What's the best place to live in Ecuador? There is a clear and simple answer. It is certainly a hot button question, though. Name any place at all, and someone will jump in to explain categorically to you why you are wrong. I suppose it is only human nature, but whenever you ask that question of expats in Ecuador, they invariably will inform you that by a wild coincidence, it just so happens they have settled in the ideal spot....

Read more

The road from Machala on the coast of Ecuador to Loja in the Andes passes through some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. The mountains in this region jut up at very steep angles, and are every shade of green due to the lush natural vegetation and planted crops. Add to that the clouds dipping over peaks and through the gaps between with the deep blue of the sky – well, some things have to be seen to...

Read more

Last week I posted a link to a video of a band I was in a few years ago, and someone asked for more "gringo music". Got me thinking that I should put something together for the holidays for the family back home. This time of the year, I know a lot of expats are thinking about the folks back home, and we are no exception. So I decided to dust off the musical instruments and recording equipment I brought to...

Read more

“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...

Read more

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....

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

The first thing you notice are the birds, hundreds of them circling in the distance. Then as you get closer, you see that you were wrong – there are THOUSANDS of birds! Nothing as ordinary as seagulls, these are big frigate birds, some with wingspans of five feet or more. As you continue down the hill on the new road to the Puerto Pesquero (fishing port) of Anconcito, you also see the flock contains pelicans, some so large you can...

Read more

There is a popular saying that "ignorance is bliss". That may be true, but only for the ignorant. We may be on the verge of finding out just how non-blissful ignorance can be for the rest of us. We have for the first time in our nation's history, a candidate put forth by a major party who is the very epitome of ignorance. Mr. Trump has raised ignorance to an art form, almost a badge of honor. And he has...

Read more

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...

Read more