I’m safe

As you’ve heard by now, a devastating 7.8 earthquake hit Ecuador last night. The death toll keeps rising and thousands are injured. Many are trapped alive. It is horrible.

Earthquake map
Epicenter is the star. Cuenca is in red.

375 miles from the epicenter, I didn’t feel the tremors, although some Cuencanos did. I didn’t realize anything had happened until Facebook pinged me to share whether I was safe from the Ecuador earthquake.

Ecuadorians have been laboring tirelessly to build up their country. They’ve got wifi in many places, have built new roads and airports, and are even building a tram through Cuenca.

As they build, bullies knock it down: El Nino has brought widespread flooding and landslides, low oil prices are hurting the economy, volcanoes threaten to erupt, and now this. And this is huge.

Bricks and mortar can be rebuilt. The dead can be buried. But trauma and grief can steal hope…

If you want to do something, please pray. If you want to do something else, make a donation. 

Either to your favorite relief fund or to one that is here, in Ecuador: http://heartsofgoldfoundation.org/earthquake-relief-fund/

If you want to invest in those who’ll soon be this country’s engineers, architects, doctors, and decision makers, make a donation here: https://www.generosity.com/fundraisers/full-bellies-dreams-of-hope-you

A moment for another makes a difference. The people of Ecuador thank you.

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For you beautiful people who made it to the end. I know you’re wondering: Kyle is safe. :)

 

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Processing with Jesus

Glowing candles, chants, music, and costumed characters filled the streets of Cuenca last night, Good Friday.

San Blas
San Blas Church with the full moon kissing its dome. 

Penitent and pious, sinners and saints, innocent and guilty processed, pausing only to watch as actors reenacted that night we call good.

All walked with Jesus to His crucifixion. All walked with Jesus to His death.

Jesus carries the cross
Simon the Cyrene helps Jesus carry His cross

Sitting in the Cathedral watching people rise to line up, I hesitated to join them. I’m not Catholic, Ecuadorian, or Spanish speaking. I stick out and still feel like a tourist, not like one of them.

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Yet I am a Christian, just like them.

God sees me as His own, and He sees them as His own. We are His.

I joined the Stations of the Cross procession. Video

These gentle people accepted me and my presence with them. I never sensed a judgmental look or comment. It was remarkable and yet not really, for we are His children, all Brothers and Sisters.

They get it, I’m the one who doesn’t…or hasn’t, until now.

Video taken for the audio, as this was spoken at each station. Translation help welcome.

More photos below:

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Moments in Cuenca

I’m trying a new way to post from Facebook. Hope you can see this.

Here are some moments from this past week, in Cuenca:

 

And for those of you still here, thank you and bless you.

For you, a purple sky ablaze as the sun sets.
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Me and Andre

What’s new and different here in Cuenca?

I’m a giant.

At 5’5″ I’m about 5 inches taller than most women and at least 2 inches taller than most men.

It is really weird to be tall and…I’ve become pretty pudgy too, and most people here are tiny, in every way. There’s no easy clothes shopping options for me.

I feel like Andre the Giant.

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Source

 

Eggs (huevos) are sold on shelves next to cooking oil, none are in the refrigerated aisle.
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Butter (mantiquilla) is hard to find. Margarina rules in Cuenca, it’s on store shelves AND in the dairy aisle. I about kissed the vendor on my block when I realized he sold butter!

Cars (autos) are parked like this, per the bomberos (not homeland security, but the firemen). Easier to exit when there’s a fire, perhaps?20160211_113812

They sell tiaras in jewelry shops. Girls, you know you want one, you deserve one. C’mon on down, the selection is fabulous!
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Toilet paper goes in the trash, not the toilet. No flushy, no matter whaty. (no pic for this one. You’ll have to use your imagination)

Super loud car alarms that make you stand at attention and have you looking for the militia. Everybody has one…

Dogs (perros) rule and are everywhere, big, small, strays and pets. They’re allowed to bark til they physically cannot, which is never.

The only cats (gatos) I’ve seen have been rooftop prowlers. Poor babies…

So, some of you are still here and a subset of you are wondering…

But WHAT are you doing?

Here’s some of the highlights:

  • contract working for The Dwelling Place (that new website launch is getting closer)
  • volunteering for Door of Hope (a sister ministry to The Dwelling Place that has an international reach)
  • getting myself out there: updating and relaunching my freelance copy writing website: Word by Word. I already have one promising lead! :D Thanks to all you amazing friends who liked my Word by Word Facebook page! YOU ARE THE BEST!
  • Church shopping:
    • The Gathering, their worship leader doubles as the lead for Rubber Biscuit, which expats recently voted the best band in Cuenca. Rubber Biscuit may find me on their dance floor soon.
    • International Christian Community, voted best place of worship by expats, this may be where God wants me to land. I’m praying about it. (PS met a St Olaf grad in the midst of this small congregation–there couldn’t have been more than 70 of us).
  • Museum visits:
    • Museo del Monastario de las Conceptas which is also an active convent. They were piping in Taize music when I was there. I stayed until they shut off the lights and locked exhibit doors behind me. I will be back, this may become one of my regular haunts.
    • five museum bus tour last Saturday, that has to become its own post soon. What a day!
  • Signed up for Coffee Club Spanish classes that start in March and go for 6 weeks. I desperately need these lessons!
  • For too common and distracting migraines (missing you Diane!): weekly two hour massage by this wonder worker, Maria Eugenia Cobos. $40. She speaks no English and I no Spanish, but we communicate anyway. Her brother lives in Minneapolis!
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  • Joined a writers support group, Writing our World. We’re all expats and all speak English. Whew.
  • Praying, for many of you.
  • Reading, mostly about how to live here.
  • Lots of walking around the city, there’s a vibe here that puts a skip in your step and, besides, the weather is almost always FANTASTIC!

AND, the BIG NEWS is (are you still reading?) is that my degree from Gustavus Adolphus College was accepted, and this Friday I am going with my lawyer to Azogues (neighboring town) to apply for my professional residency visa.

Gusties, go ahead and sing that rouser,we’re legit in Ecuador!

Gusties will shine tonight, Gusties will shine, Gusties will shine tonight, Gusties will shine…

Nightfall, Carnival, and the Local Mercado

Ecuador is in the thick of Carnival, a South American version of Mardi Gras that lasts for about a week (it ends Ash Wednesday).

Part of the shenanigans is that everyone is a target for water balloons or spray foam (sold in cans just for the occasion). I’ve found that it is best to accept that you may arrive at your destination different than when you left.

Yes, two adolescent boys foamed me today. :D

There is lots of partying, especially after dark, and to escape the crazies many locals head out of town. I fell asleep to sirens last night…

Friday, Feb 5: Day 15

I was planning to see the Cuenca Symphony in the Old Cathedral, but considering the holiday, I decided to stay in. Besides, the hot water tech was in my apartment servicing the hot water heater (my apartment is the hot water hub for the building) and I had promised to see him in and out.

So, I sat by my window and took photos of the sun setting and the night arriving…

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Saturday, Day 16

I finally felt like myself.

Wait, huh? Ok…a bit of back story.

Day 1-15: migraines, fatigue, and brain fog found me, bullied me, and wouldn’t leave me. Perhaps adjusting to the altitude (8250 feet), and the new culture are to blame. That’s what I’m going with, anyway.

Feeling well, I went to my neighborhood Mercado (market)…

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The unprotected, raw meat piled high is something I’m trying to wrap my head around. Ecuadorans must have a resistance to several strains of food poisoning. Or maybe the US regulates meat to ridiculous levels. I don’t know, I just know I won’t be purchasing any meat there, for a very long time…

It was a musical experience. Click here or pic for video.20160206_104550_HDR

As one reader has reminded me, I’m not in Kansas anymore! Everyday yields new sights and sounds and reminds me of God’s beautiful diversity.

Remembering home, I finished the day by watching the RNC Debate in New Hampshire and saying a prayer for the USA.

Shopping in Cuenca

20160129_154524To help outfit the furnished apartment I’m moving into tomorrow, Isabel (my facilitator, isabelmmosquera@hotmail.com) took me shopping at Coral yesterday. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Coral is Walmart on steroids!

Here’s a video to give you an idea of what it is like.

For three hours we power shopped. From section to section and floor to floor, we stuffed shopping carts with things like bedding, towels, tools, lamp, clock, scissors, stapler, shampoo, potatoes, peanut butter.

Of course, everything was in Spanish and had Ecuadorian style. It took some doing to find a mattress pad that wasn’t brightly patterned.

As we entered the checkout lane, my heart began to pound and my eyes went wide. I had two overflowing carts and a comforter bedding set besides. The volume was shocking and I suddenly remembered I had daily spending limits on my credit cards.

My brain went into hyper-drive trying to remember those limits. Were they $300 a day? $500? $1500? And which had a higher limit, the credit card or the debit card? Nothing sounded right.

Then the rabbit hole deepened:

What if a card was rejected because I’d gone over the limit, would I be unable to use it at all for the purchase?

Would Coral allow me to make payment with two separate cards? Would they let me pay cash for some, and credit for the rest?

Etcetera. Etcetera.

As the checkout lady scanned item after item after item, and the bag attendants filled carryout cart after carryout cart after carryout cart, I deliberately left the few grocery items remaining in my cart in the cart, and pushed it backwards and sideways out of the line, back into the shopping area.

Like that would make a difference.

So pathetic.

Surely Isabel wondered why I rejected the grapes…

Sighing deeply, I resigned myself to this becoming a big, long, red-faced ordeal, complete with calls to Wells Fargo and putting things back on the shelf.

While holding my breath, the cashier tallied and the screen read $392.54. I couldn’t believe it was less than $700.

I felt the sun rising and a smile spreading.

When the credit card cleared and the transaction went through, the air became light, and my feet left the ground.

Floating to the car, I took this pic for you of Isabel instructing the attendants how to load her backseat and trunk.

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Everything after that was easy. We went to the apartment building, climbed those three flights and unloaded the items inside the apartment, cold things into the fridge.

Before heading to my hotel room, I treated myself to a classic American duo, a Coke and fries, for dinner at Charlie’s (the local mom & pop fast food place, where I also took the receipt photo). 20160129_153402

Even though it was only 3pm, the day was done. My head hurt and my eyes kept closing. Back at the hotel room, I sprawled on the bed and listened to NPR and Eric Metaxas podcasts (oil and water mix better) while slipping in and out of consciousness until 7:30 this morning.

Tomorrow is moving day! :D

PS There is no chance of contracting Zika in Cuenca, as the altitude doesn’t sustain mosquito life.

More photos
Videos

 

 

 

One Week in Paradise

Well, it’s been one week since landing in Cuenca, Ecuador, my new home.

A couple of questions you’ve asked:

  • how are you earning a living?
  • what do you miss most?

$$ in Pocket

I’m exploring the digital nomad life. Digital nomads work remotely all over the world. Certain cities are better for this than others, depending on internet connectivity. Here’s a list of the best cities for being a digital nomad (Cuenca is listed 347th).  So, I am working online and am currently contracted with my former employer, The Dwelling Place, in communications and marketing. For almost four years I’ve helped create, edit, and publish their website and e-content, as well as social media and print materials. We’re soon launching a new, updated website. So exciting!

I’ll be looking for at least one more e-job once I get settled into my new place. If you’re interested in possibly contracting with me, I’m working on updating my website, wordbywordforyou.com, and LinkedIn profile with recent material. If you want to peek at something now, here’s the latest e-letter (saved as a pdf) I created from start-to-finish for The Dwelling Place.

I’m discovering it is essential to have a tech wizard in your corner, ready to jump in and troubleshoot. JR Reineck of Reineck Enterprises, Inc. has been and remains my tech hero. He’s in the US and has not only done some troubleshooting with me here, he set me up with a global VPN located in the States which enables me to access US sites. (If you’ve traveled, you may have discovered that there are restrictions and limitations to the sites you can access outside your country.) I can still shop Amazon and have the purchase sent to a friend in the States. I can also access Pandora and a full version of Netflix. Global VPN makes things like this possible.

Also, I will be setting up a Paypal account for employers to pay me electronically. You cannot mail me a check in Ecuador. (You cannot mail me anything in Ecuador, actually. Snail mail is not reliable or advisable.)

What do I miss most?

This one is easy, the ability to communicate with the locals. I could probably carry a conversation with a toddler, but am not volunteering at a childcare facility to find out. My Spanish is coming along, immersion forces the issue.

Thankfully I have English-speaking friends like you to communicate with. Your presence with me in this matters more than you’ll ever realize. Thank you!

For those of you wondering what I’m up to.

Yesterday:

  • to access internet on one of my laptops (the hostel’s wifi won’t connect to it), I visited the Cuenca library, but couldn’t read the signs for accessing the internet and didn’t know who to ask or if they’d be able to speak English. So, I left.
  • went to a internet cafe and did some promised volunteer work for The Dwelling Place. There is no coffee or food at these places-just a row of desks with computers that access the internet. I didn’t even see a sign for bathrooms. $2 for 3-4 hours. I failed to take a pic to show you, sorry peeps.
  • ate lunch/dinner at El Cantaro Restarante, a tourist hot spot off Parque Calderon (header photo is Parque Calderon, taken from the New Cathedral’s rooftop). They piped in this song, and others like it :)
  • I ordered the trout. So far, the food I’ve eaten in Cuenca hasn’t been especially tasty. I think they like their meat well done.

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  • The restaurant’s bathroom set up was new for me: one room with one stall for women, one stall for men, and an open stall for the urinal. This is going to take some getting used to… I took a pic to show you, hope you’re able to get the idea.

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  • planning for the move on Sunday. I’ll be shopping with Isabel, my facilitator, on Friday for essentials. The landlord is graciously letting me drop off some of my items on Friday, so I don’t have to store them at the hostel and then move them on Sunday.
  • watched a Rosemary & Thyme episode on Netflix

Today

  • enjoyed breakfast at the hostel with a wonderful and interesting couple from British Columbia. They’re thinking about moving here, I gave them Isabel’s business card. (Isabel is fabulous! Isabel Mosquera: isabelmmosquera@hotmail.com)
  • more planning for the move. I have a list of items to buy.
  • listened to an audio file of my son’s Christmas concert at First Presbyterian of Berkeley, CA. He had three solos! LOVE listening to that gorgeous tenor voice! Thanks for the send, sweet Charlie!
  • blog and work
  • massage at 3pm. I’m SOOO missing Diane Pease, my massage therapist in Minnesota. I’m one walking migraine without her, Cuenca is no exception. Consider a visit with her, she’s amazing! (PS I hire her for deep massage work only)
  • meander through my new neighborhood
  • maybe catch a concert tonight at the Old Cathedral (off Parque Calderon)

Another couple of days trying to find my way…

Monday:

  • enjoyed the hostel’s complimentary breakfast of yogurt and muesli, just like every day. Only this day a traveler, Herman from Austria, came and joined me. Herman is quick to share with all that he is “handsome and strong.” :)

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  • met my lawyer who is processing my professional residency visa. I signed a letter giving her permission to represent me to the authorities, in the hopes they’ll acknowledge Gustavus Adolphus College as an institution of higher education worthy of this type of visa. They recognize diplomas from government run universities and state schools, but not private schools…not without some convincing. Will see… GAC readers, please say a prayer…
  • looked at a few apartments in the afternoon with Isabel, my facilitator. One seemed promising, yet it wasn’t furnished and would have required furniture to be hoisted to the third floor through a common floor-to-rooftop area. Well, that and a few other things. I found the landlord trustworthy and helpful, as he seemed to go above and beyond to try and accommodate me. He founded and runs Colegio a distancia Promoción Social. To me, it looks like a vocational technical school. The school is located across the street from the apartment building. I fell in love with the neighborhood. From one of the apartment’s rooms and the rooftop terrace I would have had the view of San Roque’s church bells. Yeah, I’m a complete sucker for churches…

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  • delighted in a delicious mochaccino at the Magnolia Caffe between showings. ($2.75)

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  • Skyped with my husband, Rich, for 90 minutes. Rich is in the States (Minnesota) selling our house and downsizing. It was wonderful to catch up and see his face and hear his voice again.
  • Downloaded to my Kindle, Blessings for the Evening, by Susie Larson. I tried packing the hard copy version but it made my luggage too heavy. Books are like that…so I read my first evening devotional in Cuenca. Romans 8:28-29 was the Scripture reference. I cried and prayed… And then I fell asleep with a smile, remembering God is perpetually wrapping me in His love.

Tuesday:

  • a tip came to me from a local about an unlisted apartment available. That’s all I can say about that, peeps.
  • Isabel and I went and looked at it and decided it would be a good place for me to land, at least for awhile. I’m renting month-to-month a third story two-bedroom, fully furnished apartment in El Centro (the center part of the city, within walking distance of all the good stuff). It is lovely and has stunning views from many of the rooms. The only downside we spotted is the leaky roof in the master bedroom and in the living room, which they promise to fix. Oh, and it needs a healthy scouring, which they promise too. It includes all utilities, even excellent wifi (which I require for my freelance work).  $440 a month. I move in Sunday. Look for pics next week.
  • ate a mid-afternoon lunch/dinner at La Cuchara Magica. I had the Seco de Pollo, a traditional Ecuadorian dish. That and a cappuccino and a bottled water. $10.98.

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  • walked around a bit, got lost again, but this time it didn’t scare me. Then I stumbled on THIS!

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Many of you know domestic abuse is the work God has called me to. I’ve spent years praying for survivors and for God’s people to get involved, and nearly four years working for a Christian domestic abuse transitional housing program, The Dwelling Place. I didn’t walk through that blue door, but I did note the location. It sure felt like a God moment.

Of course, there is so much more to tell. The people, the altitude, the sights and smells, the weather. Stay tuned…

Tomorrow will be one week since I left Minnesota. God is good, and He is with me and, through Him, all things are possible.

More photos

Parades and Pictures

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A  religious parade went through the city today (Sunday). I guess these are common. Bells rang, cherry bombs went off, brass were playing, it was colorful and loud.

The pic doesn’t do it justice and I cannot upload a video on this blog, so…see video here

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The parade included pauses for dancing routines.

Dancers video here

OH AND…

A puzzling thing happened today, one of the hostel attendants asked me in broken English if he could take my photo. He’s about 20 years old (I am 50) and well…I was flustered, confused and suddenly lamenting that I didn’t have any makeup on…I said yes, tried to pose…I didn’t even ask why he wanted a photo…and probably wouldn’t have understood him if he tried to explain. Maybe I’ll show up on the hostel’s website or Facebook page. Who knows?

Then on the tour bus I took today…a man with a big professional camera scooted just behind and to the side of me and took some profile pics of me. We were on the bus’s upper deck, so the wind was blowing and the scenery was breathtaking. When he realized I was aware of what he was doing, he stopped.

Ummm…fair-skinned girlfriends of all ages, get your tushes down here. I think we’re beautiful in their eyes…

More photos here

Entering Paradise

So many of you are asking WHAT am I doing and WHY am I doing it and WHAT is the food like and HOW is the coffee, that I decided to resurrect this blog and post snippets of my everything Cuenca, Ecuador to hopefully reach you who are interested.

Although this post is long, I’ll aim to be pointed and pithy, as I know you have a life too. If you want to know more, email me at jodimqhill@yahoo.com.

Here she is, tucked in the Andes, in all her glory: Cuenca, Ecuador
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First the WHAT: I’ve moved to Cuenca, Ecuador to hopefully establish residency, a two-year process.

WHY? My bucket list is short: live abroad.

Why Ecuador?

  • they make it easy to live here as an expat–I’m applying for a professional residency visa
  • the weather is PERFECTO (50’s at night, low 70’s by day)–no furnaces or AC here
  • the US dollar is the currency
  • living is affordable, many retirees are down here living well off their Social Security
  • the locals are friendly and patient with expats, even those who don’t know much Spanish. Like me.
  • It is a safe place to live (little violent crime…this is not Colombia)
  • the city is GORGEOUS. I hear the country is gorgeous too…Galapagos Islands, Amazon Rain Forest…places like that…

Why Now?

  • Charlie and Emily (our kids) are launched and finding their way in adult life
  • Our parents are young and pretty healthy and don’t need us around to care for them
  • No grandchildren, yet.
  • Essentially….no one needs us right now

What about Rich (he’s my husband of nearly 30 years)?

  • Rich is staying in Minnesota to sell our home and liquidate a bit. With the kids launched, it seems a good time.
  • Depending on his work situation, he may join me, or stay in frosty Minnesota and visit often. It all depends…

A snapshot of my three days here:

  • Leave Minneapolis/St Paul airport Wednesday morning, layover and delay in Atlanta, arrive in Quito, Ecuador after midnight. Sleep at hotel closest to airport (Quito Airport Suites), eat complimentary breakfast that includes scrambled eggs with unbelievable flavor and fantastic coffee, hop a taxi and catch a 9:45a flight to Cuenca.
  • Thursday: Arrive in Cuenca around 11am and check into a budget-friendly, very wonderful Hostal Macondo. This is the view out my modestly furnished room with a private bathroom.
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This is the walkway to my room

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Thursday continued:

  • Hung out electronically with my most favorite and faithful tech guru ever, JR Reineck, to get one one of my laptops working properly. If you or your business needs/wants a tech expert, or if you just want to connect with a wonderful man who is super smart and has a huge heart: Reineck Enterprises, Inc. You cannot go wrong with JR.
  • Ate dinner at the New York Style Pizza place across the street

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I ordered the Chicken Milanese (I think). I never did figure out what the packets of mayo were for. Do you know?

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  • Retired for the night after shooing a tiny spider out of my bathroom sink with an “I  can handle this” running through my mind.

Friday:

  • 4am found a LARGE, very alive brown spider in the bathroom sink. Squelching a scream, I grabbed some tissue, wondered if it was poisonous, then grabbed gobs of tissue, went for the squish, and sent it to spider heaven, down the toilet.
  • went back to bed after ripping apart the bedding looking for spiders. Pondered on the pillow whether the big spider was the tiny spider I shooed hours earlier…could they grow that big in just a few hours here in Equatorial Ecuador? :O Or was it the mama of the baby and did she have hundreds of babies in my bathroom? :O :O This place is extremely clean, so it is just weird. No, I haven’t seen another spider, so far.
  • Awoke with a migraine. Oh joy. Monster spider got her way.
  • Ate a splendid complimentary breakfast made fresh to order at my hotel. Eggs and fresh fruit juice and fantastic coffee.
  • Went and bought a large and comprehensive map of the city: Plano Turistico Informativo de la Ciudad de Cuenca at Papeleria Monsalve
  • A deliberate looking for God moment: Sat, prayed and meditated on Psalm 121 (Scripture recommended by a pastor’s wife here in Cuenca I’ve only had email contact with. I hope to meet her soon) in the New Cathedral off Parque Calderon (central park area)

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  • Met my facilitator, Isabel Mosquera, who helped me get an Ecuadoran phone # and is helping me find a place to live and is coaching me on a few hundred other things. She’s a native Cuencano, in the same stage of life as me, who lived in Toronto for years. Isabel is fluent in English and Spanish, is prompt, professional, smart and incredibly kind. I know she’s got my back and that makes all the difference. If you’re moving to Cuenca, she has a host of services she provides, including processing your visa for you. She’s at 099 460 6669 – isabelmmosquera@hotmail.com.
  • While walking back to my hotel, I got lost…walking up and down the same street. If you don’t think this is possible, you don’t know me. Some store clerks and street vendors watched me pass by them at least six times. No exaggeration. I’m sure they’re talking about it.
  • Found out Dad is, for sure, cancer-free! Woop, woop! Praised God!
  • Fearing I’d get lost again, I ate dinner at a corner hamburger fast food place within sight of my hotel. I ordered the hamberguesa median, not knowing what that meant. It was a hamburger with a fried egg in it, a new concept to me and rather tasty. The fries were fresh…they were cutting them when I arrived. $2 for dinner at Charlie’s on Tarqui Street (I can’t find it online…it is a super small spot)

Saturday:

  • The sun came out and it became warm, sunny and sensational! The sun makes the colors of the flowers, grass, trees and rivers come alive! Jaw-dropper kind of day, but then most every day will be like this! OH MY!
  • Ate the comp breakfast, muesli and yogurt (flavor was delicious) and fantastic coffee. Avoided older expat man trying to make a move…
  • Walked to Wind Horse Cafe, an expat hangout, and did some more computer figuring using their free wifi. Overheard Boomers discussing Medicare and Trump, but not in the same conversation…One said he will not return to the country if Trump gets elected. The Wind Horse serves organic everything (I had the chef salad and a fantastic cold-pressed iced vanilla latte), is run by friendly and helpful US expats, and has a meditation room that has Buddhas and Hindu figures in it. Yep, it’s a Boomer hangout.
  • Strolled to one of the four rivers in the city, the Tomebamba River, and sat mesmerized by the flowing water.
  • Met Isabel to look at a house for rent I was directed to through a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend (the theory that anyone in the world is reachable through six connections is panning out for me). Will keep looking at places on Monday.
  • Meandered back to Parque Calderon and caught these cool cats busting a move (video here)

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  • Crossed the street to a tourist eatery, Raymipampa, which is next to the New Cathedral and ordered the Arroz con Pollo and a tasty coffee con leche (coffee with milk). $1o on the dot was the bill. The rice with chicken was nothing to write home about but they did take credit cards and the server was wonderful. He coached and catered to me well.

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  • Came back to my room and wrote this post for you.

Thanks for reading ALL the way to the bottom. You’re a hearty soul and probably a very good friend. More later…