Friday, January 25, 2013



Hey, I'm not bragging that we've moved four times since arriving seven weeks ago to Cuenca.  I would have loved it if we had found a temporary place to land and then had gone right into our "home away from home."  Things don't usually work out that way for Bo and me.  We always have some kind of adventure within the adventure - and moving has been a big part of this journey.  I share all of this so that others don't arrive here with starry eyes thinking they're going to find that perfect place right away or a place like they left back home.  Trust me - I know!

Part of this moving has to do with finding a place in the heart of El Centro that works for us.  Everyone has their personal likes and dislikes which will include their comfort of furnishings (furnished places here are not always comfortable or equipped), tolerable noise  (that's another blog post about the "Ruido"), level of cleanliness (I'm a compulsive neat-freak), desirable location, type of accommodations (room, apartment, condo, house), and monthly affordability.  I'm sure other things will come into play for others, but for us these were and continue to be the things that we are looking for when trying to find our "home" in Cuenca.

If you've been following our journey, you'll remember reading that we landed in a temporary place that was brand new but, like I said, temporary - and we could have stayed there longer than we did, but we were both overly-anxious to find a place that felt more permanent and that was more affordable (that place was $165 weekly all-inclusive and our long-term rental budget was $500 monthly).  Within a week we moved to apartment #2 ($400 month-to-month, no deposit, all-inclusive) and immediately knew the first night there (read the blog!) we had to find a different place.  That was the night I had my first melt-down in Ecuador (this implies I've had others - true confessions), and I cried buckets.  We found Apartment #4 (the one we are nesting in now - $500 monthly, $500 refundable deposit, month-to-month and all-inclusive) a week after moving into apartment #2, but it would not be available until February 1st.  So, we immediately signed up with our $500 deposit to hold it, and we resigned ourselves to stay in #2 for seven long weeks (I lied to myself!).  Thankfully, another apartment (#3) became available in the same building as #4, so we signed up for that one and moved in right after New Years ($500 month-to-month and all-inclusive).  It was a great transitional place for the month of January and we were so glad to be out of #2 three LONG weeks later!

Nothing is by chance, and there are no mistakes.  We make choices in life, and because of our moving choices, we've met more sweet people along the way, and we also now appreciate some of the little things that we would have taken for granted but that are now "gold" to us!  We now have real china, stainless steel pots, a beautiful view, comfortable living room furniture, cupboard space for our food, a washer and soon-to-arrive dryer, and on and on.  We love the location because it is in the very heart of El Centro and we can walk to everything.  So, for now, we're living day-to-day and renting month-to-month, and we finally are a bit more settled into a place we feel we can stay at for another few months.  Of course, we're always looking!  So, if something more to our liking comes along, we'll definitely check it out.  We continue to search every possibility, and it's very freeing living like this because of the option to up and go anytime.

Unlike some, we came to Cuenca to live one day at a time and to see if it is truly for us.  We are not looking to return to the States at this time.  Every day when we are walking the streets of Cuenca in the warm sunshine, shopping at the open markets, meeting new and kind vendors and interesting people along the way, and living the unencumbered and simple lifestyle of Ecuador, we say, "What's not to love about living in Cuenca?"

 Apartment Pictures Tell The Story

APT #2 BEDROOM - Not my colors!!  Not my decor!! Love that arch though.....

APT #3 BEDROOM - Still not my colors!!  But, getting better.....
APT #4 BEDROOM - Ahhh, much nicer and a very large bedroom with a great bathroom to the left!  (It's not a Tempurpedic or King, but it will do while we figure things out!) 
Apt #2 Kitchen - Quite small and a bit too cozy!  The faucet poured (not leaked!), and I was told to put a picture in the top left corner to cover that hole in the wall!  Obviously, that person does not have the gift of decorating!!  HATED the plastic dishes and aluminum pots.  Very poorly equipped!
Apt #3 Kitchen - Loved the windows and light.  No cupboards for food storage (good thing we cook mostly fresh!).  We bought the unfinished table at the Rotary Market for some more counter space.  Still small and a bit too cozy but better equipped with nicer dishes, glassware, and cookware.

Apt #4 - Ahhh, much better!  Kitchen is open and spacious, bright and fabulously equipped.  Bo and I aren't bumping butts and we appreciate all the things we have here!  No, it's not my colors nor my decor, but it's clean, comfortable, and has everything we need.  The price is right!
Apt #2 Living room - This was the most uncomfortable furniture EVER!  My patio furniture back in Oregon was plush compared to this thin-cushioned rock hard flimsy set they pass on as living room furniture.  We ended up putting it in one of the three bedrooms, and moving a bed out here to lounge on.  Hey, it worked!  We could watch our two channels in English in comfort!

Apt #3 Living Room - Now we're getting more comfortable, I think!  Here we have a patio table and some actually pretty comfortable chairs for the living room (gotta love that plaid - and it goes so well with the dining room chairs - ya think?  Notice there are only three chairs for each area - go figure!  Who in the world came up with this decor????   However, after Apt #2, we were happy to be here for the Month of January until we transitioned to Apt #4, which we had a deposit on since December 15th!

Apt #4 Living Room - Yes!  Real furniture!  And, very comfortable too.  Bo's a big guy, and he now can sink into a chair here.  There's also a big chair in the room-with-a-view where Bo sits and works on his computer.  We are enjoying our 4th move and glad we did it!  We won't be decorating beyond what's here though.  It's another month-to-month landing pad, the price is right, and it's the best place since we've been here.  That's a good thing!
Wonderful view from our Window! 
This afternoon, we went over to our #3 apartment across the hallway and met a mother and son who just moved in.  He is from Seattle, Washington, and his mother is from Poland.  They expressed to us how thankful they are for this place and happy to be out of their last place (a very expensive condo outside the city and with lots of added fees)!  They've been here 3 months, just got their visas, and are hoping to have their cedulas in one week.  Theresa expressed that she and her son are here day-to-day with a desire to possibly relocate to the southern area of Ecuador and eventually have some land and a small farm.  Such is life!  People are arriving here with hopes and dreams for a new beginning and a new season of change and adventure.  We're all journeying through this life of changes and "suddenlies", but each of us is making a different movie.  It doesn't matter where one is.  Bo and I just happen to be making our movie in Ecuador this season of our journey.  To say one has to commit to Ecuador once they decide to move here or they will never make it is absolutely not our way of thinking!  To make the most of each day, to learn to be in the now moment of life, to be open to change and new beginnings and taking the risk to journey there, and to embrace where we are seasonally and know it may not be forever is a freer and more peaceful way to live.  If things don't work out, we move on!  Today we're in Cuenca, and we'll be here and embrace the precious Ecuadorian people, their culture, their lifestyle, and all the surprises and "suddenlies" along the way.  Only then will we have had a successful season in our "Ecuador" journey through life.  Though a day may not always go smoothly or as we expect or hope it will, we are figuring it out along the way and taking responsibility for our part in the process.   

My beautiful $2 bouquet to brighten up our living room!

This early evening, on the way home from the mercado, we stopped at the Flower Market, and a sweet flower vendor, Sra. Anita, fixed me the most beautiful bouquet of yellow mums and unusual flame-red exotic flowers (not sure of the name), all for two-dollars!  Now, a generous fillet of fresh Tuna from the mercado is marinating in Bo's garlic-ginger-lime sauce, and we're thankful to be spending a quiet evening in our 4th location!  It's been another warm, sunny, and beautiful day in Cuenca!


  1. Ahhh, home sweet home! Thanks so much for sharing the photos!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos, Donna!
      Pictures really do tell the story - and hopefully you got a true visual of the upgrades and reason we moved to apartment #4. Yes the journey continues for us.
      Enjoy the ride!

  2. It was really great meeting you two and terrific fun for us. We've been enjoying reading all about your journey and can relate to your struggles. Mary & Steve

    1. Hello Friends,
      We had a great time together, and look forward to more! Good to know we're not the only ones coming against such challenges here, and now we can get together and laugh about them.... We're just plowing along and trying to figure it all out here.
      Keep on reading - more adventures to come!
      Linda and Bo

  3. Movin' on up is the key! And at least you don't have a lot of stuff to sort through like when you left Eugene. Just curious, how big is your new place? And have you checked out any of the so-called luxury condominiums that I see promoted from time to time? What is your take on those?


    1. Oh, so true, Bob and Cathy,
      We can pack and move six suitcases in a couple hours - we've really lightened our load since life in Eugene! We choose to live frugally, in the heart of El Centro, and in a small (2bedroom/2bath) but comfortable place. Luxury condos and their locations are not for everyone, just like our place and location would not be for everyone. It's all a personal choice and lifestyle. For now, this works for us!
      Hope this helps....

  4. It sounds like you're happy and care free! I see no light at the end of my tunnel...Everyday feels like groundhog day.

  5. Don't lose heart, Dian!
    Perhaps it's time for a change or an adventure right where you are - or some place new! Also, know that we are doing life here with all the same joys and sorrows, good times and difficult times, and daily challenges. So, no matter where we go, there we are!! We can't run away from ourselves, and life continues no matter where we are.

    Do you have Skype? If so, we can chat for FREE!!! Let us know and we'll call you. We'd love to visit and catch up. Or, just get on a plane and come on over - why not? Truly, you are welcome any time. Nuestra casa es su casa!
    We love you (Jude 2),
    Bo and Linda

  6. My wife and I arrive in about three weeks. I am enjoying your blog. Are you now in the bldg across from Plaza San Francisco, the view loks familiar. Perhaps we could have a up of coffee or a meal when we arrive.

  7. Glad you are enjoying our blog! Wishing you safe travels and a pleasant journey to Cuenca. We would love to meet you when you arrive, so stay in touch and let us know when you are settled in. You can leave us a comment or send us your e-mail when you arrive. We are close to Plaza San Francisco.
    Looking forward,
    Linda (and Bo)

  8. Love the comparative shots of living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms! Great way to show the pilgrims' progress. We're from Oregon, too, and contemplating making an offer on a condo in Cuenca. We first came to Cuenca around 7 years ago and loved it, returned and still loved it, waiting for a place in the right spot.

    Your story about the cedula process is enough to give me the willies! Maybe we can avoid that by keeping our stays under 6 months or just take the plunge.

    1. Welcome to our Blog, Terry!

      I hope you find that place in the right spot, and when you are in Cuenca, let us know so we can meet fellow Oregonians. Remember, when you read our blog, it is our personal experience. Yours will be different, and maybe you'll swim through the visa process! Some have! We decided to take the plunge, and what a journey it's been. We enjoy each new day here and have met many wonderful people - the best part of all.
      Enjoy the blog,


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