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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
We are from Connecticut originally and have most recently lived in North Carolina, USA. We are starting a new life in South America so our retirement $'s will go farther toward a new way of life and a new adventure.Prior to June of 2010 we never thought a move such as this would be possible or advantageous for us. And, that is why we call this blog "Retirement: Plan B" We intend to see and do as much as possible in our retirement. Spend quality time with family, friends and each other.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's been a good week.

   It has been a good week. Then, they have all been pretty good since we came to Ecuador. I have to say I do recommend retirement. I read today, on line, about a man who is following the example of the dust bowl era and moving west. I might suggest looking to the south, the far south that is. I'm not to sure about those who need to find a job, but for those of us who are retired (I love that word) this has been a good place so far.
The theatre entrance is in "Mall del Rio"
Snacks are cheap 2 popcorn, 2 sodas, 2 hotdogs about $10
  On Wednesday we went to the movies. Wednesday is 2 for 1 day so the cost was $4.50 for us both.This is our second time and it is pretty good. The theater is more modern than we thought it would be and while watching the film we both had the thought  "can you believe we are watching an english language film while living in the Andes"?
  The first film we saw was "The Hereafter" with Matt Damon. If you have seen the movie you know that parts of the dialogue is in french. Well, when the subtitles are in spanish we have no clue what they are talking about for part of the film. Fortunately, I don't think they will be throwing in a 3rd language all the time.

  Joan has been taking classes in weaving and she started with things like scarves but she has now graduated to doing more advanced things such as the Poncho in the picture below. I don't know anything about weaving but it seems to me she is doing a good job and catching on quickly. I'm hoping she can weave a sweatshirt for me I can't find one here in my size.

The proud weaver
Students cleaning up their school
The "Dona Piedad" restaurant
 Mick and Kathy Wesson are kind enough to pick Joan and I up in the morning. Kathy is a weaver too. So they go to weaving and Mick and I run errands (of great importance, as I explained before) and then we go to the "coffee tree" where we hold meetings of the old f**ts club of South America. Today,the students of the "colegio"  in the church next to the coffee tree were putting in some time and elbow grease cleaning up the side of the church that some "idiots" had spray painted with graffiti.  This is the second effort in the last two weeks to remove the damage. The first time was by city workers who didn't get it all removed.

  Mick and I left the coffe tree and went to a restaurant he had been taken to by Ecuadorian friends. The  Dona Piedad restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside and the inside is not an inviting site and only has about 4 stools for seating, but the pork sandwich they serve is really a treat. The pork is piled on to a hamburger bun and is delicious. There is a "aji" sauce available which is spicey but not unbearably hot if that is what you want but for me the sauce smothered the taste of the pork that was just terrific. The sandwich is only $1.20 and is served with a coconut milk drink that is also very good.
It ain't a Big Mac but it's good

inside the restaurant
I am told the line is down the block if you get to the restaurant after 1 pm. The restaurant is said to be famous throughout Ecuador and has been in business for 50 years. The restaurant is on Juan Jaramillo just off the corner of Miguel Angel Estrella.
Every day we find something new in our new home town. It is an exciting adventure.
Hasta Pronto
Dale and Joan

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Writer's Block

Tonight Kathy and Mick Wesson went with Joan and I went out for pizza. We decided to try the Papa John's which is fairly new to Cuenca. We found it to be pretty good. It had a taste that was a little different than the Papa John's we had in North Carolina but still it was good. Maybe even better than in NC. They also have garlic parmesan breadsticks on the menu that were large and tasty. During our meal Kathy asked me what my next blog would be about and I jokingly said "now that I'm on South of Zero I have writer's block". Kathy suggested that it isn't necessary to do a long dissertation and that she likes to look at a lot of pictures. So pictures it will be this time. The following pictures are just random shot of things we've seen since coming to Ecuador.
The sky is always putting on a show
The New Cathedral
Cuy (Guinea Pig) It won't be on my plate
What are you lookin' at Gringo?
good looking, good tasting fruit
One of many parades
flower market
New Cathedral interior
Mick getting his hair cut in a Cuenca barber shop
Parque Calderon and the new Cathedral

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

shopping in Cuenca, Ecuador

Some people think that all the shopping here is primitive outdoor markets and that is just not the case.

While the markets are a big part of shopping for a lot of us, especially the indigenous people, it is not the only option by any means. The small local shops are everywhere and it is easy to just pop in off the street to pick up an item or two. On the ground floor of our building there is a little shop that sells things just as a small convenience in the states would do.
One of the small pharmacies that are all over the city
 We have an abundance of shops of all kinds in Cuenca. It seems as though one way for people to make a living is to open a small store. I would guess there are not enough jobs to go around or the ones available do not pay enough.
  We also have modern malls here in Cuenca, so our shopping isn't limited to just the "Mom and Pop's"
Coral sells clothing, food, hardware, etc.
We have Mall Del Rio which houses  a lot of shops, a food court, a bank and the local version of  Wal-Mart
Inside Mall Del Rio

Another place we go to often is the shopping center where the Supermaxi grocery store and other shops can be found.                                 
Bloomingdale's ? Who would have thought

Joan, trying to figure out what is in the cans.

It is surprising how much these stores our the same as in the U.S.

Our teacher, Noshy

One other thing I wanted to tell everyone is that Joan and I have started our spanish lessons. Noshy Pinos, the Ecuadorian lady, who helped us shop for our appliances has begun working with us. It is a  strange feeling being back in school and learning our abc's and colors but that is where we are right  now and hopefully we will be able to converse with our neighbors and the people we do business with  before too long.  
Hasta   Luego