I keep telling myself, "It's all a part of the process and adventure!" Today is our one month anniversary in Cuenca. We arrived on December 5th, and it seems we've been here a lot longer with all we've done and accomplished - like recently moving AGAIN for the third time, and knowing we will be moving AGAIN end of January. Just know that sometimes it takes time to find the right HOME. Since we've purposed not to buy or rent long-term (signing a lease) until we know what we're doing and where we're going, renting month to month gives us more options - like up and moving if things aren't working out, for whatever reason.
The first place was definitely a temporary situation because the USA owner was going to be arriving mid-January. So, we had to find another place by then. It was brand new (she hadn't even lived in it yet), so there were some glitches that had to be worked out while we were there. All in all, it was very nice and beautiful, but we were paying more than what we wanted to pay longer term. So we began looking right away because we wanted to find our "HOME."
The second place was so not it! When we went to look at it, we missed so many things that would have told us to walk away. I still don't know how this happened, but it certainly has turned out to be a good thing, because we have such an appreciation of so many things in our "third" apartment which we probably would have normally taken for granted - like real china and glassware, nice pots and pans, fluffy Egyptian towels, quality sheets, AND WINDOWS (the other apartment had no windows - how in the world did we not see that???).
Now, we don't have to listen to our fornicating neighbors at night, or our screaming landlords yelling for their son every morning, nor their yapping sad dog every time they go out, and no more leaking (not just leaking, but pouring) kitchen faucet and no sound of continual moving of furniture above us (what could they possibly be moving every night????), the internet continually crashing, uncomfortable tiny Ecuadorian furniture (we moved one of the beds into the living room to make it more comfortable) and it goes on and on. Mind you, our landlord was very kind to us, and so was everyone else we encountered there. Not their fault, but ours for not really seeing and really checking things out. So, for those of you coming to live here, CHECK IT OUT!!!!
Though it didn't work out for us and we weren't there long (three weeks to be exact), we now know more wonderful Ecuadorian and Ex-Pat people because we were planted there, so our short season in place #2 wasn't for naught! (We never want to miss what God is showing and teaching us.) The apartment just wasn't it! Again, not their fault, but ours for not really looking things over and being willing to walk away. The place had some character and potential, and because of my decorating mind - "Oh, I can make this place fabulous!" - I missed all the things that I could never change.
We like our new city life, but apartment living in the city has to meet our needs or it isn't going to work out. Friends told us about the apartment complex we are in now, and we went to meet the landlady two days after being in place #2. We put down a deposit on an apartment that would be available end of January thinking we could endure in place #2 until then. After only two weeks (and what seemed more like two long years), I contacted our new landlord's son via e-mail (I can be persistent when I'm miserable) and I asked him if another apartment came up before the end of January to please let me know. He immediately wrote back and told me that he had a place opening up that we could move to on January 2nd, and then we could move into our already reserved apartment end of January. YES! HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!!!!
We were both so ready! The day after we returned from our New Year celebration with Pedro, we went over to see our now "3rd temporary" place, loved it and immediately paid for the month of January, and we moved out of place #2 that same night. What a sight - us rolling our suitcases through the dark streets of Cuenca. Good thing it is only four blocks away! We've been here three days and WE ARE SO MUCH HAPPIER!!! We're still in the heart of El Centro, now only four blocks from the mercado, in a much nicer area, and our landlady is very loving and accommodating. She came over tonight to bring us bedding for the guest room, and I asked her if I can have the apartment we are moving to end of January painted colors I like. She said yes, and she is going to have me talk to her painters who will paint it before we move in.
Bo and I are enjoying cooking again! It's a better equipped and much nicer kitchen space. We went down to the Rotary Market and bought some unfinished tables - one to make more counter space ($12) and one to use as a kitchen Island ($20) - and we bought four cans of different paint colors and brushes ($11) - and we're creatively painting our furniture (pictures to follow in another Blog post). We also bought some beautiful baskets, and then we stopped at the flower market and bought a bouquet of Stargazers (my favorites) and Sunflowers for $3. Just a few touches and we're feeling like we're HOME.
We are continually learning every day how to be true apartment city dwellers (after living in the country for 39 years) - such as living on the third floor and locking doors and iron security gates every time we enter or exit, picking up a phone to find out who just buzzed to make sure we're not opening our iron gate to a robber, hearing the constant sound of traffic, honking horns, car alarms, and city night life, and hearing the sound of tenant neighbors' voices and footsteps coming and going up and down the steps on their way in and out.
Yes, it's not the country with peace, quiet, and tranquility - but we like the simplicity of a smaller place and the energy, activity, and daily discoveries when we walk out our door and onto the city streets. We walk everywhere - near and far (and have both lost weight!!!) - and we conveniently can come home a lot during the day, whether to unload our daily groceries, to eat a meal, or just to take a break. Last night I was settled in for the evening, when Bo said, "Come on, it's Friday night. Let's go out!" So, we grabbed our jackets (Yes, it's pleasantly cool at night here) and headed out at 8 pm. The city was alive! We walked a block to Parque Calderon where a band was playing, people were sitting or strolling in the park, and restaurants were packed with Friday night diners. There were food vendors parked or strolling along the streets. The city and park were brightly lit and alive, and we cozied up on one of the benches and watched the world of El Centro Cuenca before us.
What's not to love about being here???? Well, that's another blog posting. After one month - what IS not to love???? More to come........