Thursday, November 22, 2012

MOVING TO ECUADOR - Demolition & Last Minute Details

It seems that there have been more last minute details to take care of while we are waiting to finally leave our home and Oregon. Not only last minute details, but more "suddenlies" to deal with. A few days ago, I looked at the wall around our shower and noticed it was soggy and bulging a bit, and I also saw a puddle of water around the floor and tub area. Lo and behold, we had a leak! So Bo spent the next few days tearing out the wall and locating the leak. In the midst of this, we were informed by our property manager that there were two house showing appointments scheduled on Friday!!

The day of the showings, we were up early and spent the next few hours sanding the tape and mud drywall and then painting the trim and wall. What a mess!!!  I hate drywall repair - the dust and cleanup seemed never-ending.  But, by 1:45 pm, when our property manager arrived, we were wrapping up the last minute details to get the house spotless, warm, cozy and inviting for the two appointments arriving at 2:00 and 2:30 pm.  No one would be the wiser - and the problem was resolved!  Bo and I exited the house before the first party arrived!!

Today, we received a call from our property manager to review the rental application that one of the Friday parties submitted, and after discussing their history and receiving our property manager's thumbs up, we agreed to rent the house to them.  YES!  FINALLY!!!  OUR HOUSE IS RENTED!!!  I'M SCREAMING WITH DELIGHT!!!  Our new renters have requested a move-in date of December 21st, which is perfect timing for Bo and me to finalize our last minute details.  We will receive the final apostilled NYC documents for our Ecuador visas, finish packing the kitchen and storing the remaining furniture in our family room suite, and lastly, we'll finalize the details of what to pack (or unpack) and how many suitcases to take to Cuenca.  My two carryon allowances are already spoken for with my photography gear and computer equipment.  No way I can check those in!

On Monday, I was thrilled to finally receive my certified birth certificates from NYC (after a 4 week delay because of Hurricane Sandy), and I was able to turn around and mail them right back to NY via Fed-Ex overnight to have them apostilled. (I've got this down now after so many other documents I've had to process.)  I anticipate them being returned in the next week because of my enclosed overnight Fed-Ex prepaid return.  You would think they'd have a system where you could forward them to the Secretary of State while the documents were already in that state, but noooooo!  They have to make it difficult and costly.  This truly has been a costly and time-consuming process, but I know I've saved us a lot of money by undertaking this tedious and time-consuming document-obtaining task instead of hiring an apostilling service.  We're hoping we can continue the process in Cuenca without an attorney and that we are arriving there with every document we need for our Visas and Cedulas.  Oh, we also recently received our renewed passports with 10 more years on them!  I'm really feeling more prepared now for going to Ecuador.

If our final documents arrive from NY next week, we are free to go beginning of December.  Today we looked at potential flights, and it's going to be a day's journey to get to Guayaquil, an overnight stay there, then another flight into Cuenca.  We can do this - we did it when we moved to Honduras, so we know what it will take - PATIENCE and the excitement and anticipation of what awaits us.

We have also finished all our doctor appointments while we have medical insurance here.  I even went to my allergist to get refills on my asthma meds in case the altitude in Cuenca affects me negatively.  Today, I had my yearly mammogram, and Bo picked up a medical certificate from his doctor and his written prescriptions in case he needs them in Ecuador. 

My frugal husband finally conceded to buy some new clothes for the journey (he's already such a minimalist and will not buy new clothes until the ones he wears are rag material (in my clothing condition opinion!).  We had fun (or rather, I had fun - he also HATES to clothes shop!) at Cabela's picking some comfortable 2in1 pants/shorts and stylish canvas shirts for Bo.  He'll be so handsome and classy for our journey.  As for me, I have enough clothes to start my own Thrift Store - so I really don't need a thing.

I do need to unpack my suitcases and rethink what to leave so I can condense and create more room for what we should be taking.  I'm convinced we should take some of our nice stainless steel pots and pans (since we love to cook, and I've read that the quality of pots and pans in Ecuador is of poor quality) and a few other necessities that my "too many" clothes are crowding out.  Every time we've gone on an extended vacation, I always have ended up wearing only two pants, a few tops, a jacket and a couple pair of shoes - so you would think I would know by now how to pack.  Also, I won't have trouble shopping in Cuenca because of my size.  Bo's another story.  He will be "Un Gigante" there!!!! 

We've been spending a lot of time with mom (more than usual), and it's going to be difficult not seeing her regularly, but we are blessed that she is in one of the finest care facilities I've ever experienced.  The caregivers love her, she loves them back, and the care she receives is beyond our expectations. The decisions we make in our life's journeys are sometimes difficult because of family, and we've agonized in the past over the crossroads we've come to and decisions we've had to make in our past moves.  This is yet another one of them - not being able to take mom with us to Ecuador.  I remember when we took her to Honduras with us five years ago.  What memories we made together.  Yet, it was her failing health there that caused us to make the decision to move back to Oregon.  Now, because of her age and physical and mental frailty, it is not safe or wise for us to take her with us to Cuenca.  So, we will trust God for her care and protection, and He's never failed us when it comes to mom.  She continues to thrive where she is, and she will continue to be safe and protected because of where she remains.  I'm thankful for Skype so we can still talk to her and see her.
I can hear mom saying to us, "Go, travel, have fun while you are in the youth of your old age.  do it NOW!"  These have always been her words to us, and ones we've heeded to.

Tomorrow we will spend Thanksgiving with the Cannoys, our dear family of friends.  We will especially be giving thanks to God for His faithfulness and perfect plan and timing for us throughout these last few long weeks.  I am assured by my faith that when I look back and connect the dots, I am going to see how every detail (from the day our plans were delayed in October until the day we will finally leave in December) will reveal a clear picture of why we had to stay and why it all turned out this way.  I will close my eyes tomorrow and thank God for His divine intervention and timing, knowing that when we finally get to Cuenca it will be so right and we'll be so ready!!!!

DEMOLITION!  Just when we thought the house was move-in ready for the new renters.........It took three days of work and cleaning to get the bathroom back to it's original beauty!

THE SUITE!  Here's where we've been living since October 5th - certainly a lot more comfortable than being in a hotel suite because we're home, still using our kitchen and bathroom, and able to finish up our last minute details before we finally leave Oregon.  This setup is training us daily to live a more simple life and as minimalists compared to how we were living in the rest of our 2,100sf house.

STILL LIVING OUT OF OUR SUITCASES - I'm truly looking forward to REPACKING OUR BAGS and heading out!  I'm sooooo ready to land in Cuenca and find our rental so we can UNPACK OUR BAGS and settle in.  SOON!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to our dear family and friends.  May your day and celebration together with loved ones demonstrate a heart of love and gratitude, and may you take time to reflect on the blessings that truly matter!!

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Leave us your comments and I will respond with any questions you may have. Enjoy our Blog! Linda (y Bo)