Honey, We’re Home!!!

Has it really been only six-weeks since we moved to our new home in Cuenca, Ecuador, with our sixteen suitcases and small containers??? In a way it seems like we have been here for years, and in a way it seems like we arrived just yesterday.

On January 15th we rented a 2-bedroom/2.5-bath apartment for $380.00/mo. It is an unfurnished apartment, and by unfurnished, I mean NOTHING. Before we left to go back to Georgia to finish our paperwork we purchased a stove, refrigerator and mattress so we would have something in our apartment when we arrived back here permanently. We also had new countertops installed at our expense in exchange for no increases in rent or fees during our 2-year lease.

30Ecuador1-8-15ApartmentViewFrom2ndBedroomThis is the view from the kitchen window and our master bedroom
4Cuenca1-15-15LivingDiningThis is our living room/ dining room with the kitchen to the left
9Cuenca1-15-15KitchenThis is our kitchen

We met with our attorney, Sara Chaca, on March 31st to start the process for our Visas. (Note: I would strongly recommend using a good attorney like Sara) We had an appointment on April 8th at the Ministry of External Relations to turn in our paperwork. On April 18th we were notified we were approved and that we had an appointment to pick up our Visas on April 28th. Oh My Gosh, this is really happening!!

Here (in Spanish) is the text of what the Ministry sent us. You can copy and paste it into Google Translate if you want to see what it means in English.

Por medio del presente, cúmpleme informarle que sus solicitudes de visas 9-I han sido aprobadas; por lo que solicito acudan a la oficina del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores ubicada en la Manuel J Calle 2-100 el día MARTES 28 DE ABRIL DE 2015 A LAS 11H00, con la finalidad que:

1ro: El departamento de Extranjería emita las visas 9-I, para lo cual deberá traer su pasaporte y $320 por persona, para el pago del respectivo arancel.

2do: Finalmente, una vez emitida la visa, deberán obtener el certificado de empadronamiento para la obtención de su cédula de identidad ecuatoriana, para lo cual deberán traer una copia a color simple su certificado de nacimiento, y el documento que justifique su estado civil (en el caso de no tener estos documentos deberá solicitar información a la funcionaria encargada) además de $4 por persona

Cabe indicarle adicionalmente que de no obtener la cédula de identidad, usted podría ser excluida del ingreso al país en Migración, por lo que es necesario recalcar la importancia de la obtención de este documento para la realización de cualquier trámite interno y su movimiento dentro del territorio nacional.

The process went fairly smoothly and we now have our permanent Visas. Later this week or early next week we should have our cédula, which is the Ecuadorian national ID card.

EcuadorVisaSusan4WebThis page is now permanent in my passport, unfortunately the picture looks like a mugshot

In between the Visa process we have gotten most of our furniture as well as our bus passes. A bus ride is 25¢, but as a senior it costs us only 12¢.

Ecuador4-11-15SusanBusPassThis is my bus pass, another mugshot, but what can I say.

They are in the process of building a rapid transit system and have changed bus routes and removed some of the buses. They haven’t updated any of the maps so learning how to get where you want to go on the bus system isn’t easy at the present. I am looking forward to the rapid transit system that is scheduled to be finished July 2016. Right now the city is torn up in so many places and traffic is stalled and rerouted.

RapitTransitThis is a picture of what the cars for the rapid transit will look like, can hardly wait!

We start our conversational Spanish classes with the sister of one of our Ecuadorian friends next month. We are really looking forward to learning enough Spanish to communicate. We don’t really care if we conjugate a verb correctly as long as we can make ourselves understood; what we are looking forward to is simply talking with people.

We have made some good friends in the short time we have been here, both Ecuadorians and gringos. That is what we are looking for, a good mix of like-minded people.

We seem to encounter cultural surprises weekly; making life in our new adopted home a rich and rewarding adventure. I will be sharing all these surprises, experiences, and adventures with you in future posts as we explore Ecuador together.

Remember to click on the tab ECUADOR and then PICTURES OF OUR ECUADOR to see our pictures and experience our life in Ecuador.

Ciao!

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