A New Kind of Blog

There is a world of information about Ecuador. It is one of the most popular countries for people who want to retire to a place where the dollar goes much farther than in the US, a place for adventuresome families who want to experience a new language and exciting culture. However, much of what you read or hear does not touch on the practical, the problematic, or the local information necessary to make things work. There are many blogs which are basically daily diary’s from people who live here. But this blog will be different. We know how hard it is to get accurate and timely information. We have been through it. All of us who live here have learned step by step and we question whether it is necessary to have every newcomer reinvent the wheel. We hope this blog will help shorten the learning curve. There are many hurdles but all are surmountable. What is required is patience, an understanding of local ways, and a realization that you are going to live in a country which is not the same as the US, Canada, or Britain. Our choice was to live in the wonderful city of Cuenca in the Southern Sierra but this may not be your decision and you will therefore have to look further to find the answers you need for different areas like the coast or the Amazon. Please realize that all the suggestions and ideas are based on our experiences. Ecuadorian regulations change rapidly and must be checked before you make any investments or major decisions. Please email us at Sailorburr@gmail.com and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some corrections on old posts

Many of us when we first come to Cuenca are overwhelmed with the cultural change that differs from what we knew in the States, Canada, or Europe and we write about these wonderful sights, tastes, sounds and differences in blogs, websites, letters home, and emails. Unfortunately, some of our first impressions can be wrong or, at least, we have not been exposed long enough to make sound judgments.  We have looked at our postings written in this blog over the last year and would like to correct or expand on some of our comments.

On one of our postings on Animals, we said that the birds were not as plentiful as we were accustomed to in the States and we did not know why. It is possible that there are fewer birds here because there are almost no bugs or insects for them to feed on. Cuenca is a remarkably bug free city where we have no screens on our windows and seldom see a fly or mosquito.

On a posting about Children, we spoke of the German school, CEDEI, and the American School. We have looked carefully at all three and have found each lacking for Jonny in some way or the other.  A friend who travels extensively with her children told us to look at schools with the IB (international Baccalaureate) certification. This certification means that a high school graduate’s IB diploma is accepted by almost all colleges in the world. Two schools in Cuenca have an IB rating, the German School and Santana where Jonny will go in September.  We are hopeful that by going to a school that aims for an IB diploma, it will give him a universally competitive education.

Under a Cost of Living post, we said that the protective tariff should soon be repealed but it is evident by prices on imported goods that the tariff is still in effect. Also, we’ve found that our monthly food costs are around $500 not the $800 we reported as we have learned to be more frugal.  Yet, our purchases still include wine, fresh vegetables and fruit at the coop, pan at the bread store and fewer visits to Supermaxi.

Under Indigenous people, we made the mistake of saying Indigenous Indians and have found that the indigenous people do not like to be referred to as Indians.

We are certain there are many more comments that deserve review but these are a few that jumped out when we looked over old postings. 

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