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Reflections

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My wife and I have been reflecting on the decision that we made nearly 3 years ago to leave our teaching jobs and relocate to Cotacachi, Ecuador. During that time, we have seen many changes. In October of 2008, when we purchased our condo at Primavera II, there were very few expat housing developments and only a handful of full time foreigners living in Cotacachi. Now, there are housing developments going up all around town and the expat community is growing by leaps and bounds.

5 Reasons

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5 Reasons to Move to Cotacachi

1) You love year round springlike weather and not having to pay for heating and cooling.

2) Your idea of a perfect morning is sipping a cup of South American coffee on the porch swing while taking in the stunning mountain scenery.

3) Your idea of a perfect evening is drinking a glass of red wine with good friends next to a cracklling fire.

4) You want to be able to take a $5.00 bill to the market and return home with all the produce you can carry.

5) You like living in a community where everybody knows your name.

5 R

Life in the U.S. Versus Life in Ecuador

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Sometimes, getting a little distance helps to see things more clearly. Such was the case with our recent visit back to the United States. After living in a developing country, it’s impossible not to appreciate the efficiency of the “First World.” Browsing the huge variety of products (Which end of the cereal aisle do I start on?), paying for the purchase with nothing more than a swipe of the credit card, and having our own car awaiting us was a refreshing change.

English Books

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When we first arrived in Cotacachi, one of the things that Angela and I missed the most was books. Both of us are avid readers and used to spend hours in the local library back in the States. Both of us were always in the middle of at least one book at any given time. All that changed when we moved to Ecuador. We soon discovered a couple of English bookstores in Quito, but the selection was quite limited and dated. It seemed that we were going to have to adjust to a life without much reading material.

Then came the Kindle.

Service Project

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In order to fulfill a requirement for graduation from high school, my nephew Cameron decided to come to Cotacachi for two weeks to work with the local Ecuadorian people.  Our townhouse at Jahua Pacha is surrounded by indigenous villages, so I asked our friend Jairo, who lives in the community of El Batan, if my nephew could teach English there.  He agreed that it was a great idea and arranged for kids of all ages to come for 2 hours per day of instruction in English.  It turned out to be a most rewarding experience for both the local kids as well as my nephew.  As Camero

Massage at La Mirage

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Some friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to La Mirage, the 5-star hotel and spa on the outskirts of Cotacachi.  By Ecuador standards, La Mirage is extremely expensive, hence the reason we have not visited there in the two plus years we have lived in Cotacachi.  This gift gave us the perfect excuse to indulge and treat ourselves to a luxurious massage. 

Europe versus Ecuador

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For those looking for a place to retire overseas, there are many options and things to consider. My wife and I just returned from a three month European trip around seven countries (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Poland, and Czech Republic) with an eye toward comparing Cotacachi to potential retirement destinations in the Old World. A few observations…

The things that we missed most about Cotacachi…

1) Fresh produce

2) Cheap prices – Western Europe is expensive!

Europe Bound

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On the day after Christmas, I found a great airfare from Quito to Barcelona, and Angela and I decided to fulfill our dream of traveling throughout Europe.  So, we will be leaving on New Year’s Eve and returning to Cotacachi at the end of March.  Our plans are to spend time most of our time in Eastern Europe but will go wherever our spirit takes us.  After we return, it will be fun to see the changes  and meet the new people who have arrived in Cotacachi during the time we are gone.  Until then….hasta luego!

Rainy Season

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Last year’s rainy season was unusually dry resulting in rotating power outages for a couple of hours per day because of the reduction in energy output from the electrical generator in Cuenca.  This year has been just the opposite.

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