Monday, April 29, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Life at Latitude Zero: Living in Thirds

Life at Latitude Zero: Living in Thirds: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Ron writes . . .  Six or seven years ago I came across an interesting way to view one’s life from an une...the mañana culture and the year-round balance between day and night—6:30 to 6:30—encourage one to relax.  Not having purchased a television yet means that the long evenings are devoted to reading.  By means of a Kindle and an MP3 player, I read or listen to at least two books per week:  novels, biographies, and academic works.  Plus, the number of free online lectures on a host of topics is amazing....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A New Life in Ecuador - by Ecuador George

Living a relaxed, retired, and peaceful life in Ecuador is my goal.  What I am doing to prepare and achieve this goal has turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be. Today I said goodbye to my baby. I call the homes I build “my babies”. It closes escrow today and I will no longer have a product to offer new clients.  
A New Life in Ecuador

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reposted w/ permission of Margarita Goodhart

Reposted w/ permission of Margarita Goodhart - Otavalo, ECUADOR Resident for 35 yrs - 10 APR 2013:
This is something that I have posted about 10 times, but I see there are new members and readers here all the time....I shall post it again....the truth rings here....please try to understand it!

There are certain things about Ecuador that have gone on for decades and perhaps centuries. We gringos cannot change these things, they will always exist. Noise, Trash, Corruption, bad biz ethics, lack of being on time, and many other things. 

This is Ecuador, South America. Do not think that any one of you can come here and make changes, the country will resent it. And once again, I will reprint an important passage from an important book.

This very poignant quote, that Nicholas Crowder has used in the introduction of his book, Culture Shock, is taken from Walker Lowry's "Tumult At Dusk: Being an Account of Ecuador," written in the early '70s and is unfortunately out of print at this time.

..I shall copy it here for all to read, as I believe it is good 'food for thought.'

"During his visit to Ecuador, he and his companions became aware of a murder at a ranch named Ila. They were concerned, as many North Americans would have been, and thought something had to be done.

 But a Colonel offered this advice:
"That is right, Senores. Whatever you do you will only make things worse. Forgive me for saying it but you do not understand this country. You do not understand its people. You think that because we have houses, cars and clothes like yours, because we talk of democracy and freedom, because we read your books, borrow your money, buy your goods, we are like you.

 "But we are not. We look like you, sometimes we talk like you, but we do not think like you. The difference, Senores, is not great but it is important. If you do not see it, the things you do in this country will be wrong. 

You will only make trouble. Your motives will be good but you will always be misunderstood. You will try to make friends and find only enemies. You will be disappointed. You will condemn this country. Or you will make fun of it. You will go home and say this country is ridiculous, that everything is hopeless.

"But who are you to say, you who have never understood us? Senores, try to understand. Look at this country with open eyes believing only what you see. Look at our people. Look at our history. Look at our land. Do this, Senores. Do not worry about Ila. Ila is not your affair. Adios, Senores." 
(Reprinted from "Culture Shock! Ecuador", Nicholas Crowder). 
 If you are going to Ecuador and you want an insight into the hearts and mind of the Ecuadorian culture be sure to get a copy of Nicholas Crowder’s book (Culture Shock Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) ..also, be sure to visit with the owners of Ali Shungu Mountain Lodge, Frank and Margarita.

Ecuador, escape to the top of the world at Ali Shungu Mountain Top Lodge

  ...I once was on assignment in Ecuador and this fellow Nicholas Crowder the author of Culture Shock Ecuador, helped me out of a few jams. We have stayed in touch over the years and he recently shared with about the beauty of Ali Shungu Mountain Lodge. He won’t admit it to anyone but he knows some aspects of Ecuador that very few outsiders have knowledge of.  One thing he taught me was that not all things in Ecuador are as they appear on the surface.  When he tells me something about Ecuador, I listen and I listened about one of the most beautiful places on earth. He highly recommended that I get in touch with the owners of Ali Shungu Mountain Lodge, Frank and Margaret who took very good care of my wife and I while we were there. There is no question they know how to operate a first class operation in an absolute paradise on earth....

....I have so much respect for  this fellow Crowder I asked him before I shared this beautiful mountain lodge with you called Ali Shungu. My recommendation is if you are going to Ecuador and you have thought of staying at a breathtaking and magical place which extolls the beauty of this earth then read below. If you read no further that is OK, but I am telling you from a fellow traveler to another, Ali Shungu should not be missed by any visitor to Ecuador. One kernel in the secret recipe, Ali Shungu is magical and mystical but it is the owners Frank and Margaret who have provided the spirit in constructing a comfortable lodge where nature and spirit can be celebrated....
...Sitting at nearly 10,000 feet, tucked up on top of a mountain in the Andean mountains is the hidden jewel which is called Ali Shungu Mountaintop Lodge. My wife, Mercedes Keene who is from Ecuador and I made the trek up a bouncy road where the lodge is isolated just fifteen minutes from the center of the Andes town of Otavalo, Ecuador.

If you take any recommendation from an old travel writer, and you love serenity, peace, comfort, and not to leave out fantastic food, you should not miss a visit here. I am telling you that you will write and thank me. Oh one last thing, pricing is about $85.00 a night per person including meals – it is a bargain at this price. You can visit their website at: Ali Shungu Mountain Lodge.
Also, if you are going to Ecuador and you want an insight into the hearts and mind of the Ecuadorian culture be sure to get a copy of Nicholas Crowder’s book (Culture Shock Ecuador: A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette)
He and the book saved my ass a few times. By the way I asked Frank and Margaret if they knew Nicholas Crowder and if he had stayed at Ali Shungu. They had a smile on their faces and would not confirm or deny if he had stayed there.  However, I did see his book on their bookshelf in the main house.
Regards, Brandon Keene – Author, Professional Dragoman
P.S. and please keep my secret about Ali Shungu :) between you and me. (1*) BRANDON KEENE IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER CREATED BY NICHOLAS CROWDER

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Want More Spanish! Ecuador George

I Want More Spanish! 
Ordering food will be the first thing I learn. This will be very easy because ordering food does not take a lot of words. It can be as simple as one or two phrases. Then I can get down to the basics, but food comes first.
 Here are two of my favorite words… In fact this is also my favorite phrase… Learn this along with a few nouns and you will be speaking Spanish.
Quiero mas… Quiero mas… Quiero mas…
I want more… I want more… I want more….......................

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ECUADOR DIGEST Quito's new Metro light rail system will open in 2016

Cuenca isn’t the only city in Ecuador building a light rail transportation system.

Quito’s Metro Tram project broke gorund in March and is scheduled to open its first metro line by mid 2016. A total investment of $1.4 billion USD, the project will be financed by the City of Quito, the Ecuadorian Government and several international financing sources.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

eddsaid----cuenca---ready or not, here i am!!!: Mashpi Lodge

eddsaid----cuenca---ready or not, here i am!!!: Mashpi Lodge: Mashpi Lodge
A private driver picked us up from our friend's house for an early morning drive to Mashpi Lodge. Mashpi has ushered in a new level of tourism in Ecuador. It's an extremely high-end ecolodge hidden in an amazing cloud forest northwest of Quito.....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ecuador, Venezuela Trade Using New Virtual Currency:

Ecuador, Venezuela Trade Using New Virtual Currency:
QUITO – Ecuador sent Venezuela an initial shipment of crude palm oil under a new trade currency regime known as the Unified System for Regional Compensation, or Sucre, the Ecuadorian government said.
Ecuador’s state-run National Development Bank, or BNF, said Tuesday the shipment carrying 5,000 metric tons of crude palm oil – part of a bi-monthly export agreement between firms in both countries – left for Venezuela on Dec. 31.
The oil is used as a raw material for the food industry.
The medium of exchange was the Sucre, a virtual currency adopted by the ALBA bloc, whose members are Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

ALBA was conceived of by leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an alternative to the now-defunct U.S. plan for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

The transaction was executed via the countries’ central banks at a rate of $1.25 per Sucre, the BNF said, adding that it corrects distortions that multinational companies have generated in the palm oil refining chain, “which traditionally has exploited and undervalued the work of Ecuadorian producers.”

Dincodex S.A., in partnership with several other Ecuadorian companies, exported the crude palm oil to Venezuelan state-owned firm Industrias Diana, which will refine the raw material, the bank said.

Monday, April 1, 2013

John Desmond Ott, Succumbed to gunshot wounds inflicted by robbers 16 OCT 2008

The Following Death Notice was printed in the local papers.

John Desmond Ott, son of M. Gerald and Virginia A (Desmond) Ott died unexpectedly on October 16, 2008 in Quito, Ecuador. He succumbed to gunshot wounds inflicted by robbers in mid-afternoon. He had owned a business in Quito since 2005. He was born in Midland, Michigan on January, 2, 1969. He graduated from Greenwich High School in 1987 and from New York University in 1995. Besides his parents, he is survived by his beloved wife of two years, Andrea Castillo de Ott, a daughter Joana, who turned one year old on October 22, sisters Julie Farris and Jana Ott, brother James Ott, brother-in-law John Farris, nephews Joseph and Jacob Farris, nieces Hayley Ganslaw and Anna Farris, and many, many friends throughout the world. A celebration of his life was held in Quito on October 19 and another will be held in New York in late November. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The John Desmond Ott Memorial Fund for the benefit of Joana Ott

Fort Negrita Green Life As I Know It: Time To Purge (and Learn How To Get Rid of a Bunch...

Fort Negrita Green Life As I Know It: Time To Purge (and Learn How To Get Rid of a Bunch...: I'm leaving in 15 days to go to Ecuador. YIKES!! I've been throwing away (ahem) disposing responsibly, of much of my items. Alo...

Latin America Current Events & News - Section » Ecuador

Latin America Current Events & News - Section » Ecuador:

Quito Ecuador: students at increased risk of robbery, assault in school zones reported the following:
Students are at increased risk of being robbed and assaulted in a number of school zones in Quito and environs.
A number of methods are used by assailants to relieve students of their cell phones, smartphones, and tablets. Many thieves will be dressed as a student in a similar school uniform which leads the victim to being vulnerable.
Sometimes assailants are in vehicles along the street and work in conjunction with another gang member dressed like a student and approaches the victim, when the assailants jump out of the car and make threats with knives or guns.
Statistics indicate that in 2011, there were 2,410 robberies of students reported. In 2012, the number was 2,415. So far in 2013, in the northern administrative zone of Quito, there have been 160 robberies of students recorded. Other statistics reveal that the overall number of victims of the age group 16 – 30 has increased substantially.
A police official indicated there is at least one known band of thieves which mark their victims outside of high schools.
Some victims have reported that they believe the robbers have informants in the school or school areas casing the students who have expensive items and then work in conjunction with assailants outside the school.
There have also been reports of robberies of individuals pretending to be street vendors.

10 Best International Places to Retire

10 Best International Places to Retire - Ecuador #10 on the List: 

10. Ecuador, especially Cuenca. Cuenca is already a favorite place for many people to retire. This World Heritage Site was founded in 1557 and sits in the mountains at 8,000′, surrounded by 4 rivers. There are old cathedrals and an inviting wilderness to to explore. Many people come to Cuenca for the low cost of living, where a decent income from Social Security can support a nice lifestyle. Although there are parts of Ecuador that a lot of North Americans would not feel at home in, Cuenca is expatriate friendly.
For further reading
You can use our Directory to find lists of towns and communities within most of these countries. Note that we will be expanding our international city reviews in the coming months – suggestions and your experiences are encouraged.