Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Changes ....................make me smile

Cuenca at night.  Not my picture but good enough to steal.
I have put a deposit on a house in Cuenca and will be moving the first day of June.   I do love the small town of Paute but believe it is time to move on.  It is my desire to make myself a little more useful to the world and Cuenca offers a lot more volunteer opportunities.

It is a bittersweet decision.   I have made a lot of Ecuadorian friends in Paute.   It has been a great launching pad to explore other small towns nearby.   Gualaceo specializes in shoe stores, both ready made and made to order.   Chordeleg has a plethora of silver and gold jewelry and is a very quick place to go to find unique Ecuadorian souvenirs.  Azogues is, well, Azogues!   It is what you could call a true suburb to Cuenca much more so than any of the other towns mentioned due to its close proximity.   There are so few westerners in town, someone stopped their car for my friend and me and wanted to know if we were lost and if they could help us!   In Paute, the friends I have told about this move have already started with the dread look on their face and the finger across the throat as in a slash to tell me about the thieves in the big city.   It does make me sad when I realize that I have become a part of this community and have learned enough spanish that I can actually join in on a joke, especially if the joke is on me.

Lots of small towns in the countryside

My landlady in Cuenca seems to be an Ecuadorian twin.   She is the same age and single (widowed), has children in their 30s and treats her dog like a baby instead of an animal.   She seems to have really been taken in with my own dogs but we will see how long that lasts after she hears Bear's ear shattering sharp barks a few times!   As of this moment, she calls both of them "wa-wa" which is apparently a term of endearment for small or young dogs among the Ecuadorians.   The first day I met her and her sister, she was going through her notepad to find something to write on and I clearly saw my own phone number written down and the world "gringa" written under it.   I pointed to it and she seemed embarrassed.  Then I started giggling and she and her sister joined in.   For a few minutes, the laughter was so hearty it was hard for any of us to breathe.   It may have been those few moments that we had our first bonding.

Grass for the "wa-wa"!

The house has three bedrooms on the second floor along with two full baths and one social bathroom on the ground level with a living and dining room with a kitchen and an attic on the third floor.   It was offered fully furnished but it was decided she would remove one bedroom furniture and all the furniture on the ground level except for the refrigerator and stove.   The refrigerator is electronic with an ice maker and cold water in the door.   There is a modern shopping center within walking distance.

Monay shopping center

A huge bonus of living in Cuenca is the water is the best in South America.   I have been drinking bottled water and boiling water for drinking since I have been in Ecuador so it will be great to be able to wash produce off in the sink before cooking.   I will still need to wash with antibacterial anything eaten raw as should anybody in any country.

Fresco on the walls of the San Francisco church.
The neighborhood is upscale Ecuadorian.   There is a very strict guard at the front who was reluctant to let me in unless I knew the house number and the name of my landlord.   Inside the house, there is an alarm system and beside the house there is a lot of grass for playing ball with Bear.   Across the highway, there is a hillside where my landlady takes her own dog walking through trails as she pointed out.   It is on the outskirts of Cuenca but across the street from a major hospital so there is plenty of public transportation from that area.   I have become so spoiled in Paute because I never had to walk more than a couple of blocks in any direction to get anything I needed unless I had to go to Cuenca.

No, this isn't the house but I had to put one on here.
This one was as good as the one I have.  :)

Now I do hope finding a moving truck will be as smooth as finding this fantastic house!  When I am able, I will be posting pictures of the REAL house.


  1. Good for you Vickie on your next adventure! We wish you only the best!
    Bob and Susan

  2. Awww, thank you SO much, Susan! It's a big change but I have felt extremely isolated and that is not fun. I also love to hear about your adventures as well.

  3. I hope for a tour of the neighborhood when I arrive. Sounds like a great location. Just far enough out for some green space, but yet still accessible to town and amenities. I will you all the love and luck in the world. And the kids too!

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  5. You don't have to hope. We are on after a few days of settling! I'll be exploring the city at the same time. After being near for over a year, it is shameful how little I know about Cuenca.

  6. Sounds just wonderful.........so many times I wish I was you! I love that you found this house and hope you will have many good years there. Good luck with the move!

  7. Welcome to Cuenca Vickie. Meetings of the Raylan Givens Fan Club is every other Thursday. Seriously, you don't have an excuse not to come to the iPad Users Group.

    "Wa Wa" is a common kichwa term for babies. Finally, let me know if you need a good moving company. We used a great company when we moved from our furnished condo to the house.

  8. Hi Vickie. I was just wondering if you can provide me with the contact info for your old landlord in Paute (or anyone who has a rental that is available). I'm seeking a house/apt for rent in Paute and have not had any luck on the gringo tree/post websites. Thank you! Brian

  9. Brian, my landlord changed my last couple of months. Mario sold the building and I suspect he did so because of the way the street was torn up. The new family who bought it the first of April or so are indigenous and speak no English. I have no way of knowing how to contact them.

  10. Hi Vickie. Thank you so much for the reply. I'm hoping to rent one of those houses on the side of the hill in Paute. Do you happen to have any friends/acquaintances (or know of anyone) who own rentals up there? Or is it safe to assume that the homes on the hill are not usually rented out (and are owner-occupied)? I have a feeling that people aren't building customs homes to rent out... but instead to live in.