Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Children in Ecuador

Today a friend and I went with our lawyer (who is bilingual) to visit Tadeo Torres. It is an orpanage just on the outskirts of Cuenca, that is currently caring and housing 24 children under the age of five years old. They were so adorable. It is sad to see so many children without loving families. The orphanage has a nice main house where they dine and the infants room is there then out in the back are play areas and rooms which they call their houses. The rooms that open to the outside courtyard. There are playrooms and therapy rooms and a medical office. On the back part of the property is the nuns house.

We found out that in order to adopt in Ecuador you need to be a resident for 2 years, which puts a damper on my friends plans. She would really love to adopt a child and give them a home right NOW, but she will have to wait. They also have a screening process (more to come on that) and classes that you have to take once approved.

Here in Ecuador you don't get to chose your child. You can ask for a specific age range and gender and they give you a resume (basically) of a child. You then have two weeks to review it and make the most important decision in your life and theirs. You have to ensure that you are willing to become this childs everything.

We asked what they needed. They asked for diapers size medium to large and a formula brand called Nestle Nan 1 and 2. If anyone is interested in donating please bring the items or cash to Moca Cafe Bar on Gran Colombia y Manzaneros, Moca sits in between Unidad Nacional and Las Americas at the base of Edificio Excalibur next to Banco International.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Busy in Cuenca

Finally my life is starting to get busy and guess what? I miss the days of taking it easy. I don't miss being bored but I miss not having things scheduled so if I wanted to stay in I could.

Last Tuesday my friends Craig and Lucy were having their soft opening of their restaurant the Windhorse Cafe on Calle Larga y Hermano Miguel. Steve and I walked in to the smell of breakfast cooking and people chatting it was great. Steve ordered oatmeal with brown sugar, bananas and nuts and a coffee. I ordered a fruit salad with yogurt, granola and a tea. We enjoyed or meal and the rushed off to the hospital ( it's not what you think).

We had taken our friend to Monte Sinai hospital on Sunday and they were admitted and on Tueday they were being released. We got there at 10:30 just in time I thought, but sadily they still had to remove the IV. Steve and I waited with our friend for an hour and a half longer and finally someone removed it and we went down to pay the bill. We couldn't believe how inexpensive it was, it was only a little over $600 for 2 nights and 3 days in the hospital. Wow!

After taking our friend home Steve and I went on a search for a new panini maker for Moca. Ours has broken twice now and we have had it fixed both times (they can fix anything around here) so we think we should have a new one on stand by. One of friends told us of a restaurant supply store so we went there to check it out. Wow they had some nice panini makes with really expensive prices, but they are restaurant grade. We also went to the normal places Coral and Super Stock and had no luck finding what we were looking for at the price we are looking for.

We took on a new property to manage for Cuenca Flats that has a tenet in it for the next two years, so pretty good we thought. Well, in between all these errands on Tuesday we also got a call from the tenet that the hot water wasn't working in one of the bathrooms. So in between helping our friend and looking for a new panini maker we went by the apartment and checked on the hot water heater. Oh my did I miss my apartment and being bored :). Steve played witht the water heater and found a temporary solution until we can get a plumber there.

Through out the rest of the week we feel as if we are on the move non stop. On Wednesday I had to go in to Moca in the morning to work since Steve and Courtney had to try to get an extension on Courtney's Visa since our lawyer apparently didn't file the paperwork in time again. On Wednesdays it is also ladies lunch day at noon, where a group of women pick a place once a week and we meet up talk and try out a new restaurant. We also started doing a donation fund for ARCA a foundation to protect animals. This week it was supposed to be at San Sebas so I told another friend about it and she was going to head there and then at 2pm head to a NEW weekly scrabble game. At 12:45ish she appeared at Moca and said the taxi drove her around for 45 minutes and couldn't find the cafe or the park that it is next to. So, she had lunch at Moca. It was great to see her. Wednesday nights is reserved for Book Study. Every Wednesday night we meet some friends to talk about a book. The book we are studying at this time is "Shambhala the sacred path of the warrior". It is a great book. Some of these people also meet on Sundays for meditation. I started a new Facebook group for Meditation in Cuenca in case others were interested in meditation.

Today is Friday and about 6 weeks ago I started Afternoon Tea at Moca a Ladies Social hour where ladies can get together have tea and coffee for FREE and chat. I have also set up some guest speakers. This week was supposed to be a cosmetic surgeon but he had to cancel last night due to a emergency surgery that he is doing today. On the 22 of June, I have a lady coming to talk about Essential Oils.

As you can tell I am not as bored anymore as I was in my earlier posts :). What do you plan to do when you get here? or if you are here already what do you do?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Changes is in the Air

Change: "(verb) to become altered or modified, or to become transformed or converted."

The last three days we have had wonderful sunny days with a slight breeze, and beautiful moonlight nights. The weather has changed, for how long, I don't know, but I hope this is what to expect for the immediate future. We are changing as the weather changes, and it feels great. Nick's Spanish skills have progressed to the point he impresses Susan and I each time we hear him converse totally in Spanish with an Ecuadorian. Courtney has become comfortable working at Moca, and seems to be smiling and talking much more than I remember from when she lived in Atlanta. Susan is involved in several projects (Mediation group, Women's Group, and helping out our friends), and we are both spend Wednesday evenings in a book study group. The family seems to be smiling more, working together more often, and I can't remember seeing our home so calm. At Moca, we are gradually building a regular clientele, and welcoming new customers daily. Deportivo Cuenca Southern Express Fan Club, an idea for an expat fan club of the local futbol club by Thomas Golden has created a buzz in the community, and it is nice to be involved in futbol again. In the last week, we have sold our friend's second car for her, leased her rental apartment for two years to nice lady named Judy, and helped an expat get his upholstery, and rugs cleaned in his apartment. Additionally, we enrolled Nick in a new school for the fall, Centro Educativo Alborada.

Change, for us started with moving to Cuenca in July2011, and now after almost eleven months all the experiences we have had, the good and the bad, have changed who we are as human beings, and as a family. We are at peace with our surroundings, and the new culture, and no longer fighting uphill against things we can't change. Now we accept our friends, family, even strangers, and most importantly ourselves for who we have become. Cuenca has changed us for the better, and for that we are agradecido (thankful). 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Friends trip to the emergency room

Guest Post
Hello. My name is Marsha. I am a 60 something retiree who moved from Florida to Cuenca Ecuador seven weeks ago. I have arthritis in both knees and thought it wise to bring a walker with me. In the States I used electric carts in the stores to shop. There is only one store that I know of Supermaxi that has one. So my walker has been great.

Last night I went to bed and felt a considerable amount of pain in my left knee. The pain kept me up all night and by morning I could barely walk with my walker. Not good. With much ado, I got dressed and called for a taxi. The security guard at my condo complex was very helpful as well as the taxi driver. Getting in the taxi with a knee that does not want to bend is challenging.

I called Steven as I knew Susan was out at that hour. Steven and their daughter Courtney met me at the hospital. Susan was not far behind.

I went to Monte Sinai via emergency. The emergency room was clean and quiet. The nurse got my name, address and phone number and asked if I had any money. I gave her my credit card and it was good. Thank goodness I speak some Spanish. The female doctor got my history. Then it was decided to call Eddie who is fluent in Spanish and we had a three way conversation.

The doctor said she was a general practitioner and asked if I wanted a specialist. No. Not at this time. I was given a shot for pain and then had x-rays taken of my knee,

The diagnosis was bone on bone. Ugh. The doctor called an orthopedic specialist who showed up within 20 minutes. I started explaining what happened in Spanish and then he asked if I spoke English. Yes. The remainder of the conversation was in English. Yes! He explained my situation and was very kind. I have a follow up visit with him in a few days.

When it came time to pay my bill, I did so in cash..not with my credit card. The emergency room, pain shot, x-rays, exam by two doctors came to $92! Susan and Steven then got my 2 prescriptions filled for $10. As a retired nurse I know I received good medical care. I was seen in a timely fashion and treated well.

Hopefully not, but should I require further medical care here, I will go without qualms. The same care in the U.S. would have taken much longer and certainly would have cost much more.

Thank you Marsha for the guest post.

I also wanted to let you all know that with a Supermaxi card at Monte Siani you get a 10% and 5% discount on some services.