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Best blog post I’ve ever read about moving to a foreign country

A Moving Decision is probably one of the best thought our and well written blog posts that I have ever read about moving to a foreign country. Nancy Levin’s post totally resonates with me. I found myself nodding while I read the part about the phone company shutting off service to another ex-pat for non-payment. It’s the same here, if your bill doesn’t reach you, well, you’re still obligated to pay in a timely manner. Right now I am wondering if I need to go to CFE tomorrow to pay the electric bill or if I should wait a little longer in hopes our bill shows up. I think I’ll wait until Wednesday and pay it then. Nancy’s post is a must read piece for anyone thinking about pulling up roots and moving. Of course, she is writing about living in a small town in Ecuador.  Merida is huge modern city with a Costco, Sam’s Club and Home Depot, name ...

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Park bench sitters

Painting the men on the park bench was a challenge. The hats and body positions gave me fits. It all came together. Now I have two park paintings, I would like to do a series of them. Of course, that means I need to get out and take photos and do sketches.  Enough blather, here are the two paintings. Conversations in a park. Three Men, Two Benches Details from Three Men, Two Benches You can see the painting on my easel, in my post Artist at Work, the man in the gray hat changed quite a bit from when I started painting him.

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landscape escape

Trying something new at my art class, I painted a triptych, not the  gorgeous religious ones you find in Russian and Greek Orthodox churches like the example on the left. Though the more I look at the more I want to do something like that. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look, don’t you? Back to the subject at hand. I started with this photograph that I took of el Parque Arquelógico de Pumapungo, Cuenca.  It’s a little busy so with Greenwood’s guidance, I simplified it and stretched it out. Here are my three paintings, first as individual separate renderings and last as a triptych.                

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Testing the Offline editor

I am trying out my new offline editor, Livewriter, it’s a Windows product. Husband is a diehard “I don’t do Windows” kind of guy. However, it’s what came with my laptops and I am used to it. I Ariel remains my favorite font, but I thought I’d see how I felt about Comic San MS. It’s very readable and has a flair to it, but it does take a bit of getting used to. It almost looks like my handwriting when I print. Just to spice things up a bit, I thought I would throw in the sorts of random objects that catch my attention. Marble tiles in sidewalks and rocks in the sand.   Always the costumer, a shop selling raiment to adorn statues of saints caught my eye. It would be an interesting sideline for me, don’t you think? I think I would be good at it. This font is called Calibri. Now the time has come to ...

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More Ecuador

Building  being restored in Quito, with scrim in front to show what it will look like. Blogging about Ecuador just doesn’t have any urgency for me, our vacation is in the past and acquiring that soft blur that memories of places you’ve visited acquire. Being most familiar with California we found ourselves comparing Quito to San Francisco. The weather, the hills and the well dressed people. Men wearing business suits everywhere we looked, even the casually dressed people looked dressed up to our eyes. Quito  If  Quito had been a little warmer,I’d think about living there. The first night we huddled for warmth under the blankets from our bed and the extra bed in our room. I had some problems with the altitude, shortness of breath, a slight persistent headache and some fatigue. Husband had less problems. They close off the streets in the old town on Sundays which is when I took the majority of my photos. While we ...

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Our version of medical tourism

 Husband first experienced  Ecuadorean health care while we were in Olón. An infected toe, brought on by an over enthusiastic pedicure in Mérida, lead us to a pharmacy. Like many small stores in Ecuador, we didn’t actually enter. The pharmacist came out into the street and peered at Husband’s toe. Antibiotics, soaking in warm water and cleaning with hydrogen peroxide was her recommendation. Husband asked if she was an MD, since she wasn’t and we don’t like to use antibiotics unnecessarily, we requested a bottle of  hydrogen peroxide. The bottle turned out to contain alcohol instead, ouch. When his toe didn’t improve, we made our way to the doctor’s office we had seen by the main square. The doctor recommended surgery to remove a portion of the toenail. Hobbling around Ecuador with a bandaged toe for the remainder of our trip was not appealing so we asked for a plan B. He then  prescribed a treatment of antibiotics, soaking in ...

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If not the food, then what?

Salinas That question is best answered in photo form. The seafood in Salinas was wonderful. We had very good meals in Salinas. Unfortunately, I don´t remember the names of any of the restaurants. As we sat on the malecon, we watched a man place a cardboard box on the wet sand. He carefully extracted a live lobstar from the carton. To our puzzlement we watched him withdraw a half dozen crustaceans from the container. Seeing that the box was probably large enough for a small hibatchi, we anticipated an impromtu restaurant serving grilled lobstars. Sadly, only damp sand remained in the box. We joked about his strange choice in pets, while he gathered up fresh wet sand, restacked the lobstars and set off to hawk his wares among the remaining tourists. Olón We spent four days in Olón across the bay from the world famous surf mecca of Montañita. It was peaceful and remote. I´d seriously concider living there if ...

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Eating our way across Ecuador

Having read my blog posts, you all know that food is a big interest of mine. My idea of a great souvenir is a cookbook of regional cuisine. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring one back from Ecuador, I spied a slim volume in a store window in Quito but didn’t feel the book was worth almost $40.Unfortunately, it was the only regional cookbook I ever saw. Books are expensive in Mexico because Mexicans don’t buy many books due to their costs, I wonder if the situation is the same in Ecuador? Someone asked me how I rate the food I ate there. It’s better than Yucatecan food in general but not as good as the Mexican food available in the rest of the republic. If cost is your main criteria, the food is better in Ecuador. For $2.00 you get a 6 ounce glass of juice, soup, a small chop (either pork or beef) or a piece of chicken, an overly ...

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Salinas holds a welcome parade for us

Waking up from my nap with the thought “why would anyone put a xylophone in a clothes dryer?”, I tried to remember my dream. As I sat quietly so as to not wake Husband, I heard the clothes drier thumping. Then I heard the tinkly sound of a child’s toy playing the same tune over and over again. Fully awake now, I realized that the thumping was actually drumming. As soon as Husband woke, we set off to find the source of the sound. A block away from our hotel we found what appeared to be an elementary school marching band. Young girls in white dresses adorned with appliques of sea life were milling around while the drums kept on beating. Either they expected the parade to begin soon or they were just bored but the band played on and on. We wandered down the street, eventually returning about an hour later. The girls were still milling, the drummer drumming ...

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Albrook Mall style Depot/Mall

Johnny, the desk clerk at the Tangara Guest House, called a private taxi service to take us to the Terminal Terrestre Guayaquil. It’s modeled after the Albrook Mall in Panama City, which we visited on our Panama vacation a few years back. Albrook is much bigger, which is not to say Guayaquil’s is small. The bus depot/mall had three stories and was plenty big. Buying a prepaid cell phone was the first order of the day.We chose Claro as our carrier, our other choice was MovieStar but I had heard from  friends in Mexico that their service was less than stellar.  I was in no way influenced by the fact that the Claro store was the first thing I saw upon entering the mall. The cell phone served as a time piece more often than as a communication device, but we still felt better having it.  Many guidebooks advocate having your taxi driver see you text his cab number to ...

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