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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back to Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I are in Cuenca for two weeks. We used our skymiles to come and get started on furnishing our condo, visit with our lawyer and to bring some things from home. Since we are only bringing to Cuenca what we can carry in our luggage we figured a quick trip down would help in our move.

We had to fly from Portland, Oregon (about 300 miles from Richland) because that is the only starting point that we could redeem our miles from. Last Thursday, October 2, we drove to Portland. The motel we stayed in Thursday night not only provided us transportation to the airport, but they also will keep our car for the two weeks we are away.

Our trip to Cuenca began at 3:00am. Our flight out of Portland was at 6:00am and we had to be at the airport at 4:00am. We flew Continental Airlines to Houston, Texas, then on to Panama City, Panama and from there we flew COPA to Guayaquil, Ecuador. We arrived in Ecuador about 10:30pm.

Since we arrived in Guayaquil so late we had to spend the night there. We stayed in a nice little bed and breakfast outside the city.

Here is Chuck at breakfast. You can tell by looking at him that we had had a long and rough day before.

We decided to hire a van to take us to Cuenca. It is about a 3 hour drive and on a clear day it is a beautiful drive through the Caja mountains. It was not a clear day for us however, for some of the way we were driving through dense fog. But we arrived safely and were delivered to our condo by 2:00pm.

This is our luggage lined up and waiting for the van to arrive. Four check-ins and two carry ons. We were limited to 35 lbs. in each check-in suitcase.

We were glad to be in our condo, but had forgotten how empty it is. When we left Cuenca last April, Chuck put some potted plants on our patio. It was an experiment to see if they would live until we returned. With the help of our neighbor, David, who saw that they received water, they survived.

Chuck brought his laptop down and we are using David's internet since he has wi-fi. But, we can only get his signal at our front door. We loose it if we go any place else in our condo.

Here is Chuck at his improvised desk. A cardboard box proped on top of a plastic stool.

He went to the indigenous market the other day and bought a table for $6 to use temporarily. We feel as though we are really uptown now.

This is the Mall del Rio in Cuenca. We started our shopping there. We bought a safe. a set of flatware and an espresso machine at the Coral Hypermacardo.

Our main shopping has been to find a rug for our living room. Except for the bedrooms our condo is completely tiled. I think if we can find a rug that we like, then we can choose the furnishings and wall colors to blend.

We have been shopping, but so far have not found the right one for us.

This one is at the Super Stock store and we are leaning toward it, if we cannot find one we like better.

We are going to shop some more this morning and hope that we can settle on a rug and get it delivered before we leave.

We have ordered a breakfast table and chairs. They are being made and will be delivered after we leave. Also, we have ordered a bottom to our bed that will have drawers on each side. We Americans seem to have more "stuff" than the condo is are designed to hold. This also will be delivered after we leave. Again, our wonderful neighbor, David, will handle the delivery in our absence.

The Friday night "Gringo Night" has changed locations. We went last night and were amazed at the new faces there. All were newcomers to Cuenca. So we aren't the only ones discovering this little paradise.

Here is Chuck chatting with our new friend, Patricia.

We are getting things done, but not a quickly as we hoped. In Cuenca, patience is a good thing to have. Everything goes at a slower pace. But when we stop and consider this we remember that is one of the main reasons we chose to move here.

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