Life Lessons

“How was your trip to the States?” our friends in Ecuador ask, and it is sometimes hard to frame a simple answer. It is always great seeing family and friends. Manicured and landscaped lawns were a treat, and it was almost scary how easy it was to communicate when everyone is speaking English all the time. But there were other things, unsettling things, that we noticed as well. Rita and I have lived in Ecuador for three years this January. Over...

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You hear a lot about how friendly the Ecuadorian people are, and it is all true. They are also extremely proud of and loving towards their children. I was thinking about this the other day as I watched parents and their children playing on the beach, and it reminded me of an experience we had a when we were still brand new to the country. We had been in Salinas only a few weeks since closing on our new home....

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We've seen in the past few elections the occasional threat/promise, "If my candidate doesn't win, I'm leaving the country". It used to be that no one took that too seriously, it was just something you said to show your extreme displeasure with the other candidate. In this weird election cycle however, we heard this a record number of times from both sides of the aisle. It seemed like no matter who won, at least half the country was going to get...

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R.I.P America  b. 7-4-1776 d. 11-9-2016 What the hell, Uncle Sam, you had a good run. I guess all things must come to an end, I just didn't think that when the time came it would be at our own hands. I'm trying to keep a positive frame of mind, but it is hard to be happy about anything today. It is indeed the death of reason. Is is also the death of facts. Most of the blame can be...

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Since several people have asked, here's a quick Inca Trail update for you. As of today (November 1, 2016), it is exactly 300 days until we start our trek. That's 9 months and 27 days of preparation left. Let's go to the numbers! We are in our 81st day of training. We passed a big threshold over the weekend, clearing the 500 mile mark on our exercise walks. As of this afternoon, we are at 514 miles and counting. We...

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I know it is not news you expect to see someone pleased about, but I am happy to be obese. The thing is, I've entered obesity from the other end - I'm no longer "morbidly obese". As you can see from the ever-so-cute Mii in the picture above, my needle is no longer pinned up off the chart. I've dropped below 35 on the BMI scale, and have therefor officially entered that land that 70% of Americans occupy. In order to...

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Recently, Rita and I took a week long exploratory trip up the coast, along the "Ruta del Sol" of Ecuador. When we announced our plans to friends and family back in the States, I was surprised at how often we heard some variation of the admonishment to "Stay safe!" Now I know that usually it is meant along the lines of "drive safely", but sometimes there was a darker undertone as well, an idea that we should keep in mind...

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It is September 15th, 2016 now. Rita and I have been working on our weight and walking ability for a month, and so far the results have been pretty encouraging. We started recording our exercise walks on August the 13th, and in the thirty-three days since then we have walked a total of 199 miles, and will break the 200 mile level when we walk after dinner tonight. Let me stress as well that these are real miles, not those FB/BS...

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Once again, Rita and I have defied the odds, and managed to visit Guayaquil without a major crime event. We are constantly warned by expats and some Ecuadorians alike that it is a very dangerous city, with a whole list of "nevers" - never take a cab, never walk more than a block or two, never take a local bus, etc. But I have to confess - we like going to Guayaquil! I don't want to pretend like it is a...

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The first Presidential election that I remember being aware of as a child was in 1968. It was between Richard Nixon for the R's and Hubert Humphrey for the D's, but it also included in his third attempt to run for President and first attempt as an Independent, George Corely Wallace Jr. This was also the first Presidential contest to bring hate front and center, and foreshadowed what we are seeing today. George Wallace started his political career as a southern...

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