I know it's been awhile since I posted. Already it has been over three months since I returned from Ecuador. The reality is that except for a sporadic post on a friend or acquaintance's blog or an occasional email to a friend, life has been too hectic for me to do much blogging. I enjoyed recently spending a few days south of Baltimore with my eldest son, Marc. I celebrated with him, a few days early, his 26th birthday. Now, my younger son Chris has arrived for a two week leave before he returns to complete his second tour of duty in Iraq at the end of June/July of next year. His bride, Maria, flew in from Hawaii to be with Chris as well. They will then have the long stretch of not seeing each other again until next July.
I have spent months on an emotional roller-coaster of my own making as whether to return to Cuenca in March as I intended or to wait until next summer. In the end, all other considerations were discarded. I can't wait to return to Cuenca. I ache for Cuenca, and I will return in March. I have submitted my retirement, and will be officially retired as of January 14th. This next week I will contact Gabriela Espinosa in Quito and begin the process toward permanent residency. Between the impending holidays and then uprooting myself, the next few months promise to keep me busy. I now will get to experience that part of dislodging my old life for a new beginning, just as those of you who have gone to Cuenca before me have so vividly described in your own experiences.
In the meantime, while days sometimes pass before I get to read the blogs; I attempt to keep up with how friends and acquaintances are doing, and how they are adjusting to Cuenca. All of you are doing so many things and traveling all over the place, I'm afraid there won't be anyone left to travel with when I get there. All of you will have done it all. It's also weird watching the changes taking place with the expats, and not being a part of the change. Whether it's the new or rival expat meeting place to Zoes, new restaurants opening, El Presidente involved in macho psuedo-heroism, earth quakes rockin and rollin, or the many new expats who have arrived just since I left. The many new blogs that have appeared make it even more difficult to keep up with everybody. Yet I relish each new blog. To Posterdog, who edits the "South of Zero" blog, thanks so much for your service. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your daily posts, which really help me to sort through the blogs. You provide a valuable service to the expat community.
Brian and Shelly, thanks so much for your blog and friendship, I enjoy reading your everyday musings and trust that you had a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving.
Bob and Roxanne, always good to hear from you. Your Christmas for the kids on the coast sounds like it will be your best effort yet. Your renovation project is awesome, and it all looks as classy as your condo in Cuenca.
Rich and Nancy, sorry I haven't been in touch lately. However, I also know how much you go out of your way to help newbies like me get situated in Cuenca, and I forever will be grateful for your advise and incites even before I arrived. I look forward to seeing you both again.
Lourdes, it was about a week later that I learned about your hospitalization, and I found it ironic that you should experience this health problem so soon after you had emailed me about how you handled insurance when you are in the states. Yes, you were most fortunate that you were in Ecuador when your problem arose. I was most happy to see that you were soon out and about again in no time. Your recent involvement with the school in Turi is commendable. I know you will be a great asset to the school and the children.
Gil and Deborah,I am ecstatic that you have arrived in Ecuador. I look forward to reading all about you two getting settled in your new apartment, and hope the next four months fly by when I can join you again. Your apartment is magnificent, and I was awed by the beauty of that one solid wall of kitchen cabinets. Oh Gil, you've got to take me to my first experience with cuy.
Edd, I'm always learning from you, and as you know, I love your sense of humor. Congratulations on your weekly newspaper article. You and Cynthia, along with Lourdes, and Bob and Roxanne have truly inspired me to get very excited about having the opportunity to fashion the decor for my own place when I get back to Cuenca.
My amigo, Barry, keeps me in stitches with his emails. I hope, Barry, you're getting your networking problems resolved, and congratulations again on getting situated in your new diggs.
Lenny, this is the month that you and your wife arrive in Cuenca. Congratulations! Experience! Enjoy! I'll be looking forward to your blog, and if the two of you choose not to blog, then at least send me an email and let me know how you are doing.
Garth and Orilla, I trust you're still planning to relocate to Cuenca in the spring, and I will certainly look forward to seeing you both again as well.
For those of you who know Abbi (Abigail/Gail). She is home in Santa Barbara. She is still seriously contemplating moving to Cuenca, but will probably choose to live outside the city if she returns.
Yes, I very much miss you all including Freddi, and I hope the next four months will flash by until I can be back to Cuenca with all of you again, including the many new friends and acquaintances I will have the chance to meet as well.
I miss my walks and daily explorations, and I very much enjoyed Calvin Trillin's article in "Cuenca High Life." on "...a Travel Writer Revisits Cuenca to Take in the Charms of 'a Walking City'," (October 20, 2010). I would recommend the article to anyone who has yet to read it. See you all before long.