Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Scouting Trip: The Coast

Before arriving in Ecuador the coast was our primary target for a home. Upon arriving we learned that services, particularly schools, were fairly lacking in any of the places we wanted to be. So, though we’d already written it off as a potential home, hey look, we’re done scouting and we’ve got some time. Vamos a la playa!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Scouting Trip: Otavalo and Cotacachi

Among Crafties, Otavalo is already famous as one of the world’s best indigenous crafts markets. Among Sabbaticalies, it is (along with its satellite community, Cotacachi) second only to Cuenca as the choice retirement spot for North American gringos.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Scouting Trip: Quito and Cumbaya

As I’d mentioned before, Quito was never on our list as it’s a big city with pollution and crime. But we later learned about a nice suburb there called Cumbaya. And we had to fly to Quito to check out some towns north of there anyway. So, we held hands, closed our eyes and began singing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Scouting Trip: Loja and Vilcabamba

Ecuador is a only the size of Colorado, but it probably has the surface area of Texas. Here’s what you do: take Texas and squoosh it into the space of Colorado, heaving all the land up into dramatic folds called mountains. Then, wouldn’t it be fun to put winding, narrow roads all over that sharp topography and drive big buses over them really, really fast?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Scouting Trip: Car and Diner

I am excited to live for two years without a car. That that is so possible in Ecuador begs the question why cars here are still the dominant form of life.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Scouting Trip: Fear and Locking

Ecuador is a country of Haves and Have-Nots. But listening to the warnings of the locals and seeing the walled homes and locked gates, you might think it was Beirut.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Scouting Trip: The Kindness of Strangers

To follow the short summary of our scouting trip, here begins some general observations of our trip to Ecuador.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Scouting Trip: Call a Place Paradise

Di and I have returned from the scouting trip to Ecuador. We had the extraordinary luxury of having grandparents watch our four- and six-year-old kids while we were away for two weeks. That happens only once in a lifetime. So the research that we did beforehand was to narrow down the scouting trip to the country we were positive about. This isn’t “are we going to Ecuador,” but “where in Ecuador are we going.”

But.