Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Beginning of a New Year

Well, 2012 is here, and we only have to worry until sometime in December according to the Mayan calendar. Personally, I think the chief Mayan calendarologist figured they he had created the calendar several hundred years into the future, and liking even numbers decided to stop 2012. He must have chiseled a note to himself on an ancient post-it-note to add more years to the calendar in 1812, but unfortunately the Mayan civilization ended much sooner. so, relax, enjoy the entire year, and buy a 2013 calendar for Christmas 2012.

Susan, Nick, and I have already made  a few changes for the new year. We decided after a lot of discussion with friends, and classmates of Nick, to remove him for Santana for the rest of the school year. The reason for pulling Nick out was the teachers were not involving Nick in the class, and not even attempting to hold him accountable for any homework, or even work done in class. They decided it was easier to treat him as a foreign exchange student, than to take the time to work with him to make sure he understood any assignments. So, for the rest of the school year Nick will focus on his Spanish lessons, take online classes through Global Student Network, and tryout for the Deportivo Cuenca u14 soccer team. He will stay in touch with his friends from Santana, and have them over to the house as often as possible. We hope to enroll him in a new school in the fall that can provide a challenge academically, but at the same time allow him to have a social life.

Cuenca Flats, the real estate and property management company Susan and I started in September 2011 continues to grow as we add properties to our listings of residential, and commercial properties for sale and lease. All of our listings have been referred to us by friends, and satisfied customers, so we haven't had to search for new clients. We want to remain a small company, and focus on providing a level of personal service that wouldn't be possible with a larger company. For us personally, we are moving upstairs in our building to a new apartment, which is a little big bigger (3BR/4 Baths), and we will have a terrace off the master bedroom on the second floor. Susan has wanted an outside space, and we like our building, so moving upstairs was an easy solution.

Our friend Bill Mann, and I have discussed some interesting ideas over the last couple of months, and we have decided to start a new project together this year. The new company we have formed will allow us to use some of our past IT, marketing, and management consulting experiences to help local businesses develop some new methods of attracting customers.

Susan has begun Yoga with her friend Lizette, and though she was sore after the first day, she is looking forward to her next class. Moca Cafe Bar, which we co-own with our friend Trish is continuing to attract new customers, and recently Susan began baking jumbo apple-cinnamon and banana-walnut muffins, and everyone loves them. Susan, along with Moca's manager Jenny have developed some new marketing ideas, and we added Direct TV, so we could show the Ecuadorian national soccer team's World Cup qualifying matches during the road to Brasil 2014.

The big news of the last few days for our family is that our oldest daughter Courtney has decided to join us in Cuenca sometime in March. We are hoping she can take over some of the work at Moca, and spend her free time working on her photography, and writing as she tries to make her two passions into a career. Susan will be heading to Atlanta to help with the move, shop for some things we are wanting, clear out our storage rental, and with luck she all the rest of our children (Ryan, Frank, and Christina), and her father and brother. It was hard having our first Christmas without our four older children, and next Christina will be turning 19 on the January 13th, so this will be the first year Susan isn't there for Christina's birthdays.

We are hoping the new year brings us good health, new friends, and many new adventures as we continue to live in our new country, and we wish the best to all our friends.

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