“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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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...

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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...

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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 started this article, choosing the title "Light at the End of the Tunnel" on Friday morning. At the time, it seemed like after a crazy year in the most bizarre election of our lifetimes, things had finally settled down. It was no longer a question of whether Secretary Clinton would win, but how much of a margin she would win by, and more importantly, how the Senate and House races would be affected. Before I could finish the article, FBI...

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People always want to know what health care is like when you choose to live overseas. So I would like to share with you my experience from last year, dealing with a problem that required surgery. First off, Rita and I have not signed up for IESS, which includes national health insurance here in Ecuador. It is very affordable, but we do not like that we could only use the designated state doctors, hospitals and clinics. We prefer a little...

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    Does anyone else feel like many Americans do not understand what a debate is? The "winner" is not the one who talked loudest, interrupted most, hurled the most insults, or got in the most zingers. A debate, a Presidential Debate especially, is supposed to be a place where each participant gives detailed answers about their proposed policies and how they will implement them, and why they think their way is best.     While Secretary Clinton did move away...

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