Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reflecting On 2011

2011wins hands down as the biggest change in my life.  Last year at this time Sharon and I returned from our visit to Ecuador and we started making plans to retire in Cuenca. So many decisions to make.

  • Quitting our jobs
  • Selling or renting our house
  • Selling or storing our furniture
  • Bringing our dog?
  • Starting the residency process
  • Booking airline tickets
  • Saying goodbye to friends and relatives
  • Bringing our cat
Thank goodness I listened to Sharon . I thought the process would take 4-6 weeks but it took every day of 5 months to get everything ready.

In the end we decided not to bring our beloved 11 year old Samoyed.  A wonderful family who just lost their Sammy adopted Cassie and we receive timely reports on how well she is doing.  Feisty, our 16 year old cat is thriving in Cuenca.

Almost all of our friends and most of our family were supportive concerning our move to Cuenca.  I still giggle at the lack of knowledge that some of our family displayed about Ecuador. The best tech advice I can give someone contemplating the move is to bring down the best computer/tablet/cell phone/Kindle that you can afford to Ecuador. The electronics will cost you 30- 40% more in EC and some of the products are just not available.  Make sure you bring Magic Jack for phone calls.

Both Sharon and I had preconceived thoughts about our transition to our new life in Ecuador. In 7 months we have rented a beautiful apartment overlooking the Yanuncay River. We have met wonderful new Expat and Cuencano friends.  The Cuencanos we have met have all been friendly and welcoming and both of us have made a good start in transitioning to Español by taking Spanish lessons. We both love the climate, the people, the slower paced and affordable life style of our new home in Cuenca.

Have there been speed bumps along the way?  Of course.  Our expected 3 month residency process took 7 months and we had to postpone a trip back to the States.  Internet connectivity remains a daily challenge. We still need a translator for most detailed transactions.  There are days I long for a decent Thai or Chinese meal, Although, Skype brings our friends and family to the computer screen Sharon and I both miss our friends, kids and granndkids.

The Animoto video below is a compendium of shots from Oregon and Cuenca.

Feliz Año Nuevo

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