2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage


My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keeping all the Balls in the Air!

Well, I'm at home and missing Cuenca. At least through reading the blog updates and the emails from friends in Cuenca, I don't feel a world away. Fortunately, this school year I discovered upon my return that I would be teaching government to seniors the first semester, and I am scheduled to teach economics to them the second semester. That means no freshman (There is most definitely a God!), and no World Civilization. I very much enjoy teaching World Civ, but I am ready for a change.

It's been very hot and humid all summer. A number of years have past since we've had a summer this hot, especially after the very cool summer of last year. Not to mention that the mosquitoes are thick as thieves, and I might stand a better chance of survival fighting off vampires. The blood suckers have not made my walks in the evening at all pleasant. We have had three years of incredible amounts of rain. If you think the rain from July 13th until August 9th while I was in Cuenca was too much, believe me it was nothing like the rain levels and thunder and lightning storms Chicago was experiencing. However, now the ten day forecast is indicating zero percent chance of rain for each of the next ten days, and its only rained twice since I arrived home. Possibly we are entering a new cycle of dry seasons, or possibly it is just a temporary respite. At least at the moment vegetation is still very green.

I have two new tutors for Spanish whether they want to be or not. One of my students is Puerto Rican and is very fluent, but oh how I had to slow him down. The other student is Mexican-American and is in the following period class. I get to re-practice my conversation with her. Having two students know the language provides me with the incentive to come up with something for conversation to practice everyday first thing after taking roll. It's also interesting to be in a position where I am dealing with students who know much more than me. I feel like a first grader who is trying to figure out one plus one, while talking with a student taking calculus.

This has been quite a year of learning, and of masterly keeping all the balls up in the air at the same time. Particularly, when one considers that I don't recall ever hearing of Cuenca until eight months ago. Little did I know the path of learning and discovery on which that journey was about to take me. Whether it was learning about Ecuador, figuring out the city once I arrived in Cuenca, putting the blog together, learning how to use a laptop, learning how to use a new camera, persevering through all the struggles of computer virus melt-downs and getting the "freakin" photos to post to the blog, and of course, learning Spanish. The easiest part for a guy who has never been good with names and faces was how well I learned and remembered so many of the acquaintances and friends I met and made while I was in Cuenca. So I'm still juggling, and adding another ball in the next few months of making definite decisions and plans, and then work through disinvesting myself of all my belongings, and the myriad of paper work that will have to be done in a relocation bid when that time comes. I've got to keep those balls in motion. (Rollin, rollin, rollin! Keep those doggies rollin, Rawhide!)


  1. Jim:

    We are missing Cuenca (and all of our friends there, including you!) and we are working hard at getting our stuff organized and ready for us to move back to Cuenca in October. We are looking forward to being there, and looking forward to you getting back there too.
    Gil & Deborah

  2. Jim:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this detailed and thought provoking commentary about Cuenca.

    We are traveling down there in November. Your blog and all the other great expat blogs have made our forthcoming trip even more exciting.

    So when are you moving our of Chicago and moving to Cuenca?