living in ecuador

I recently was able to do something that was rather exciting for me. It may not seem like a lot to most people, but it was a significant event in my life. What was this watershed moment? I walked into a Lee store in a mall, and bought a pair of jeans off the shelf. These were normal jeans, straight off the rack. There are no elastic expansion bands in the waist, no drawstrings to help keep them up, no...

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It is true that there are some unusual things to get used to when you choose to live in another country. Speaking a different language is something that is high on most people’s list in this regard, but I have found myself noticing some of the more subtle and interesting differences. Here in Ecuador for example, consider something as basic as food. Of course there is an adjustment to be made in the types of food available here, and this...

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I have to confess, I am a foodie. Although not a chef by any means, I love to cook, and I love to sample local dishes whenever we travel. So Ecuador is a perfect place for me to indulge in this weakness. Not only do I have access to incredibly fresh and healthy produce, meats, and seafood to use in my own kitchen, but there is also a wealth of local and traditional meals to experience. Best of all, even...

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One thing I really enjoy about living in Salinas, Ecuador is when we have an excuse to visit the 'Tad. That's what Rita and I call La Libertad, which is the next town inland from Salinas, and the commercial center of the peninsula. We love to jump on a bus and ride into the 'Tad. Although La Libertad is home to the modern El Paseo Mall, that is not where the action is, or where most of the locals shop....

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It is a question many people are asking themselves right now. For my wife and I, our answer is yes, we are staying. This is our home. Maybe we would feel differently if we were in one of the areas of destruction. Our hearts go out to those who are struggling to survive. We recently traveled between Manta and Canoa, and we met wonderful people that we are very concerned about. Here in Salinas, if you were dropped into town...

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Things are very quiet here in Salinas, Ecuador today. As you can see in the picture, the beach is nearly deserted, only a few boats and jet skis out. This is a resort town for Ecuadorians, and most of them have left to go check on their homes and families in other parts of the country. We normally are very happy to see the "touristos" clear out (see The Most Wonderful Time of the Year), but today it feels very different....

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The picture above was taken at 6:55PM last night, local time here in Salinas. I stepped out on our balcony and took a quick picture, just to see if it would capture the colors, which were truly spectacular. Three minutes later, 210 miles away and 12 miles down, a sudden shift happened. Have you ever been to Disney World or Universal Studios, and taken one of the earthquake rides? They simulate the shaking, things slide towards you or tower over...

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A great benefit of traveling and spending any amount of time in a different country is getting a different perspective on the world. In the US, we tend to think that we have the best of everything, and that everybody in the world would rather be in the US, or at least wants to be like the US. This turns out not to be the case. For example, the trains in Europe are miles (or kilometers, I guess) ahead of Amtrak....

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I have to admit, I was a little nervous about renting a car again. It had been three years since I drove in Ecuador, and that experience was very limited. We just drove to a hotel in Playas, the next day drove to a hotel in Salinas, and didn’t get in it again until it was time to leave. And even then, we had an Ecuadorian riding with us to give me directions to the airport. Rita and I both...

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If you should ever find yourself in Manta, the Hotel Perla Spondylus is a very nice place to stay. It sits about a block back from the Malecon, on a road that runs directly from the famous Tuna on a Stick statue, which makes it easy to find. In fact, when our cab driver wanted to pretend ignorance of the hotel name and drive us around a little, I just said “cerca de la estatua de atun” – which may...

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