Friday, October 17, 2014


Living in Ecuador has really broadened the way we think. We no longer have the need for rigid schedule, run by clocks, appointments or work schedules. Now our days are run by 2 dogs, the weather, and a whim or flight of fancy. Nice change... I recommend it to everyone! No need to live in Ecuador, but that is a nice bonus!

We have had some fun with our love of motorcycles and scooters!

Randy bought a Royal Enfield 500 with a sidecar. This photo was taken on a ride that Royal Enfield sponsored, One Ride.. all the shops too a ride that day; all over the world where they had shops.  This photo they took on that day was picked to show for the South American ride! Cool We were famous! That's Frankie loving his ride!

Then he sold it and bought a Royal Enfield Cafe Racer. I know, what about Frankie? Randy still has not figured out how to get the dogs on the bikes.

In April of this year we decided to move from the big city to the smaller town of Paute. We have not regretted it at all. Unfortunately we got here right in the start of the rainy season, and its really been a doozy. The most rain here in Ecuador in 15 years. 

We started the process for Citizenship back in February, thinking it would be a year before we even heard back. We were shocked in less than 6 months we were notified we could post our intentions in the local newspaper.  

Soon after that we were notified that Randy had been approved, so we zipped (i.e plane) up to Quito for a one day trip and he got his Citizenship papers. Just this last week we returned to Quito and got mine. So now we are Dualies..

We still have to get our Ecuadorian ID cards and Passports, but that can be done in Cuenca.

My next big adventure is to become legal driving the scooter.. I still do not have a drivers license here in Ecuador. I made sure to keep my US one up to date, but if I get into an accident that license will be no good. Especially after I get my EC ID card! More to come. Check back, I will try to be more prompt in my updates.

                                                                Some of our good friends here in Paute

Our great friend Manon, who jumped in to help us move

Frankie, not going to be left behind.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


 While we were packing and getting ready for our move to Paute I read about a poor dog who was found up in the Cajas (13,000 ft elev). It was a dachshund. A boy, and he was fixed. Here is the picture that was posted......
Dexter when he was found
 I sent the poster a note saying that if she could not find the owner, I would take him.  This was an executive decision.. poor Randy he was so shocked when I told him that Holly was coming with a dog for us.

This is Holly, the day she brought Dexter to us.
 After Holly brought Dex over it did not take long to know that Frankie was going to not like it but would "deal" ok. So Holly left, and Dex started the bonding process with Frankie.

OK, you can lay here but I am going to ignore you,.... new dog...

Since Randy had never had the joy of naming a dog is was his decision. So after a few days he came up with DEXTER. I immediately shortened it to DEX, so he now answers to both... well kind of lifts his head.. no words are spoken. :)
I dont like that thing in your hand

Make her go away!

Since we have had Dexter, our life has taken a new turn. Frankie is more playful, they are buddies now and we have more joy in the house. Dex is only about 3 yrs old and has alot of puppy in him. He also loves to sleep ON you.. whether its in a chair or a bed he is right up against you.  We are hoping to make his life a wonderful one, and that he will never be cold or hungry again!

Friday, August 8, 2014


This is still a catch up blog. we have been using both sides of the duplex since March.

While we had moved into the "better side" of the duplex, the other was under major renovation. Even more so than the one we moved into. This one was FILTHY and really buggy. The workers were very diligent and would show up each day at 7 to start work, and leave at 6.

Here are some before and after photos. I can see a big difference and it was all worth it!

Before a yellow "kitchen

After a nice white laundry room
Before a scary dirty yellow bathroom

After a clean somewhat less scary white bathroom!

After.. painted 2nd side living room

After After, a huge bedroom!
Before, a house with out closets or built in dressers.

After shelving and a rod to hang our clothes!

Before, a yard filled with rocks and  trash
After "plugs" scavenged from the park by our worker

After After, a yard! Free lawn!
The idea of having to put all this money and work into a rental seems a bit crazy in the states, but the living standards are different here. So if you want something you are used to, at a price you can afford, then this is what you do.


We moved in March. So I am still catching up on blogs..

We were up and ready very early eagerly awaiting our movers. Being the custom here that what time is said is not really the time that is a reality; we were not concerned when our 8:30 move time came and went. When the big hand started past 9, we started getting antsy and by 15 after I was on the phone..

I have learned that a smile in my voice and a teasing tone goes along way here. Luckliy our mover contact (and owner) speaks great English so I did not have to worry about getting my "tease" across... Hey, Did you get lost? Sebastian, was very sweet and said his workers should have been there by now and must be parked somewhere nearby waiting ... I walked out and looked by did not find them.. only a few minutes later Sebastian showed up and said they had been parked on the Other corner.. sheesh.. I did not look there.

And then they ATTACKED! Oh my word, what a wonderful, smiling crew he has. They flung stuff up in the air like it weight nothing. I was totally amazed.

After a quick walk through of our house, during the prelimanary visit, we had been told two trucks could take all our stuff. We were uncertain until we saw how they seemed to have digital eyeballs that could calculate exactly what went where in the truck... even to the point of stuffing in small items so nothing jostled around. Knowing the road to Paute, with its curves, unexpected road hazards as well as the occasional cow, I was very happy to see them packing things so tightly.

After they had everything loaded up we were off to Paute. They met us there after lunch and began to unload. Wow... the energy and smiles were still there. Pretty amazing. Even when Randy and I pointed to two different directions on where furniture went... they just smiled and stood there waiting for a decision.

Everything was unloaded and they were off to another move by 4:00. We had to go back into town  and get the dogs (thanks Manon for being our Doggie Daycare for the week).

It was a long day, but the next was rapidly approaching and look who came to help unpack?

Then for lunch we all invaded Jani's house and she treated us to her 1st time Primo Corned Beef and Cabbage that she made from scratch! Oh it was delicious. And because she did not add some horrible chemical it was not pink! hooray for natural Corned Beef! I have never had it this way and I am now a true convert.. I may even have her show me how its done.
It was quite the move and we are still not totally unpacked. We are not quite two weeks into the house, and hopefully will be able to expand into the other side in one more week.

Stay Tuned I will post about the other side next.


August 8th. Just got my bugs out. Putting pictures to posts I wrote until this happen. so its catch up time.

We  have decided that our landlord is getting a good deal with us living here.  Insert smiley face.

We continue to update and clean up the other side of the house. Our workers are chipping out cracks and re-cementing, plastering and then sanding.. its a messy business and one that I am so glad I am not doing. 

I have not been feeling well so I was not going over and saying hello and checking in on them.. when I did pop over I was horrified to see the maestro sanding away on the ceiling with no eye or face protection. He had been doing this for hours.. his face was covered in plaster grit.. I commented and he said yes, it was bad and got on safety glasses he had. I asked if he had a dust mask and he did not.. so I made sure Rodrigo got both of them one.

This is one of the issues I need to keep in mind when we have work done. They do not use safety items like gloves, eye protection or dust masks unless they are supplied by the employer... I felt so bad that I had overlooked that. Realizing that he had done the whole other side of the house without any protection and probably would continue to work that way on his next just made me sad.

The Land lady had her worker put up a fence across the back of the property so it delineates our areas.. I say that because it does not keep the dogs out.. Frankie promptly walked right under the chicken wire and went on to explore the other side.

Randy assures we will be putting up a "sturdier" fence and hopefully we can convince the LL to take down the chickenwire creation.

Rodrigo worked with the LL to get a gate put in at the very back of the property so we have our privacy. As it is now, they are coming into our front area and using a pass through hall to get to the back yard. They agreed to put in the gate, but only if we absorbed all the cost. Sigh... fine.. how much will that be?

Soon it will all be done and we can start using all of our house  :) I am looking forward to that day!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


No we are not being put into jail... This is our new home in Paute, Azuay Ecuador. It is a single story duplex. We have both sides.

We signed our 3 yr lease today... that in itself was an adventure. Let me tell you about it.

Let me introduce Rodrigo, Contractor, Handyman, taxi driver, and our newest friend.
Rodrigo is on the left. This is NOT our house...its my friend Jani's house

Rodrigo has helped us find this house, meet with the owners, and make sure our translations were correct at the Notary when we signed our lease. All around nice guy.

We got into town at our appointed 9 am meeting time. Rodrigo was called and he said "I will be there in 20 minutes (read 40 minutes) with the REAL owner.. " Oh no... the real owner. Randy said, Well who in the hell did we give the deposit to?

We went to the park in the center of town to wait.  We were picked up and went to get our Real Landlord.  Then off we went to the Notary. 

During the ride we found out that the people who showed us the house was our LL's Aunt. Whew... at least it was in the family.
Did your Aunt tell you all that we discussed about the house? Well No... so now, outside of the Notary we were negotiating about the house. sigh...  

We agreed and went in. the notary was very detailed and took about an hour... cost 21.00. LL paid.

Poor Randy, his nerves were shot, imagining all the horror stories  that could be.. for naught. :) 

We went to the house to go over a few things and get the keys.  Rodrigo is going to get the workers together to "spiff" up our new rental. This spiff up requires, concrete, saws, piping, paint and lots of elbow grease. (See photos below).
Suicide showers.. Rodrigo says he is able to change these out
Randy's tiny kitchen, but its much better than the other side...
Randy and the landlord in the living room.

Afterwards we went to our friend Jani's house ( gonna be our Paute neighbor!) and had a wonderful lasagna lunch.. hooray for good friends!

OK, I know you are wondering about Frankie.. Well he seems so confused by all the travel and the new house smells. He did get excited when I showed him the back yard. He slipped out of the front gate and met one of the neighbor dogs.. hair all up and tail all stiff.. but no biting or growling.. just lots of smelling.

Saturday we go back and start getting some supplies for the crew to start on Monday...

More updates later...

Monday, February 17, 2014


A few months ago ,Yahoo and I had a major issue, and I was locked out of my accounts... all of my accounts. Even Google.. Today I finally was able to get through their security questions and access my google accounts... this blog being one of them... yeah me!

OK, so update. We are still in Cuenca, but are moving to Paute on March 31. We put down a rental deposit just today! We sent out the word to everyone we knew, and a few that we didn't and we got our place. Its going to be quite the process to get it ready (its been empty and not well kept for quite a few years), but we are looking at it as an ongoing adventure of living in a smaller town.

We were managing a condo here in Cuenca, but the owners have decided to no longer rent it out. Now that we no longer are "working" we can look into living in a smaller town. Our idea with this is twofold. We would like to have a lifestyle that is not so surrounded by English speaking people, and we would like a town a bit more "tranquilo", less cars, busses and even people. We will be going from 500K  to 40K in population.

We just celebrated a 1 year "birthday/anniversary" for Frankie, our rescue dog. He is doing quite well and has quite a following. Those who do not know our name seem to know his. Its quite nice that he likes people and is very approachable.

We are working on getting our Ecuadorian Citizenship. The process is not that difficult. The necessary papers are from right here in town. The only US document we needed was our Birth certificates notarized and apostilled. Which we had from when we first moved here in 2010.

We flew to Quito in November and presented the documents. Our Spanish teacher went with us to be sure we did not get confused with legal-eze. We now have enlisted a local business called Gringo Visas to assist with the rest of the process so we do not have to fly up to Quito until the "swearing in" process.

So far this year, Ecuador has had some big things occur. One is the Volcano Tungaruhua exploding so high into the atmosphere that we got ash here in Cuenca... almost 200 miles away. The volcano is one that is off and on spouting off, but the locals say its been 60 years since they got ash in Cuenca.

We have another election coming up. For our local officials. We got to vote in the Presidential election, and now we are looking forward to this one as well. A new electronic voting system will be tested here in the Azuay province, so that should be fun to see how that all works out. There have been many  street demonstrations on the use of the computerized system, as well as YouTube and leaflets with photos showing each step.

Another issue here is what they call the Black Moons. I guess there has been 3; and during those times the tides have been very high along the coast. Due to Sand Mining operations, the way the water hits the coast has changed and a now there is extensive loss of beaches, homes and whole towns... other places are gaining sand...

It seems that the stream of people coming to Ecuador is slowing down.  I am guessing that the word is getting out that no place is Nirvana and you need to do your due diligence before you make any move This last year has seen quite a few people return to the US.  About 5 different couples and a few single folks. All with varied reasons.

We still continue to love our life here in Ecuador. I will continue to update you on our progress with the moving, Citizenship and Frankie escapades!

Oh and thanks for hanging in with me during the lulls!

For some reason I cannot get photos to load.. I will work on that as well.