days exploring parts of the northern Andes in Ecuador. Once again, we are almost overcome with the beauty and variety that this small country has to offer. I'm sure there will be more details on our trip here and in various International Living publications and web content, but for now, let me give you a brief overview. We started by flying into Quito's airport on a Friday, where...

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"Honey, we're out of eggs. I'm going to the mercado, do you need anything?" "Yes, we need poop bags for the dog," my wife replied. For those of you without pets, she meant for me to pick up a pack of small plastic bags used to collect and dispose of the little gifts our Corgi leaves around the neighborhood. So this morning, I set out to the mercado for poop bags and eggs. As I walked to the market, I...

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Two friends we made here in Ecuador decided to sell their homes and move back to the US recently. They enjoyed their time here, but for various reasons had to move on. We will miss them, but wish them the best in the continuing adventure of their lives together. Their departure reminded me of an interesting discussion I saw a few months ago in social media. A blogger was convinced that the “retirement/travel industry” was hiding a deep, dark secret...

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We had a close call the other day, and we may not be completely out of the woods yet. We woke up Thursday to find my wife's 11-year old Corgi, Joey, who is usually in the bedroom before sunrise, huffing and puffing for someone to get up and feed him, lying on the floor in the dining room. He was not moving much, and at first, my wife thought he was dead. She saw he was breathing though, massaged him...

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Jerry Seinfeld once pointed out that in surveys, people consistently list "public speaking" as one of their biggest fears. In fact, it usually ranks higher than "fear of death". Mr. Seinfeld points out that this means for most people, if they are at a funeral, they would rather be the one in the box than the one giving the eulogy. This is certainly true for myself, which always surprises people who know me, and some of the things I've done in...

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Here we are, back in Ecuador after a visit with family in the States. Back there they are celebrating the start of summer, but of course for those of us south of the equator, yesterday was the first day of winter. The picture above shows the sun going down last night, as far to the north as we ever see it. This solstice is the longest day back in West Virginia, but here it is our shortest day - 11...

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I often hear people cite "they speak a different language there" as a reason not to live in a foreign country - or for some, even not to visit. I also know expats whom, after moving to another country, refuse to learn any of the local language. In fact, some are even proud of their refusal to give up English as their sole means of communication. To each his or her own, certainly, but to me this is as hard to...

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Another picture-perfect day in Salinas. May is a great month here, with most of the snowbirds gone, and kids back in school. We have a lot of days with blue skies, temperatures in the low 80's, and cool breeze coming in off the water. Rita and I took a beach walk in Chipipe yesterday, and plan on going back today for some lunch empanadas and maybe a coco batido. On our walk yesterday, I was marveling once again at all of...

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Rita and I just returned from an 8-day road trip through part of southern Ecuador (hence the gap in blog posts), and we had a really wonderful time. We saw some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, and met interesting people in some great cities and towns. We know several people who have made trips around Ecuador and South America, but our trip was a little unique in that we decided to rent a car and drive ourselves....

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I’ve got a little problem. I can’t remember where I put my pants. You see, we are about to take a drive into southern Ecuador, to explore some towns in the cloud forests, between about 6,000 and 8,000 feet in altitude. We are really looking forward to it. By all accounts it is an area of beautiful mountains, breath-taking waterfalls, and interesting people. But I need my pants! You see, we have been living in Salinas on the Pacific Coast...

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