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....