Am I dreaming, or is this really happening? Kelli and Terry are driving down from Missouri to help us pack and downsize, so that in six months I can officially leave for my new home in Ecuador and begin writing (Pauline you better hurry or I will beat you to the finish line and publish first!)!
Tracy is filled with positive vibes for the first time in quite a while (Trust me young lady this experience will make you forget your problems in California--I will personally see to that!). We actually had a great conversation for almost two hours, in regard to our move to Ecuador. Tracy, you just need to bear in mind that we have "limited" funds and will have to prioritize our cap-ex expenditures (Ha! Ha!).
Everyone has a ton of creative juices flowing and ideas are bouncing around like tennis balls. A conversation initiated with the great patrons of "The Voices of Cocoa Beach" have displayed a keen interest in the organic farm idea (Build it and they will come). Omar and I will design our first exploratory trip in October, this coming week. Hopefully our great government can get my passport back to me in the 10 weeks I am allowing. If not, I will be rather upset and more than likely unkind with my communications.
I have grown attracted to Cuenca (even though my first desire is Salinas and the beach). I hope Jimmy Buffett is listening-Ha!--Maybe he can add a Margaritaville Cafe in Salinas. Unless Omar objects, I plan to start in the direction of Cuenca (after spending our obligatory evening in Guayaquil), visit the coast and hit the Santa Rosa and Machala area (debating on a side trip to Vilcabamba) and return to Guayaquil for a night or two.
The next day we can head out to Salinas and hopefully spend several days with Amy and see if there are any desirable and affordable properties "On the Beach". From there we should head up the coast and hit Montanita, Puerto Lopez, Manta and the Bahia de Caraquez area. We will hit Jama if we have the time. I think Gary dominates this area if I am not incorrect (or Pablo).
Regardless, I also want to look at small farms available for organic crops that are in operation and have some system of guaranteed contracts, that will at least provide a limited income to start with. The last perspective is looking at bed and breakfast operations or small hotels that have restaurants, bars and any other amenities and will not require "Too Much In Upgrades".
I mention these locations, as there is a wonderful ex-pat community in Ecuador, that treats each other like family. I cannot join these individuals fast enough. I know that by issuing this post I will receive varied feedback, that is actually "helpful" and will accommodate our needs. I also have to bear in mind that I need enough choices on the table to ensure that the family has options, when they visit for the first time in December. Everyone will be on this tour, including our Grande Dame or Matriarch Marcy (possibly the greeter at the bed and breakfast, if this materializes)!
In addition I now have to acquire a realtor and lawyer, that come highly recommended by large contingency of trustworthy ex-pats, as it is the hugest portion of the formula. I will welcome all recommendations and references. I do not want to contribute to some bandit's lifestyle and have my funds used for his or her vacation.
Lastly I have to thank Dr. Jane Lyons of Mindo Bird Tours ( ). Dr. Lyons has lived in Ecuador after graduating from the University of Texas in Austin (Hook 'em) and is an aunt of one of my son's significant other. She has persevered my incessant emails and question about Ecuador and has been a tremendous aid. If you read this and are a bird watching fan, please join her and allow her highly trained staff to guide you through tours in various countries. I am trying to see if we can visit her for a night or two and meet her face to face. Muchas Gracias Jane.
October cannot get here soon enough and I welcome any comments, suggestions or options of individuals to work with as the process begins.