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Saturday, 23 March 2013

11 months and counting....

It has been two months since I've posted...........and 11 months since we arrived in Cuenca!
Once Carnival was over, life in Cuenca started to settle into a new norm............... going to Spanish classes twice a week.....exploring small towns on the outskirts of Cuenca......a trip  to the coast.........
We heard fireworks last night and realized that it has been quite a while since we had heard them.

Just as we started to get accustomed to things, I had a small accident and have been laid up with a fractured ankle. I have a cast until April 2nd. This was my first experience with the emergency medical care here, and I have to say that the care was excellent.
 I went by cab, from where I had my fall, to the x-ray clinic, saw an orthopedic  doc in the same building, then met the Doc at the Hospital emergency the next day to get a cast put on. The total bill, for x-rays, doctor, and emergency room care was 149.28. This includes a follow up visit to the emergency room to get my cast adjusted because it was too tight, and the follow up visit to get my cast removed....... 
Living on the third floor, with no elevator, has been a bit of a challenge. Crutches and stairs do not go together very well......other than school and dentist I stay home. The weather has been great and I spend a lot of time out on the deck.

Learning Spanish has not been easy. This old brain cannot retain much of what I learn......but, some of it is sticking. The best part of the learning is realizing that I can understand a lot more of what is being said to me. I will never be fluent, but my goal is to be able to communicate with the locals. The people here are friendly,patient and helpful, when you put forth a little effort to speak the language.

We took a trip to Salinas and Montinita last month. It rained everyday we were there, but it was warm.
It was good to get out of the mountains for a few days. Salinas was okay but I wouldn't want to live there. As much as I love the heat and the ocean beaches, Cuenca still has my vote for best place to live in Ecuador. the number one draw, for me, is the fact that you can drink the tap water.

 Montinita was crazy.......kind of a cross between a Theme Park and a Hollywood movie set....


Our friend Bob has purchased a pick up truck and we have had some great trips exploring the outer areas of Cuenca. 
These are pictures of a trip to the mountains to Cajas National Park.........we live at 8300 feet, but we go up to the mountains....The park is about 30 minutes away and is at 11,500 feet.

 you can see.......Life is good!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diana & Doug! My name is Sarah, and I love your blog! I am an animal lover too and that's why I wanted to send you this article below. I am hoping to move to Ecuador later this year. Kind Regards, Sarah

    The Stray Dogs of Montanita: Your Chance to Help Man's Best Friend

    Anybody who has lived in or traveled through developing countries before will be familiar with the sight of stray dogs. They are so heartbreaking to see so underfed, diseased and suffering. These poor stray dogs are not properly cared for, or neutered, and are left free to roam the streets, multiplying rapidly in the process. There is never enough food to go around and the dogs often end up dying of starvation or from diseases or injuries.

    Here in Ecuador's most famous surf town, Montanita, stray dogs are Everywhere. I’ve noticed them everyday on our way to the beach to give surf lessons, constantly swerving the truck to avoid running over the dozens of dogs lying in the middle of the road in a suicidal manner, too tired to move.

    They don't look too healthy and although they may look rough, they really just want to be loved. Just a simple pat on the head and these dogs will collapse in joy. But at the end of the day, nobody looks after them, there is not enough food to go around, and many of them will catch diseases and suffer painful deaths. So what can we do to help alleviate some of the suffering of these innocent creatures?

    Barak Epshtein first arrived in Montanita nine months ago and set up “CafĂ© del Mar” on one of the main streets in town. Everyday Barak sees the dogs around the town and he is sick of seeing their suffering. “Nobody cares about the dogs here, nobody is doing anything to help them,” he says. But he has an idea. Barak is appealing to a veterinarian from around the world to come and live in Montanita for a month, or longer, and work in a clinic neutering and treating the town’s stray dogs for diseases.

    His plan is in accordance with the advice of many animal rights organisations. All too often governments think purely in a short-term economic manner, ignoring the suffering of the animals and killing them in inhumane ways.

    Obviously the best way to help the dogs is by giving them homes and registering them. However in places with large stray populations, like Montanita, neutering the dogs and treating them for common diseases is a great first step.

    Barak will provide a suitable clinic for the treatment of the animals, and other people and businesses in town, such as Montanita Spanish School, will be providing the materials needed. Many others will be volunteering their time to assist with the program in other areas.

    In return, the suitable applicant will have a comfortable apartment to stay in and all food provided for their time in Montanita.

    So if you, or anybody you know, is interested in helping the dogs of Montanita, and have a background as a veterinarian and/or in neutering and caring for animals, then please email the school at this address: and we can put you in touch with Barak. Start dates and time frames are all flexible.

    Warm Regards,