Sunday, January 29, 2012

The time of my life........makes me smile

"I've had the time of my life
No I never felt this way before
Yes I swear it's the truth"

One year. And what a year! One year ago today, I came home. My new home.

I have met so many people, seen so many things, and done so much. I've met people in Japan, China and Alaska that have become friends on Facebook and met Facebook friends in New York and Ecuador who have become actual friends.

When I first came to Ecuador to live, I had my beautiful daughter in tow to help me with 6 rubbermaid tubs, 2 checked bags, 2 backpacks, 2 carry ons, and 2 dog crates with accompanying 8 pound dogs. I left the partridge in the pear tree back in Texas. We had some uncomfortable attention when we landed from the airport policia but somehow made it through customs in one piece.

After getting settled in Vilcabamba, my daughter, Robbin, and I traveled the highlands and saw waterfalls, Incan ruins and had a crazy ride through the rain in a dune buggy in Banos. We also went on a gravity defying horseback ride through the mountains which was the scariest thing I've ever done. That includes skydiving, signing a mortgage and moving to a foreign country.

I've lost weight from getting a lot more exercise and adopting a much healthier diet. I've learned a bit of Spanish and can now understand about half of what I see in a newspaper here but that was true in Texas as well so that may not be a fair comparison.

At the time that I made the decision to change my life I had no idea where I'd be in a year. Sometimes we get so mired down in a toxic lifestyle, we have no clue that things can be better. We work too many hours at a job we hate or have long since become burned out. I once knew an attorney I worked with who was so tired of his life and told me one day that his fondest dream was to quit, move to the coast and open a bait and tackle shop. I've lost touch with him but I truly hope he had the courage to accomplish his dream.

My life is much simpler now. I don't have as many shopping choices as I did a couple of years ago but I'm healthier and have a lot more friends than I did when I was battling a 12 to 14 hour workday, traveling as much as 3 hours in traffic a day. I don't miss that life at all.

I spent the day of my one year anniversary strolling the Malecon of Salinas with Leigh, her husband Neville and son Kyle who will be moving from Texas shortly. Salinas is often called "Little Miami". Last night, we had an amazing meal at Gabriella's, an Italian eatery which would compare to anything I had in Italy 13 years ago.

One piece of advice I have for you in the event you decide to visit a third world country for vacation or to explore a change of residency is to carry toilet paper with you at all times. There is a story circling around these parts of a woman who dared to enter a stall without. She has not been seen since 2009.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fixing it Ecuador style..............makes me smile

They have a little different attitude to repair jobs.  Basically it is called "it'll do".   I can't say I've never done this before in my own life my own children and relatives can attest.   However, I'm not here to speak of my own shortcomings because that's just not funny.   Well, maybe to other people.  /smile/

Most appliances in Ecuador are run by the LP gas tanks.   They have a fitting on top with a gasket which seals and controls the outlet of gas in the air.   On occasion, those gaskets get loose and need to be replaced.   Before that happens, they get "fixed".

Rock on top.  FIXED!!
If it does not interfere with activity, it may not ever get fixed.

It's hard to see but there are shards of glass up there on top of the wall.   Fired the security staff?   Never had one?

Security staff quit or got fired?  FIXED!!
I came from a part of the country where windstorms can get violent through the plains of Texas.   If a hurricane traversed its way from the coast and tore off your roof, you put a plastic tarp over it until the insurance inspected and it got fixed properly.   Not in Ecuador.

Between the weight and the rock, that roof is not going anywhere.  FIXED!!
Another security issue is breaking the lock on the door.   Or maybe there never was a lock on the door.  It is as simple as getting a padlock.   No bothering with expensive locksmiths.

No one is getting in this door.   Padlock.   FIXED!!
I do love living here.   It's 6:30 in the morning and I'm looking out my window at a white cloud snaking its way through the Andes Mountains.  It's the morning after an all night downpour.  Actually the day after an all day downpour.  Even if I were blind and deaf I would know that just from the smell.  Simplicity is not overrated.