A great weekend of beautiful weather here on Whidbey Island. Each day we enjoyed a delightful bike ride in the sun and warmth, we joined friends at Useless Bay Coffee Company for breakfast and coffee, and still had lots of time to research Cuenca, Ecuador. I spent a great deal of the afternoon reading Cuenca Chronicles which has provided numerous tidbits of information I had not found on any other of the Cuenca blogs I've read. Interesting little facts like, Ecuador is, primarily, a cash society with merchants not accepting checks or debit or credit cards for small items. Large bills, like a twenty, are equally useless. Pockets of change are what one needs for shopping. There are laundry services that wash, dry and fold clothes for $2.50 per week, so why purchase a washer and dryer? Items made or grown in Ecuador are inexpensive; imports are very expensive.
How nice to have someone provide this un-hyped information in a friendly, chatty manner. Far too many reports or blogs have a hidden (or not so hidden) agenda so one can't trust the information. Like we've read again and again that the weather is 75 degrees every day and no heat is needed. Wrong. It's warm many days but the nights can be very cold so if the days are cloudy and rainy, the house will not warm up. Be sure to pack sweaters, jackets and electric blankets was the advice, and don't think every day is a barefoot day. Additionally, it often rains every day (just like here) the difference is that there is usually sunshine every day too. One report is that each day provides all four seasons of weather. I'm not thinking we'll find the weather so different from here except the days won't be so short or cold in the winter or so long in the summer. In Cuenca the sun comes up at 6:00 a.m. and goes down at 6:00 p.m., bringing consistency to the light. It's the lack of winter light that bothers me more than the rain here in the NW.
|Looking forward to shopping the craft and food markets, but not looking forward|
to the first attempts at negotiating Spanish.
We have changed our plans a bit. First we thought we'd leave for Ecuador this fall but my health issues forced us to postpone to early 2014. Now we are planning on traveling to Ecuador in January for a month; coming back and packing and cleaning up our affairs; and returning to Ecuador early spring. So we'll be around for the holidays and long enough to enjoy the $150 worth of bulbs I've planted.
Ed and I vacillate between great excitement and great anxiety about leaving our home, community, family and friends. We so very much love Langley and living here, it seems strange to leave. Plus missing Brad is a given. On the other hand we are really ready for one last adventure. Experiencing a new culture, meeting new friends, learning a new language will all be challenging but exciting and fun. We also hope to do a great deal of travel in not only Ecuador, but neighboring countries, so our minds will be expanded, which is a very good thing.
Some of the details of preparation are well underway. Benton has had many of his shots and has been microchipped. We're in the process of ordering the certified copies of all important documents and scheduling doctors' appointments for our shots and clean bill of health certificates. We're already talking about what we'll take and what we'll leave behind. However, some of the packing decisions might be more easily determined after our month in Cuenca checking out the situation, and perhaps renting an apartment. It would be nice to have a place to call home immediately upon our arrival, especially for Benton who will no doubt be pretty freaked out from his long flight.
So, this is the update, and yes we are still planning to move. The plan right now is to put our home on the Vacation Rental Circuit so we won't be burning any bridges by selling it. If we decide to return to Whidbey Island every six months to visit or permanently in a few years, we'll still have a home to return to. We've already lined up a gardener and property manager and Brad is building the cabinets that didn't get built before we moved in.
|Biking might be more utilitarian in Ecuador|