Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kimbler's Exit to Ecuador: ONCE A YEAR POSTS HAVE GOT TO STOP

Kimbler's Exit to Ecuador: ONCE A YEAR POSTS HAVE GOT TO STOP:If  there is anyone out there who still reads my blog.. or were waiting all year for my next post...the wait is over.

I have felt since we moved to Paute that we settled into our routine and
that our blog was not really going to be useful. I have been prompted
by friends and family to "get on the stick" and start writing again. So
here it is.

I will back track a bit. As you know we moved to Paute in 2014, we will
have been here 2 yrs in April of 2016! Where did those years go?

We have been enjoying our house after we made all the renovations to it, to make it livable.

The dogs have been enjoying all the room in the back yard, as well as
the garden area of the lot behind us that also belongs to our landlord.

We are now down to our 1995 Trooper, 1 Vespa 300 cc scooter. It is big enough for both of us to ride at the same time.

We have not many long trips on it ,but  getting around between  Paute and Gualaceo, the next big town over is very easy.

We visited the U.S. in May for 3 weeks. This was Randy's 2nd time
returning in 5 yrs. The first was our daughters wedding. My mother who
turned 94 this year, lives in Dallas Oregon, and our home town is in
Richland, Wa.

 I stayed 10 days at my moms, while Randy went on up to
Richland to visit with our friends until I arrived....<read more>

Friday, November 20, 2015

"ECUADOR Report" on I-net radio this past THU 19 NOV 2015

If you have time to catch my monthly "ECUADOR Report" with mentions of Vilcabamba - Loja - Paute - Cuenca on I-net radio this past THU 19 NOV with Roger Sayles- Radio Ranch out of Argentina on The Truth Frenquency Radio Network:.

--"My 20+ year friend from our Atlanta days Jack Abercrombie making another appearance on today’s show. After getting settled in we discussed one of his recent clients’ trip to see about/consider relocating in her retirement. 

After traveling to visit several different towns in southern Ecuador she settled on a beautiful spot outside of Cuenca. is the website. After talking about several aspects of the area, her potential move and it’s reasons, etc.....

After talking about several aspects of the area, her potential move and it’s reasons, etc. we were joined by regular called Chris from Lost Wages. Chris has actually helped construct a dome home in northern Arizona and gave us much insight into dome homes, underground homes, berm homes, etc. We were also joined by Doc who contributed to the building discussion on top of adding to a comment I made to Jack about the recent discovery of giant skeletons in Ecuador, specifically around the Cuenca area. 

There are the links mentioned in our discussion today. Dome homes: Research on giants of N.America: Underground homes: Hemp Crete.

Can listen to the replay for free up to 1 week next THU 26 NOV15 by clicking here:

More links- on the Ecuador Giants story "Ancient - Origins, be sure to check out the informative comments at bottom of the page:

Orginal Cuenca High Life article:


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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Radioactive (Near?) Extinction Level Event(s)

We are in serious trouble. 

We are in serious radioactive trouble.  

We are in the kind of serious radioactive trouble that can kill a person outright, nay, that can kill every last person in the world -- and also quite a lot of the rest of the other biological life forms that inhabit the planet with us.

This is no exaggeration, just a no nonsense recitation of the truth of the matter. 
  ~Bill Hicks: You can choose Fear or Love~

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Howard's Blog: I had an accident! / Cuenca, ECUADOR SAT 19 SEP 2015

Howard's Blog: I had an accident!:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I had an accident!

I was in a terrible accident Wednesday and suffered a major head injury and a concussion. I was on a speeding bus that made a sharp turn sending me through the back door, over the street and onto the sidewalk. I was rushed to the emergency room, by ambulance, and spent ten hours being observed and having my head stitched up. Luckily, no broken bones.

However, I was in a lot of pain. Mainly muscle pain. My vision isn't 100% yet but it has improved. I need several days of bed rest to let my brain heal. The doctor said it took quite a beating. We were scheduled to move into our house Thursday. That has been rescheduled for Monday. The people in the neighborhood that saw the incident were so helpful until the ambulance arrived. I was losing a lot of blood and one man held pressure on my head while a lady attempted to clean the pouring blood off of me with cotton balls.

The police ordered that the bus driver pay my hospital bill or be taken to jail for thirty days. He agreed to pay. The care I received in the hospital was excellent!! Mike is taking great care of me.

Friday, October 2, 2015

I think one needs about 10 yrs to fully Master & Learn a new trade or craft, customs & culture~

FRI 02 SEP 2015-
Sharing from another public Forum / Group, where a friend asked:

 --"Who among you have come to feel like Ecuador is truly "home" to you?"--
 For those who do feel that way, how long did it take before that realization? Was there a precipitating event? And finally, do you attribute any particular thing (an activity, idea, attitude, etc.) as being responsible for your feeling at home here?

Journeyman Jack EC Response: honest question "John Doe", sorry for your castigation from the other group. I guess all of our perceptions & experiences vary, but took me 4-5 yrs, to start to feel a bit at home mainly staying in 1 neighborhood (2- 2+ yr rental contracts, moved 2 doors down, no expats to speak of, maybe 3 expat couples) within 10 km's, mostly friends & business w/ locals - from FEB 2011 - JUN 2015.

I now have moved 1.5 hrs across to Eastern suburb part of town (Quito) to be near the UIO Quito Airport, and for my 4 yrs relationship Ecua G/F to be near Her family & life long friends.

..over the years, being here full time since 2008, nothing made me feel more at home, than having my aunt & uncle living 2 hrs to my north in Cotacachi for 4 yrs until I helped them return back to GA about 18 months ago. (was a downer(:

...or when close friends & family come and visit for 2-3-4 weeks is a special treat that makes me feel at home Here...? <strange I know>

..something I feel helps me, in my case anyways, to make EC feel more at home is to not be back and forth to the US every year, as many do, not knocking it by any means,

...but I just can't fathom putting myself through the emotional / energy / stress & strain of of an INT flight entering & exiting these 2 very different worlds every year,

...or in some cases, expats that max out the res. visa req. of 3) x 30 day trips a year, per year for the first 2 years. like my aunt & uncle did...

(and the saying good byes, or even see yah later, is hard enough when folks leave from Here after a year or 2 or 3),

...I feel the longer I stay put in EC... and not just my home base neighborhood in Quito, but keep focusing on Spanish language improvement & cultural adaptation Here...the quicker it will be home sweet home,

....but by Touring & Introducing others around the country (size of Colorado) about 20,000 km's per / yr. keeps me learning and meeting new folks, - locals & expats alike in all areas of the Country. --as well as helping folks leave and return home permanently...makes life in EC interesting...

~Ebb & flow, ebb & flow ~ I watch them come, I watch them go~

I feel most at home, when I am helping others, learning new routes, and the vastly different ways to go about things, and how to get things done or fixed, it's a learning curve~ to get around, and in and out of other towns / citys and areas of EC. often. keeps me fresh and on my toes. Living and not just existing "like a bump on a log." matter if one has achieved residency visa - drivers license - naturalization - home owner mtn. - and a 2nd home owner coast ~ cars / motorcycles owner, marriage - 40ft container - ~4 car garage and we're still building on~ all that is just documents & pieces of paper that can be achieved most anywhere.

Home is where the heart is, if EC is not sunk down and embedded steadfastly into your heart, if you do not want it with a passion like you have never wanted anything before in your life, then it will not truly be home to you.

I think one needs about 10 yrs to fully Master & Learn a new trade or craft, (even a new culture & the customs of small country) to be frank, (or jack:) I have got a long ways to go, still just a journeyman, serving out my apprenticeship time,

I slip in and out of that warm & fuzzy, homey feeling.
I don't guess I really am after that "feel at home" feeling.

(don't kick me out of the group for this, lol:)
...but, I want new and exciting, learning something new everyday. Classroom for "EC 101" is wide open 24/7/365 everyday if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, apply some elbow grease, buckle down and work at it.

I don't like boring and hum drum routines. If I wanted to feel at home, I would have stayed back in ATL. GA & the SE / US running around in familiar circles where I know it like the back of my hand.

2003 to 08 I had the opportunity to bump around on business & pleasure in and out of Europe - N. Africa - Mid East, before regrouping and coming permanently to EC in 08' I do have a tolerance level for my low end boredom of up to just how much high end excitement, or cultural difference I can handle, we all have to just find our sweet spot, and try and maintain it, as best we can:) my 90 yr old Granny Back Home says, (that I call once a week on Magic Jack:) in the Alzheimer's Ward of an assisted living Center, and still says: "Well To Each His Own"

Some of us Like Morgan Freeman's character have waited too long (mentally & spiritually) to get out of the old country / culture and try to make a go of it, into a new country / culture.

..or as Andy Dufresne says in Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

Cities Require Precautions, Even Loja!!: Yes, even here! 28 SEP 2015

Cities Require Precautions, Even Loja!!: Yes, even here!: Photo courtesy of QueHayEnLoja
Misconception: Loja is safe at all hours of the day or night.

Clarification: This statement, and variations of it, is written in articles, internet posts, books, etc., about the city of Loja.  Common sense would dictate that it is not true, but all of us sometimes give in to what we WANT to believe rather than what makes sense.  Loja is a CITY,
of course there is crime, of course you have to be careful.

  It therefore strikes me as quite irresponsible on the part of the authors
that repeat this untruth time and time again.  (It is clear that the
vast majority who write about Loja in English-speaking books and
websites have spent very little time in Loja and for some, none at all.)...<read more>

Monday, September 7, 2015

An expat family’s move to Cuenca; handling the details and settling in, Sep. 7, 2015

By Christopher Lux
With everything sold but our house back in North Carolina, in September last year my son and I arrived in Cuenca. We came ahead of my wife since she had to wait for cooler weather to bring our two large Catahoula Leopard dogs on the plane.chl chris col logo
I had to start my new job, and my son came along. Together we went to meetings, workshops, conferences, and classes. Nobody seemed to mind the four-year-old coloring and reading in the corner of the room.

When we first arrived, we stayed in an Airbnb apartment near El Centro. Dano, the owner of the apartment, drove us to a furniture store to buy beds for our house. He showed us the market where we could by affordable furniture and gave advice about keeping dogs in Ecuador.

Our house was rented for us a month earlier by our extended family who happened to be living in Cuenca. Our first week, they took us to dinner, showed us around town, and helped us get the house ready to move into. We lined up painters and a plumber to make a few changes.

After a week in the Airbnb, we moved into our house. It didn’t feel like home at first. We were in a new country, and we were in a neighborhood far away from El Centro and other gringos.

 Soon, as cooler weather arrived in the States, my wife and the dogs arrived in Quito.

 The dogs were too big to fly from Quito to Cuenca,

 so we arranged to have them driven down by the famous Journeyman Jack who specializes in relocation. 

Jack and the dogs drove through the night. My wife stayed in a hotel and flew to Cuenca the next day.

 She arrived early in the morning and the dogs made it a little later in the morning. ....<read more>

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Unschooling the Big Blue Marble: Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Unschooling the Big Blue Marble: Leavin' on a Jet Plane:

Saturday, 5 September 2015-

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

We bought our tickets for the U.S. today.  I spent all day working out the flights.  We wanted to fly into New York from Guayaquil or Quito and then take a bus to Cleveland because the savings are huge!  So, after a lot of back and forth I finally found an itinerary that would work.

We are flying to Quito the night of the 28th and then hanging around the airport all night.  The flight to New York leaves at 7:00am and we will arrive in New York City at 5:00pm....<read more>

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Exact process you need to follow to get your second Ecuadorian passport. 09 AUG 2015-

From Dom Buonamici Newsletter, Owner of
Quito Airport Suites- A hotel just minutes from the new Quito UIO airport, your ideal jump-off point in Ecuador.
09 AUG 2015-

"I got a friend, a young American guy in his early thirties who goes by the name Bart Simpson.

He's rich, specifically, a "dot com" millionaire.

And his hobby in life now is collecting passports, he has six already to be exact.

A South American one is his next target as it would open up the whole continent for him.

He's done his homework, and according to him, Ecuador is the EASIEST to get.

So that's why he's here.

I was helping him out, and here is the exact process you need to follow to get your second Ecuadorian passport.  

1. After at least 2 and a half years of residency (technically they say 3 years but my contact who works in the Quito office told me you can really apply after 2 and a half years from the day you get your Ecuador cedula or ID card) you can apply for the dual citizenship which gets you an Ecuadorian Passport.  You can not be out of the country during those first 2 and a half years a total of more than 90 days, but you can apply for citizenship anyway even if you pass this limit but you'll have to submit a letter stating why you passed the limit and hope they still sign off on it.

2. Gather the requirements.  
- Birth certificate, apostilled and translated to Spanish.
- Passport color copy of the passport where you have the residency visa stamp.  Your passport must have at least 6 months of validity.
-Color copy of Ecuadorian Cedula(ID card).
- Get document from civil registry (registro civil) that states first date of cedula (tarjeta indice de filiacion que dice la primera fecha de cedulacion) - Certificate of compliance (Certificado de cumplimiento de obligaciones) from the SRI (IRS of Ecuador) stating you are up-to-date on any taxes.
- Certificate of compliance (Certificado de cumplimiento de obligaciones) from your local Municipality stating you are up-to-date on any taxes.
- Certificate of compliance (Certificado de cumplimiento de obligaciones) from the IESS social security system of Ecuador stating you are up-to-date on any payments.
- Police record from all the countries (including Ecuador) where you've lived the last 5 years. They are currently accepting only federal level checks from countries with a federal government, for Americans, that means an FBI check, apostilled.
- Migratory movement card, obtained in Ecuadorfrom immigration for $4. (Movimiento Migratorio)
- 4 color passport sized photos.
- Proof of Ecuador solvency:  Like a bank certificate, bank statements last three months, for business owners the monthly sales tax declarations, copies of the title (escritura) of any property or businesses you own in Ecuador or a copy of your rental contract properly inscribed in the rental agency (Juzgado de Inquilinato).

3. In person, they require you submit your documentation in Quito in the Immigration office (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores) on 10 de agosto. You can also submit in Guayaquil.

4. You'll be called in within a few months to take a written exam in Spanish on basic Ecuadorian history.  it is not pass/fail, it is just to put in your file, and they would like to see some effort.  It is not verbal in anyway but they reserve the right to do some verbal questions if they wish (but they usually don't according to  my contact).

5. Upon acceptance of application you must publish an ad in local paper announcing your new citizenship.

6. You will then be called in with all the others that day accepted into Ecuadorian citizenship to sing the national hymn (together, not solo) and confirm your new citizenship.  You will need to bring three Ecuadorian witnesses.  You can then go get your Ecuadorian passport.

Duration: about 6 months.

Cost: $200 application fee, $500 acceptance fee, approx $403 publication fee, $285 Civil Registry fee.  All fees are one-time-only, but Ecuador citizenship is for life unless you renounce it.   These costs are the cheapest you can do it for without using an attorney.

Total: Appox $1300.
And to prep for the test, simplifying it and giving you just what you need-to-know, which has remained in the same format for many years now and probably won't change anytime soon, try my new guide to the Ecuador Citizenship test.    It is an immediate download and won't be widely available on the Internet for now after this email.  

Hasta pronto, and please remember for general Ecuador questions I can only answer if you ask via the Q&A forum,

Quito Airport Suites- A hotel just minutes from the new Quito UIO airport, your ideal jump-off point in Ecuador. 09 AUG 2015-

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ecuador – Top Five Expat Blogs- Thursday June 25, 2015

Ecuador – Top Five Expat Blogs

Posted on Thursday June 25, 2015 (12:28:02) 

1.. Paul Acee's Ecuador
An expat in Ecuador since October 2014, Paul's blog is a repository of useful information for anyone who is thinking of either moving to Ecuador or simply paying the country a visit....

2.. Latitude Ecuador
If you're undecided about whether Ecuador is the right place for you, Latitude Ecuador will probably persuade you that it is. The images throughout the blog are beautiful, illustrating some of the most appealing points about living there,...

3... Ecuador Bound
Stuart and Donna describe themselves as 'full-time RVers' and blog about their retirement in Ecuador. Currently situated in Cuenca, they cover the usual tips and tricks for the local area, with fun stories about their own experiences. Of particular interest to the new expat, however, will be the menus along the top, which discuss such diverse topics as how to make a monthly budget, what to bring with you to a new country, a guide to crime in Ecuador, and an overview of the country's visa requirements...

4..  Discover Cuenca Ecuador
Another couple living in Cuenca, Frank and Angie have some great tips for expats who are moving with their children, including an overview of how their family of five manages to live on less than $1000 per month. There are videos throughout the site which are a great way of getting to know both the landscape of the country and the people behind the blog. Take a look at the '43 Things We Have Observed About Cuenca's People' post for a glimpse into Ecuadorian culture....

5..  Ecuador George

Providing a great overview of Ecuadorian culture and life as an expat in general, George's blog talks about what it's like to move from the US to Ecuador, how it feels to retire in a new country, and what you should do if you're visiting for a few days. The 'Before the Big Move' section provides useful tips about preparing yourself for a move abroad, and there's also a useful list of necessary Spanish vocabulary for anyone who doesn't speak the language.

Those are our recommended expat blogs for today. Do you write about being an expat? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Howard's Blog: Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru

Our friends Scott and Travis, from Atlanta, invited us to join them on a
trip to Peru.  Specifically, Cusco and Machu Picchu.  We immediately
said yes and the planning began five months ago.  Two weeks ago we met
them in Quito and we spent three days enjoying the city.  One of Mike
and my favorite things to do in Quito is to climb up to one of the
spires atop the Basilica.  Scott and Travis, being the brave souls they
are, joined us on the climb. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tali's Heritage Tour to China : GoFundMe- Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Tali's Heritage Tour to China : GoFundMe:

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


After checking out the prices of airplane tickets from Ecuador to China I have realized that we need some help.  Since we are leaving the 22nd of December I am sure that is why the tickets are so high.  The last time I checked they were listed at $2500 a piece.  Crap!

Even though it is embarrassing, I decided to start a campaign on
GoFundMe.  I don't want to have to tell Tali that we cannot go, so I am biting the bullet and asking for help.  I have also decided that if we are lucky enough to have more money than we need I would like to donatethe rest to CCAI, Chinese Children Adoption International, Tali's adoption agency.  I would like the money to go into a fund to be used to help other families take their children on their own heritage tours.

I'm going to use this blog to help "pay it back" by showing you how much this trip means to her.  Hopefully you will feel like you are there with us.

Please, share the GoFundMe code below with any friends and family members who you think might want to help.  Maybe you know someone who has adopted a child, or someone who has a daughter (or son) from China, or maybe someone who would just like to help make a dream come true for our daughter.

We appreciate any and all donations no matter the denomination.

The code is...

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Mark and Sherry

Our baby girl, scared out of her wits.

Tali's birth city, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province

Tali would not let Mark put her down for almost two weeks.  He carried her in a sling.

{Comments by Journeyman Jack}: The Franklin Family are Great Folks & Dear Friends of mine, that moved down to Cuenca ECUADOR back in JUN 2012. They are all ways helping out any body any time and are an asset to EC Locals & Expat Community:)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Delta to Launch New Flights to Medellin and Cartagena, Colombia April 6, 2015

Delta to Launch New Flights to Medellin and Cartagena, Colombia

By Airways News Staff / Published April 6, 2015

Subject to government approval,
Delta Air Lines will launch new nonstop flights to Medellin and
Cartagena, Colombia from Atlanta. The new routes will help expand Delta’s presence in Colombia and compliment its existing flights to Bogota from Atlanta and New York.IMG_3592

Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean explains that “Delta wants to be the best U.S. airline in Latin America by providing a comprehensive route network that meets our customers’ needs, whether they want to relax by the beach or do business around the world,” said Nicolas Ferri, Delta’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Our new routes in Colombia are the latest in a series of enhancements and a sign of our steadfast commitment to our customers in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

In a press release, Delta notes that “the route between Atlanta and Medellin will provide customers one-stop access to more than 200 destinations from Delta’s largest hub,

 including key business destinations in Europe like LondonMadrid, Paris and more. The Atlanta-Cartagena route presents customers with access to the Colombian Caribbean and its unique coastal cities.”

The new flights between Atlanta and Medellin will be operated daily, starting December 19, 2015, with a 124-seat Boeing 737-700 aircraft. DL983 will depart Atlanta at 5:30 PM and arrive in Medellin at 10:10 PM. The return flight will depart Medellin the following morning at 7:40 AM and arrive in Atlanta at 12:54
PM. Delta will become the fourth U.S. airline to launch flights to
Catagena; currently, Spirit and JetBlue have direct flights to and from Fort Lauderdale, and American offers direct flights to Miami. 

Delta also plans to launch flights between Atlanta and Cartagena on December 19, 2015. However, it will only operate the round trip flights on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

The 160-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft will depart Atlanta at
9:45AM and arrive in Cartagena at 1:50 PM. The return flight will depart one hour later, and it’ll arrive in Atlanta at 7:10 PM. Delta
will become the third U.S. airline to launch flights to Catagena;
currently, Spirit serves the airport from Fort Lauderdale, and JetBlue has direct flights to JFK.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"8 Things I wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Moved Back After Living Overseas"

To all of you who have recently returned after living overseas, you have a special place in my heart because not too long ago, I was walking in your shoes.  So here it is…my letter to those returning from the field to tell you what I wish someone had told me when I first returned.

--"8 Things I wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Moved Back After Living Overseas"--

1)  “I am sorry.”

I am sorry that this next season of your life is going to be a really hard one!  {I could say it in a nicer way…but I don’t think it will help to sugar coat it}.  Maybe not for everyone, but for most people who’ve lived overseas, moving back to their home country is the hardest part of the whole experience {yes, even harder then dealing with the crazy aspects of living in another country}.

I am very sorry that you are finding yourself in this season because it is a hard journey.  Not a journey that many people will understand, and not a journey I would wish on someone {but a journey that I am thankful for…now a few years down the road}

I tell you this because I wish someone had told me that it is normal for the transition to be very hard.  I wasn’t going crazy.  Other people have found moving back to the US after living overseas to be quite a challenge too. 

I am also sorry for the hard things you are bringing back that others may not be saying I’m sorry for.  I want to take a minute to acknowledge some of those things.  You are not alone in this journey even if you feel like it.
  • I am sorry for the grief of leaving all the aspects of your life as it has been.
  • I am sorry for the loneliness you may feel for a while.
  • I am sorry for the days you have to watch your kids sort out the confusion of reentry.
  • I am sorry for the stories you would love to share but don’t get too because few people will sit and listen long enough, or they are stories that might be misunderstood in your new context.
  • I am sorry for the loss of friendships overseas…and the loss again in the states as you realize that old friendships may not return to what they were.
  • I am sorry if you feel like you church or supporters or agency have forgotten about you now that you are no longer living overseas.
  • I am sorry for the days when you feel like you’ve gone from having an amazing job that makes a difference in the world to not knowing what you are supposed to do next.
  • I am sorry if you feel like you are trying to clean up a mess someone else has made in your life.
  • I am sorry for the hard things that may have happened overseas.  The things you aren’t sure how to talk about.  The things you aren’t sure what to make of.  I am sorry for the complicated and painful parts of your story that may not have a perfect ending.
  • I am sorry if you’d really rather not be in the states, but are finding yourself here anyways.
  • I am sorry for the way your emotional and mental health may be affected by reentry.
  • I am sorry for the things you left unfinished and for the part of you that is still in another country.
  • I am sorry if God seems very far away and your faith feels out of whack in this new reality.
  • I am sorry for all the moments of awkwardness and confusing as you sort out your identity.
I am sorry for the hard season you find yourself in, but there is hope.  You may someday wake up and find that this season has had moments you are thankful for.

2)  This season is not forever.

I know it may feel that way, but hang in there.  Give it time.  How much time?  I wish I could tell you.  It’s different for everyone, but it will take longer then you would like it to.  For a long while, I felt like I wasn’t overseas that long so why is this so hard.  So whether you define short as six months or three years, it can take longer than you think it will to feel like you are in a place of thriving and not just surviving.....


Friday, April 17, 2015

Event Horizon Chronicle: So You Want To Get Out Of The USSA -- Or EU?

Event Horizon Chronicle: So You Want To Get Out Of The USSA -- Or EU?: For some time I have been warning of the threat of catastrophic warfare. The threat is real enough. One of the several, global, flash points...

....Recommendations for Moving To Ecuador and Argentina

I get e-mails from people asking me how much it costs to move to Ecuador. They get incensed when I tell them: "How should I know?" It depends on whether you have a wife and eight children and three large shipping containers of personal belongings, furniture and major applicances you want to ship down and move through customs (good luck with that), or are a single man who can make his way with a backpack and toothbrush, or are a 70 year-old retiree with special medical needs. 

People ask me: "Will I have to speak Spanish?" And again I scarcely know how to reply. Is it not completely obvious that if you are going to live in a Spanish-speaking country that you will need to speak Spanish, or learn it as quickly as possible, if you do not already know the language? You would think some things would not even need to be said.

Then they ask: "Will I need a visa?" Answer: "Yes, it would probably be best." And there are all sorts of visas with differing prices, because there are all sorts of people, with different life circumstances. 

And then some people get irate because I will not answer every little, petty, trivial question that pops into their heads. "Is it cold? Is it hot? Does it rain much? Do I need to wash the vegetables? Is there crime? Are people friendly? Do they like Americans?" Again, the answer is: it all depends! If you're in the jungle it's hot and humid and it rains torrentially. If you're way up in the mountains it can get pretty cold. If you're a stereotypical "ugly American," then no, most people will not like you no matter where you go in the world. As for crime, come on people, what do you think? You're coming from New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles and you're asking if there is crime? Seriously? As for washing the vegetables, what would you think?

So there is a certain level of maturity, seriousness of purpose and worldy savvy that you need to relocate to another country, as well as the financial resources to successfully bring it off. If you don't have the resources to move and you are just idly curious about South America, my advice is to check a book out of the library. Even to take a short vacation to Ecuador for one person could easily run to two or three thousand dollars or more. So if you don't have the thousands of dollars to establish life in another country, stay where you are. Don't even think about coming, because things probably would not work out very well. That's the hard reality.


But if you are ready and have the cash to successfully move, the requisite maturity to land on your feet and make a new life in a new country, and the desire and ability to relocate, then for Ecuador I recommend you contact Journeyman Jack.

Jack Abercrombie ("Journeyman Jack") is based out of Quito. He has a fully-insured truck and moves people in. He handles the physical logistics of moving people's household goods anywhere in Ecuador. He'll meet you at the airport and drive you and your property anywhere in Ecuador you need to go. He also can help with visas and other kinds of forms, documents and paperwork (within reason). Jack is a dual Ecuadorean-USA citizen and knows the Ecuadorean bureaucracy. Here are his contact details.

toll free line from U.S. & Canada:
770-872-4104 or 770-828-7913
Quito office telephone: 011- (593) 2-349-0348,
Ecuador cell phone #'s dialing from the US:
claro: 011- (593) 98-806-6508
movi: 011-(593) 98-743-3009
dialing from within ECUADOR:off: 02-349-0348
cell claro: 098-806-6508,
cell movi: 098-743-3009,

talk free on: "Skype" 
user name: jack.Abercrombie

Friday, April 3, 2015

Retired in Cuenca...why not? - Role Reversal - Friday, April 3, 2015

Role Reversal

Celeritas Cart clip artSupermaxi is our local grocery store, although we sometimes go to Coral (sort of a super Walmart on steroids) when we need gallon jugs of vinegar, cases of water, etc.

When we first moved here, over a year ago, when I would hear someone speaking English in either store, I would walk up and introduce myself. (Stu says my internal extrovert went on high alert...) It was a great way to meet new folks as well as ask questions about products, what to use and where to find things. Now the expats I encounter are typically friends and although we stop to chat, at times we just wave and move on down the aisle....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Discover Cuenca Ecuador : Why and Who is Moving Back to North America after ...

Discover Cuenca Ecuador : Why and Who is Moving Back to North America after ...: So you moved to Ecuador and after one year or two you’ve decided to go back home. This happens from time to time. There are numerous reasons...

some of us don’t know how we’re going to feel being away from our close
family members until we actually are gone and living somewhere far
away.  I think that when we first arrive in a new paradise we do not
think we’ll be homesick because we’re so enthralled with the newness of
everything that we don’t have time to be homesick.  We actually think that visiting our children and grandchildren once or twice a year will be enough, but for some people it is not enough.

foreign couple in Cuenca told us that their children were supposed to
come here and visit but never have in the three years they have lived
here. It’s really expensive to travel abroad…and sometimes it is just
not in the budget to spend thousands of dollars on airfare for family
members.  Some have even told us that the length of travel time
necessary to come all the way to South America,  is not a feasible way
to spend one’s limited time off from work, and cuts in to the actual
'visiting time' too much.

is a wonderful way to visit with family and friends but it is not the
real thing, in fact getting on Skype and seeing your grand babies and
children can make you miss them even more, said one expat to us....<read more> 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

South America Just Stood Up: Can I get a big "HELL NO!" 15 MAR 2015

..On Wednesday, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said the member-states of the UNASUR would discuss U.S. aggressions against Venezuelan affairs, describing them as “gross, illegal, shameless, outrageous, and unjustified act of interference.”
The head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, has already made clear that the bloc stands behind the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro. 


"There is no possibility that UNASUR will validate any attempt to disrupt the democratic process in any country in the region," said Samper.
During a meeting in Quito, Ecuador, which included representatives from other regional bodies including Mercosur, ALBA, Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community, and the Amazon Treaty Cooperation Agreement, Samper added that the sanctions against Venezuela, and the timing of the action, were not good signs.:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Why Are So Many Expats Leaving Ecuador? January 13, 2015 |

By Dr. Lee Dubs
One of a group of writers who want to encourage people to be better prepared when they move to Ecuador, Dr. Dubs is a long-time resident of Cuenca. This article is one that reflects the observations of local and foreign residents who have seen too many distressed North Americans in Ecuador. These writers hope to help more immigrants arrive fiscally and psychologically prepared for their move by providing facts about life in Ecuador. This article addresses the issue of expat emigration from the country.

You can find a lot of articles that tell you that Ecuador is the perfect place to retire. Plenty of writers encourage you to move to Ecuador, and many want you to make that move for reasons of their own. Some even use words like “thousands” when wanting you to believe how many English speakers live in particular areas, implying that language and culture will present no problems.

 Astute readers recognize a sales pitch by those who intend to make a profit from their move. One fact that few writers reveal is that not everyone is happy and that large numbers of English speakers have left and are continuing to leave Ecuador.

Starting in late 2008 and early 2009 international travel readers encountered a plethora of articles extolling the virtues of moving to Ecuador, and North Americans by the hundreds heeded the siren’s call. By 2012, some profit-driven organizations and paid writers were claiming that there were over four thousand expat English speakers living in the city of Cuenca alone......<read more>

Why Are So Many Expats Leaving Ecuador?

Radio / Audio 40 min clip interview with Dr. Lee Dubs who has lived here for 25 yrs of an on, and full time for 12 yrs, Owner Operator of the Carolina Bookstore in Cuenca- as heard on the "Ecuador at
your Service" -- Cuenca Overseas Radio podcast so very well done by Ashley and Michel.

There is a live radio podcast every Monday at 11:00 a.m.
This interview was done this past MON 09 FEB 2015:
By Dr. Lee Dubs, click here to listen:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mega project enters new phase as drilling machine- hydroelectric project Coca Codo Sinclair, ...

ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: Mega project enters new phase as drilling machine ...:

Mega project enters new phase as drilling machine surfaces being underground for 927 days

tunnel 1
tunnel 1
Ecuador news
magazine - Napo, Ecuador, Feb 5 - After spending 927 days underground,
the TBM 2 machine, which drilled the first conduction tunnel of the
hydroelectric project Coca Codo Sinclair, culminated its work on
Wednesday, in the presence of Vice President Jorge Glas and some
ministers of state.

The project
will generate 1,500 megawatts of clean energy to the country, starting
in 2016, when at least 90% of the work comes into operation.

authorities entered approximately 1,500 meters into the mountain in the
window 2, located at Camp San Luis, in canton El Chaco, in the Amazonian
province of Napo.

The machine has drilled nearly 14 kilometers out of the 24 that correspond to the first conduction tunnel.

Hector Espin, spokesman for Sinohydro, the Chinese company responsible for the
construction of the work, said there is another TBM working in the
excavation of the remaining part of the work.

drilling machine
drilling machine
"TBM 1 is excavating about 10 kilometers and it comes out in a month," said the official.

He also stated that now, the megaproject is advanced by 87%. The development of the tunnel means only 25% of the work....<read more> ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: Mega project enters new phase as drilling machine ...:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Bringing Dogs to Ecuador" and a Family of 5- {from HOU TX = Tejas to UIO Quito, EC} 08 OCT 2014

In Bush International Airport waiting for our next flight. Jonas, Ellie and Greta.
If you intend to bring pets, in our case two dogs, to Ecuador it is good to get started early and work with your local veterinary that is familiar with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) International Animal Health Certificate and the requirements.

Here is how our story went. Several months before our anticipated moving date I began researching the requirements to take pets out of the US and bring them into Ecuador. Around every corner there are different people providing conflicting information on this process. I also found that trying to obtain any information from Ecuador was a bit challenging.

I have attached a link at the bottom of this page to the USDA requirements for importing a dog into Ecuador. This form was not available, or at least I did not find it, when I started the process. At that time there was a document from the USDA that listed the requirements. The information is basically the same, only in a different format as the one listed here.

After going over the requirements I knew I had to get started soon. I went to our Vet clinic and met with one of the vets. I discussed the International Animal Health Certificate with him and provided him a copy of the USDA requirements for importing an animal to Ecuador. A copy was also given to the office manager who would be the one completing the form including the translations.

The dogs began receiving the required vaccines. At the time, the rabies vaccine had to be given at least 60 days prior to the date of travel, and the remainder of the vaccines at least 21 days prior to travel. It appears now, on the new form, the rabies vaccine only needs to be given 21 days prior to travel, the same as the other vaccines. Of course, I recommend you discuss all of this information with you vet at least 3 months prior to travel. Also if your dog’s rabies vaccination has expired,

I would again go back to the previous times of getting the vaccine at least 60 days prior to travel.
So here we are with our dogs all vaccinated just waiting for the next step in the process. That would be getting your dogs treated for internal and external parasites within 21 days of travel. We are about two weeks away from our flight date and off to the vet we go for parasite treatment. This was pretty painless, for me anyway. Each dog got a dose of Ivermectin for the internal parasites and a topical treatment for ticks and fleas. The vet just used an over the counter topical treatment, I don’t recall which one. It was K9 Advantix or Front Line, or one of the other brand name treatments.  We then went home to wait for our next appointment.

Here is where it got a little tricky. One of the last requirements is that the animal must be examined by the vet within 10 days prior to travel to ensure the animal is healthy and suitability for travel. The vet also has to inspect the travel containers for the pets and certify they are sterilized. The vet then completes and signs the USDA International Animal Health Certificate.  That document must then go to the USDA that serves the area you live, in our case Austin, Texas. The office manager said she has done them before and sent them by overnight mail and overnight return mail. With such a short time and us just 3 hours from Austin, we decided to take the certificate to the USDA ourselves for approval. So off the Austin went went. Dropped the documents off around 7:45 am. We were the first ones there.

 The clerk taking the documents said they don’t usually get started until around 9:00 am because that is when most vet clinics open. The bottom line was they USDA was going to find something wrong with the documents and would have to call our vet to fix it. We went back to our hotel room to wait. Around 11:00 am we were getting antsy and decided to go back to the USDA office and wait. And we did wait until a little past noon when we were presented with the now USDA approved and certified International Animal Health Certificate. We were then off to the office of the Texas Secretary of State for an apostille.

 Remember I said some information we were getting was conflicting? This is one of those times. During the research I saw different opinions and information of how this process worked. Lots of documents require an apostille for use in Ecuador, so being  told it was necessary made sense. We went into the Secretary of State Document certification office and met with one of the workers. She told us that they did not apostille this type document. Oops, we were told something different. Thanks for your help.

<read original link>

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Bowen Knot: Moving to Ecuador with Dogs ~ FurBabies Sasha

The Bowen Knot: Moving to Ecuador with Dogs ~ FurBabies Sasha: OMGosh, moving Internationally with Dogs is complicated and it can be so expensive.

I was at my wits end trying to figure out all the USDA Guidelines,
Ecuador Guidelines, what shots, when to get shots, rabies shots,
Microchip or not, Parasite checks, flea medications, and the list goes on and on.  Then I got on the phone with our new friends Brenda & Bard.  They had recently moved down to Ecuador from nearby town back in November, with their two FurBabies.  Brenda called me up after I left her a frantic message...

  I told her how stressed out I am with the whole PupProcess.  I filled her in on the process we have dealt with so far and she suggested that I make an appointment with the Dade City Animal
Clinic in Dade City, Florida....<read more> The Bowen Knot: Moving to Ecuador with Dogs ~ FurBabies Sasha:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Howard's Blog: The Ecuador Coast

Howard's Blog: The Ecuador Coast:

Monday, February 2, 2015-

 The Ecuador Coast-

Wednesday afternoon we joined our friends Curt and Scott in a rental car from Cuenca Car Share and started the six hour journey to the coast of Ecuador.  The cities on our agenda were Puerto López and Montañita. This was the first trip for Mike and me completely across and through Cajas National Park. This part of The Andes are known for unpredictable weather and fog. We weren't disappointed.

 There was plenty of fog and Scott did an excellent job getting us across the mountains safely. Once we got to the other side of the mountain there was a drastic change in the landscape. The area is mostly flat with some mountains in the distance. The most dramatic change was in the temperature. Cuenca was in the high 60's when we left at noon.

The other side of the mountain was humid and 90-degrees or hotter. The highway was surrounded, on both sides, by agriculture. We saw sugar cane, cocoa, and lots of banana trees. From this point forward, the most entertaining part of the trip was observing the traffic.....Howard's Blog: The Ecuador Coast:

Argentinian airlines plans to start flights to Quito UIO & GYE in DEC 2015

ECUADOR NEWS MAGAZINE: Argentinian airlines plans to start flights to Qui...: Ecuador news magazine - Quito, Feb. 02 feb -

Argentinian airlines plans to start flights to Quito and Guayaquil in December 2015

news magazine - Quito, Feb. 02 feb -The company Argentine Airlines
announced it would open operations to Ecuador at the end of 2015.

FromDecember 1, 2015, the Argentina national company will offer a daily flight between Buenos Aires-Ezeiza and Quito and Guayaquil, for which Boeing 737-800 aircraft carries eight passengers in Business Class and 162 in Economy.

With the resumption of flights to Ecuador, a destination abandoned after its privatization in the 1990s by the government of Carlos Menem, the company now serves the SkyTeam alliance "in all of South America"

From December 1, 2015, the Argentina national company will offer a daily flight between Buenos Aires-Ezeiza and Quito and Guayaquil, for which Boeing 737-800 aircraft carries eight passengers in Business Class and 162 in Economy. 

With the resumption of flights to Ecuador, a destination abandoned after its privatization in the 1990s by the government of Carlos Menem, the company now serves the SkyTeam alliance "in all of South America".

The company has already launched flights to Salvador de Bahia, Havana, Cancun and Punta Cana, but postponed until December flights to Quito and Guayaquil, despite having announced that they would begin in April 2015. 

Aerolíneas Argentinas is ranked twenty-fifth place among the hundred best companies worldwide according to a survey by eDreams. 

The study last year by more than 90,000 users eDreams determined that the airline is among the leading companies in commercial air transport according to customer preference.